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COVID-19 reporting system being upgraded by DHS this weekend, temporary outage in state numbers

(NBC15)
Published: Oct. 17, 2020 at 2:39 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - State health officials say there will be a brief outage this weekend regarding their daily reports of COVID-19 numbers throughout Wisconsin.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, an upgrade for the Wisconsin Electronic Disease Surveillance System (WEDSS) will happen this weekend.

The system collects a variety of data, and DHS officials say the improvements will help streamline monitoring COVID-19 throughout the state.

DHS officials add the upgrade will improve tools for contact tracing, automate data entry, enhance security features, and strengthen the system to accommodate any increase in cases.

The upgrade means the DHS COVID-19 webpages won’t be updated until after it is complete. CLICK HERE to view numbers from Friday on the data webpages.

State officials say reporting of test results won’t be affected, however, contact tracing may be impacted, and the DHS says it is increasing staffing before and after the planned update to account for it.

The DHS says WEDSS is the same system used by Wisconsin Local and Tribal Health Departments, health care providers and other public health partners to collect and monitor data on testing, contact tracing and other surveillance metrics.

In addition, officials say the system provides public health experts with information needed to monitor disease activity.

The outage began at 5 p.m. Friday, and the updates are scheduled to go live on Monday, October 19, with data presentations on the DHS COVID-19 Data Webpages being resumed by Tuesday, October 20.

While the system is down, state officials say LTHDs and state public health staff will use alternate methods for data collection, but didn’t specify what the alternate methods were.

Anyone who is looking to view at the disease activity in Wisconsin throughout the upgrade is asked to look at seven day averages, which can also be found on the DHS website.

The upgrade won’t affect the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) website, which reports the capacity in Wisconsin hospitals by region.

The Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) reports Saturday the Fox Valley region’s 13 hospitals have 147 COVID-19 patients, with 20 in ICU, and 16% of ICU beds are open. In the Northeast region’s 10 hospitals, there are 177 COVID-19 patients, 59 in ICU, and 10% of ICU beds are open.

CLICK HERE to view Friday’s numbers from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula*

  • Alger - 69 cases (+9)
  • Baraga - 54 cases (+1) (4 deaths)
  • Chippewa - 64 cases (+3)
  • Delta – 842 cases (+16) (16 deaths)
  • Dickinson – 434 cases (+29)(7 deaths)(+2)
  • Gogebic - 200 cases (+6) (1 death)
  • Houghton – 698 cases (+6) (6 deaths)
  • Iron – 318 cases (+10) (17 deaths)(+1)
  • Keweenaw – 15 cases (State revised by -1)
  • Luce – 28 cases
  • Mackinac - 108 cases (+3)
  • Marquette - 849 cases (+253) (12 deaths)
  • Menominee - 519 cases (+13) (3 deaths)
  • Ontonagon – 65 cases (+5)
  • Schoolcraft - 50 cases (+1)

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.

*The state of Michigan updates numbers Monday-Saturday.

Copyright 2020 WBAY. All rights reserved.

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