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Coronavirus in Wisconsin: Hospitalizations set another single-day record

Positive cases and deaths are down slightly from Tuesday’s record numbers.
(KCRG)
Published: Oct. 14, 2020 at 2:00 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 14, 2020 at 3:56 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reports 153 patients were hospitalized for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, a new one-day record. There are more than 1,000 COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized, the first time that figure was over 1,000. Other key metrics remained high but backed down slightly from Tuesday’s record numbers.

The state received 14,542 results -- exactly 1 more test than Tuesday. There were 3,107 new cases (down from Tuesday’s 3,279), for a positivity rate of 21.37% (down from Tuesday’s 22.55%), with new cases identified in 70 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties. The 7-day average positivity rate is 21.15%, an all-time high for that average. All told, 158,578 people in Wisconsin have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

There were 28 deaths in Wednesday’s report (down from Tuesday’s 34), the fourth time in 7 days the death count was in double digits. The death rate held steady for a third day at 0.97%. There have been 1,536 COVID-19 deaths in the state.

The deaths were in Brown, Columbia, Dane, Grant (3), Juneau, Kenosha, Lincoln, Manitowoc (2), Milwaukee (3), Oconto (2), Outagamie (3), Racine, Rock, Shawano, Vernon, Vilas, Washington, Waupaca (2) and Winnebago counties.

Counting deaths and hospital discharges, the number of COVID-19 patients currently in hospitals rose to 1,017, putting that metric above 1,000 for the first time. Of those patients, 246 are in intensive care, or about 1 in 4.

A total 8,754 people have been hospitalized for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That’s 5.5% of all confirmed cases. Wisconsin’s 7-day average is almost 115 COVID-19 hospitalizations a day.

Age groupHospitalizedTotal casesHospitalization rate
0-9775,1022%
10-1916019,0671%
20-2955437,3171%
30-3967424,2983%
40-4983821,5834%
50-591,28822,9836%
60-691,74615,42711%
70-791,7937,87723%
80-891,2403,67334%
90+3841,25131%

Wednesday, the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) reported 150 COVID-19 patients in the Fox Valley region’s 13 hospitals, with 17 in ICU. WHA reports 21% of ICU beds and 16% of all beds are currently available in that region. The Northeast region’s 10 hospitals have 152 COVID-19 patients, 54 in ICU, and less than 8% of ICU beds but 22% of all beds currently available. Statewide, 13.4% of ICU beds and 16.6% of all licensed beds were immediately available, according to the WHA. Daily hospitalization numbers take deaths and hospital discharges into account.

A field hospital to handle the state’s overflow of patients opened Wednesday at the state fairgrounds. Being called an “alternate care facility,” it will initially receive up to 50 COVID-19 patients who still require hospitalization but a lower level of care (see related story). As of 2 P.M. there were no patients at the facility. State health officials say that’s partly due to the fluid hospitalization numbers. They said patients and their insurance companies won’t be charged for the care at the field hospital or the ambulance transfers to and from their local hospital; those costs are covered by money from the federal CARES Act.

Active cases now make up 19.9%, or 1 in 5, of all Wisconsin’s confirmed cases since that first coronavirus patient in Madison on February 5. Active cases are people who tested positive in the past 30 days and aren’t medically cleared for their lack of symptoms or release from isolation. To date, 158,578 people in Wisconsin tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Of these, 31,595 are active cases and 125,411 are considered recovered.

For data that include results for every person tested multiple times, visit the DHS website. Even by that measure, the positivity rate climbed to a new all-time high of 10.4%. Action 2 News will continue to emphasize the state’s summary statistics counting each person once no matter how many times they’re tested. This is the standard method used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its federal reporting and is a better indication of the spread of the coronavirus in a community.

WEDNESDAY’S COUNTY CASE NUMBERS (counties with additional cases and/or deaths are indicated in bold)*

