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Wisconsin reaches 1,600 COVID-19 deaths

State reporting resumed Monday after a scheduled weekend outage
(KCRG)
Published: Oct. 19, 2020 at 2:09 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 19, 2020 at 3:49 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - Wisconsin reached another deadly milestone in the fight against COVID-19, with the state reporting a total 1,600 deaths, adding 12 deaths to the state’s count in the past 24 hours and a total of 26 deaths since Friday. Wisconsin passed 1,500 deaths just 6 days ago.

The Department of Health Services is catching us up on coronavirus reporting after taking its online dashboards down for two days for system updates. When the system came back online Monday afternoon, the state was reporting a total 173,891 people in Wisconsin have tested positive for the coronavirus, including 3,777 more positive tests in the past 24 hours. That’s in line with daily numbers we saw Thursday (3,747) and Friday (3,861) before the system was taken down.

The state also reported receiving 42,131 test results. That’s almost 3 times the daily average and is more likely the sum of test results received since the system upgrades began Friday night.

The state reports the 7-day average positivity rate -- the percentage of tests coming back positive -- is 21.1%.

Note: Because Wisconsin’s reporting system was taken down over the weekend for updates, day-to-day comparisons aren’t always possible.

Since the last state report, 26 more deaths are listed in Brown, Chippewa (3), Clark, Dodge, Green, Juneau, Kenosha (2), La Crosse (3), Langlade (2), Marathon, Marinette, Milwaukee (2), Oconto, Outagamie, Portage (2) and Waukesha (3) counties.

The death rate has fallen to 0.92% of all coronavirus cases. Numerically, more people are dying (the death toll is in double digits for a record 5th report in a row), but it’s outpaced by the number of total cases (which is above 3,000 a day for a record 5th report in a row).

A surge in the summer was attributed to more people in their 20s and 30s getting together and spreading the disease. These are age groups less likely to feel the severe effects of the coronavirus and more likely to be asymptomatic carriers than older adults. And now we’re seeing the virus more among older adults.

Age group% of total cases
on September 18
% of total cases
on October 19
20-2926%23%
30-3915%15%
40-4913%14%
50-5914%15%
60-699%10%

The DHS reported 165 people were hospitalized for COVID-19. That could be a new one-day record for hospitalizations. Last week we saw daily hospitalizations ranging from 135 to 153 patients a day and the average hospitalization rate had been rising for weeks. The state says more than 1 in 20 people (5.4%) who test positive were hospitalized for treatment of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

The Wisconsin Hospital Association reports a record 1,172 COVID-19 patients are currently hospitalized, including a record 302 in intensive care Monday. The WHA now reports 15.7% of ICU beds and 18% of all hospital beds in the state are open, but Prevea CEO/president Dr. Ashok Rai cautioned on Action 2 News This Morning last week that an open bed isn’t necessarily an available bed if the hospital doesn’t have the staffing to support a patient in it (see related story).

There are now 35,345 active coronavirus cases among us -- meaning more than 1 in 5 people diagnosed since February was diagnosed in the past 30 days and hasn’t been medically cleared. There are 136,910 people who are considered recovered.

For consistency, Wisconsin numbers for Monday do not include comparisons to figures from 3 days ago; our day-to-day comparisons will resume Tuesday.

Every one of Wisconsin’s 72 counties had case numbers rise since Friday.

MONDAY’S COUNTY CASE NUMBERS (All numbers are cumulative from when testing began.)