Wisconsin

  • Adams - 334 cases (+15) (4 deaths)
  • Ashland - 208 cases (+4) (3 deaths)
  • Barron - 678 cases (+33) (6 deaths)
  • Bayfield - 161 cases (+5) (1 death)
  • Brown - 12,220 cases (+175) (79 deaths) (+1)
  • Buffalo - 185 cases (+7) (2 deaths)
  • Burnett - 250 cases (+3) (4 deaths)
  • Calumet - 2,040 cases (+48) (10 deaths)
  • Chippewa - 887 cases (+28) (1 death)
  • Clark – 578 cases (+16) (9 deaths)
  • Columbia – 1,229 cases (+56) (4 deaths) (+1)
  • Crawford – 261 cases (+7)
  • Dane – 11,855 cases (+162) (46 deaths) (+1)
  • Dodge – 2,733 cases (+53) (19 deaths)
  • Door - 562 cases (+22) (4 deaths)
  • Douglas - 648 cases (+9) (1 death)
  • Dunn - 791 cases (1 death) (cases revised -2 by state)
  • Eau Claire - 2,471 cases (+17) (9 deaths)
  • Florence - 143 cases (4 deaths)
  • Fond du Lac – 3,135 cases (+38) (16 deaths)
  • Forest - 384 cases (+9) (9 deaths)
  • Grant – 1,479 cases (+29) (23 deaths) (+3)
  • Green - 742 cases (+24) (3 deaths)
  • Green Lake - 521 cases (+22) (2 deaths)
  • Iowa - 321 cases (+12)
  • Iron - 159 cases (+3) (1 death)
  • Jackson - 225 cases (+7) (1 death)
  • Jefferson - 2,050 cases (+72) (9 deaths)
  • Juneau - 555 cases (+11) (3 deaths) (+1)
  • Kenosha – 4,140 cases (+83) (69 deaths) (+1)
  • Kewaunee - 841 cases (+3) (4 deaths)
  • La Crosse – 3,605 cases (+18) (11 deaths)
  • Lafayette - 429 cases (+17)
  • Langlade - 566 cases (+42) (4 deaths)
  • Lincoln - 462 cases (+13) (4 deaths) (+1)
  • Manitowoc – 1,890 cases (+29) (7 deaths) (+2)
  • Marathon - 2,899 cases (+190) (31 deaths)
  • Marinette - 1,330 cases (+25) (9 deaths)
  • Marquette - 455 cases (+19) (2 deaths)
  • Menominee - 183 cases (+9)
  • Milwaukee – 33,532 (+484) (554 deaths) (+3)
  • Monroe - 813 cases (+13) (3 deaths)
  • Oconto - 1,607 cases (+23) (6 deaths) (+2)
  • Oneida - 805 cases (+17) (5 deaths)
  • Outagamie – 6,928 cases (+118) (46 deaths) (+3)
  • Ozaukee - 1,684 cases (+20) (21 deaths)
  • Pepin – 81 cases (+2)
  • Pierce – 548 cases (+8) (7 deaths)
  • Polk – 363 cases (+16) (2 deaths)
  • Portage - 2,004 cases (+52) (14 deaths)
  • Price - 250 cases (+10)
  • Racine - 5,840 cases (+162) (101 deaths) (+1)
  • Richland - 332 cases (+3) (6 deaths)
  • Rock – 3,538 cases (+61) (37 deaths) (+1)
  • Rusk - 103 cases (+1) (1 death)
  • Sauk – 1,328 cases (+43) (6 deaths)
  • Sawyer - 293 cases (+5) (1 death)
  • Shawano – 1,720 cases (+71) (8 deaths) (+1)
  • Sheboygan - 2,710 cases (+113) (20 deaths)
  • St. Croix - 1,305 cases (+51) (9 deaths)
  • Taylor - 309 cases (+13) (6 deaths)
  • Trempealeau - 816 cases (+9) (2 deaths)
  • Vernon - 394 cases (+13) (3 deaths) (+1)
  • Vilas - 367 cases (+14) (3 deaths) (+1)
  • Walworth - 2,959 cases (+25) (36 deaths)
  • Washburn – 161 cases (+2) (2 deaths)
  • Washington - 3,472 cases (+78) (40 deaths) (+1)
  • Waukesha – 9,532 cases (+142) (98 deaths)
  • Waupaca – 1,741 cases (+52) (27 deaths) (+2)
  • Waushara - 653 cases (+14) (3 deaths)
  • Winnebago – 6,603 cases (+109) (46 deaths) (+1)
  • Wood - 1,182 cases (+30) (8 deaths)

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula**

  • Alger - 53 cases (+5)
  • Baraga - 49 cases (+3) (4 deaths) (+1)
  • Chippewa - 58 cases
  • Delta – 782 cases (+38) (15 deaths)
  • Dickinson – 349 cases (+12) (4 deaths)
  • Gogebic - 188 cases (+6) (1 death)
  • Houghton – 675 cases (+7) (5 deaths)
  • Iron – 297 cases (+8) (16 deaths) (+1)
  • Keweenaw – 14 cases
  • Luce – 23 cases (+2)
  • Mackinac - 90 cases (+3)
  • Marquette - 466 cases (+9) (12 deaths)
  • Menominee - 493 cases (+3) (3 deaths)
  • Ontonagon – 55 cases (+1)
  • Schoolcraft - 45 cases (+1)

* Viewers have asked us why the state has different numbers than what’s reported on some county health department websites. The DHS reports cases from all health departments within a county’s boundaries, including tribal, municipal and county health departments; county websites may not. Also, public health departments update their data at various times whereas the DHS freezes the numbers it receives by the same time every day to compile the afternoon report.

The DHS reports deaths attributed to COVID-19 or in which COVID-19 contributed to their death. Most of the people severely affected by the coronavirus have underlying illnesses or conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease or obesity, which raises a person’s risk of dying from COVID-19 but would’ve lived longer if not for their infection. The state may revise case and death numbers after further review, such as the victim’s residence, duplicated records, or a correction in lab results. Details can be found on the DHS website and Frequently Asked Questions.

**The state of Michigan updates numbers Monday-Saturday.

Symptoms

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified these as possible symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Fever of 100.4 or higher
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

Prevention

  • The coronavirus is a new, or “novel,” virus. Nobody has a natural immunity to it. Children and teens seem to recover best from the virus. Older people and those with underlying health conditions (heart disease, diabetes, lung disease) are considered at high risk, according to the CDC. Precautions are also needed around people with developing or weakened immune systems.
  • To help prevent the spread of the virus:
  • Stay at least six feet away from other people
  • Avoid close contact with people who are or appear sick
  • Stay at home as much as possible
  • Cancel events and avoid groups, gatherings, play dates and nonessential appointments
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care
  • Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a mask. At a minimum, use a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.

Health experts say face masks are still the most effective way the general public can slow the spread of the coronavirus, but only if the masks are worn appropriately -- over the nose and chin. County and state health officials are reminding and urging people to stay home when they feel sick, avoid large gatherings, and distance yourself six feet from people who aren’t from your household.

To help people understand how their decisions affect their own health and others, the Department of Health Services has a decision tool at https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/decision.htm. The tool describes how choices matter and offers suggestions to make activities safer.

Copyright 2020 WBAY. All rights reserved.

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