Wisconsin

  • Adams - 400 cases (4 deaths)
  • Ashland - 234 cases (3 deaths)
  • Barron - 803 cases (6 deaths)
  • Bayfield - 176 cases (1 death)
  • Brown - 13,251 cases (85 deaths)
  • Buffalo - 208 cases (2 deaths)
  • Burnett - 269 cases (6 deaths)
  • Calumet - 2,275 cases (10 deaths)
  • Chippewa - 1,124 cases (5 deaths)
  • Clark – 673 cases (12 deaths)
  • Columbia – 1,464 cases (4 deaths)
  • Crawford – 296 cases
  • Dane – 12,516 cases (46 deaths)
  • Dodge – 3,050 cases (22 deaths)
  • Door - 623 cases (4 deaths)
  • Douglas - 696 cases (1 death)
  • Dunn - 857 cases (1 death)
  • Eau Claire - 2,674 cases (9 deaths)
  • Florence - 158 cases (4 deaths)
  • Fond du Lac – 3,543 cases (17 deaths)
  • Forest - 398 cases (10 deaths)
  • Grant – 1,599 cases (23 deaths)
  • Green - 816 cases (4 deaths)
  • Green Lake - 614 cases (2 deaths)
  • Iowa - 372 cases (1 death)
  • Iron - 164 cases (1 death)
  • Jackson - 280 cases (1 death)
  • Jefferson - 2,204 cases (9 deaths)
  • Juneau - 621 cases (4 deaths)
  • Kenosha – 4,428 cases (71 deaths)
  • Kewaunee - 925 cases (4 deaths)
  • La Crosse – 3,817 cases (15 deaths)
  • Lafayette - 458 case (1 death)
  • Langlade - 678 cases (7 deaths)
  • Lincoln - 598 cases (5 deaths)
  • Manitowoc – 2,151 cases (7 deaths)
  • Marathon - 3,376 cases (33 deaths)
  • Marinette - 1,419 cases (10 deaths)
  • Marquette - 517 cases (2 deaths)
  • Menominee - 219 cases
  • Milwaukee – 35,235 (556 deaths)
  • Monroe - 949 cases (3 deaths)
  • Oconto - 1,751 cases (7 deaths)
  • Oneida - 939 cases (6 deaths)
  • Outagamie – 7,733 cases (49 deaths)
  • Ozaukee - 1,846 cases (23 deaths)
  • Pepin – 92 cases
  • Pierce – 593 cases (7 deaths)
  • Polk – 401 cases (2 deaths)
  • Portage - 2,274 cases (17 deaths)
  • Price - 284 cases
  • Racine - 6,291 cases (101 deaths)
  • Richland - 370 case (6 deaths)
  • Rock – 4,106 cases (38 deaths)
  • Rusk - 153 cases (1 death)
  • Sauk – 1,453 cases (6 deaths)
  • Sawyer - 342 cases (1 death)
  • Shawano – 1,923 cases (8 deaths)
  • Sheboygan - 3,616 cases (20 deaths)
  • St. Croix - 1,423 cases (9 deaths)
  • Taylor - 361 cases (6 deaths)
  • Trempealeau - 879 cases (2 deaths)
  • Vernon - 433 cases (3 deaths)
  • Vilas - 420 cases (3 deaths)
  • Walworth - 3,057 cases (36 deaths)
  • Washburn – 180 cases (2 deaths)
  • Washington - 3,773 cases (40 deaths)
  • Waukesha – 10,295 cases (106 deaths)
  • Waupaca – 2,011 cases (29 deaths)
  • Waushara - 786 cases (3 deaths)
  • Winnebago – 7,607 cases (49 deaths)
  • Wood - 1,371 cases (9 deaths)

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula** (counties with an increase in cases and/or deaths are indicated in bold)

  • Alger - 76 cases (+7) (1 death) (+1)
  • Baraga - 59 cases (+5) (4 deaths)
  • Chippewa - 64 cases
  • Delta – 876 cases (+34) (17 deaths) (+1)
  • Dickinson – 444 cases (+10) (7 deaths)
  • Gogebic - 214 cases (+14) (1 death)
  • Houghton – 704 cases (+6) (7 deaths) (+1)
  • Iron – 333 cases (+15) (17 deaths) (+1)
  • Keweenaw – 17 cases (+2)
  • Luce – 31 cases (+3)
  • Mackinac - 111 cases (+3)
  • Marquette - 686 cases (+37) (12 deaths)
  • Menominee - 531 cases (+12) (3 deaths)
  • Ontonagon – 67 cases (+2)
  • Schoolcraft - 51 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.

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