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Testing numbers rise; confirmed cases remain above average

The state identified 4,618 new cases from a positivity rate of 38.57%
Published: Dec. 3, 2020 at 2:03 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 3, 2020 at 3:58 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) – Wisconsin will inevitably surpass 400,000 confirmed coronavirus cases on Friday. New cases identified in Thursday’s Wisconsin Department of Health Services report bring the total to 399,708 since that first patient in Madison shy of ten months ago, on February 5.

TOTAL TESTS: 4,618

Positive: 4,618 (38.57%)

The state received 11,972 test results by Thursday’s deadline -- the most in a week, before most community testing sites closed for Thanksgiving. Of these, 4,618 tests were positive, which is well above the 7-day average of 3,596 cases, but we can report that 7-day average continued a downward trend for a fourth day. The positivity rate was 38.57% of tests. The other 7,354 tests were negative. Seventy of Wisconsin’s 72 counties reported new coronavirus cases. The remaining two -- Kewaunee and Lafayette -- had case numbers revised downward.

DEATH TOLL: 3,562 (0.89%)

New deaths: 60

Wisconsin reported 60 more deaths, bringing the COVID-19 death toll to 3,562. That’s above the 7-day average of 46 deaths. The death rate was 0.89% of all known cases for a second day.

Deaths were reported in 25 counties, with multiple deaths in 15 of them: Adams (2), Bayfield (2), Brown (5), Buffalo, Dodge, Dunn, Jefferson, Kewaunee (4), La Crosse, Lincoln (2), Marathon (5), Milwaukee (11), Oconto (2), Oneida, Ozaukee, Polk, Portage, Price, Racine (2), Walworth (2), Washington (2), Waukesha (4), Waupaca (3), Winnebago (4) and Wood (2) counties. Death counts were revised downward in Lafayette and Langlade counties.

Thursday’s county case numbers and deaths are listed in this report.

Wednesday, the DHS published a new, interactive map online that shows COVID-19 virus cases and deaths by county, municipality, ZIP Code or school district. CLICK HERE. You can view cases and deaths by total numbers or per capita or deaths as a percentage of total cases. Health Secretary-designee Andrea Palm says it “offers new ways for people to understand COVID-19 activity within their communities.”

Active cases: 64,646 (16.2%)

Recovered cases: 331,425 (82.9%)

The percentage of cases considered active continues to fall. The state says 64,646 people may be actively infected, or 16.2% of those almost-400,000 cases. Another 331,425 people are considered recovered; they were diagnosed more than 30 days ago or were medically cleared. It’s important to point out this number of recovered cases includes “long haulers” -- people who are no longer infected but have lingering effects from their COVID-19 infection, including breathing problems or what the describe as a “brain fog.” Prevea president/CEO Dr. Ashok Rai addressed these cases on Action 2 News This Morning, “This is, unfortunately, not as uncommon as you might think, to the point where we actually have a clinic now at Prevea just to take care of these patients, to get them plugged in to respiratory therapy, to physical therapy, to get tested for neuro-psych to see what’s going on with their fog. There are a lot of different complications that we’re seeing long term.”

Symptoms of COVID-19 can appear 14 days after exposure, if a person infected with the coronavirus shows any symptoms at all. Gov. Evers urged Wisconsinites to be more vigilant about wearing a mask and maintaining a physical distance from people who aren’t from their household.

Ever hospitalized: 17,741 (4.4%)

New hospitalizations: 172

The number of people hospitalized declined for a second day from a near-record 277 hospitalizations on Tuesday. The DHS says 172 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized in the past 24 hours. The 7-day average is 154.7 new hospitalizations per day. The percentage of people who test positive for the coronavirus who need hospitalization is steady at 4.4%.

The latest figures from the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) on Thursday show current hospitalizations on the decline. The WHA says 1,754 COVID-19 patients were in the state’s 134 hospitals, with 376 in intensive care. Daily changes in hospitalization numbers take deaths and discharges into account.

In the eight-county Fox Valley region, there are 88 COVID-19 patients among the 13 hospitals, with 24 in ICU. The 7-county Northeast region has 159 COVID-19 patients at its 10 hospitals, with 38 in ICU.

There were 8 patients at the alternate care facility at the state fairgrounds Thursday, the same as Wednesday. The field hospital is meant to help free up hospital beds by taking patients who are close to being released from the hospital but not quite ready, such as those who are ambulatory but still need oxygen.

HOSPITAL READINESS

The WHA reported 168 ICU beds are open out of 1,466 in the state’s 134 hospitals (11.5% of ICU beds). Counting ICU, intermediate care, medical surgical and negative flow isolation, the state has 1,591 beds open (14.2%) for all patients, not just COVID-19. Whether an open bed can be filled depends on whether the hospital has the necessary medical and support staff.

The Fox Valley region has 15 ICU beds (14.4%), up from 10 on Wednesday, and 2 intermediate care beds open. Overall, 100 of 853 beds are open (11.7%), a slight improvement over the past two days.

The Northeast region, serving 7 counties, has 22 ICU beds (10.6%), up 6 from Wednesday, and 4 intermediate care beds. Overall, 159 of the hospitals’ 956 beds (16.6%) are open, 6 more than Wednesday.

Hospitals’ stock of personal protective equipment only improved slightly. The WHA says 18 hospitals are reporting less than a 7 day’s supply of gowns -- that number had been in the low to mid 20′s for two weeks. Twelve hospitals still need paper medical masks, 9 are in need of goggles, and 8 are short on N95 masks.

THURSDAY’S COUNTY CASE NUMBERS (Counties with new cases or deaths are indicated in bold.)*

Wisconsin*

  • Adams – 1,091 cases (+20) (9 deaths) (+2)
  • Ashland – 738 cases (+41) (9 deaths)
  • Barron – 3,721 cases (+33) (41 deaths)
  • Bayfield - 707 cases (+9) (16 deaths) (+2)
  • Brown – 23,086 cases (+229) (144 deaths) (+5)
  • Buffalo – 839 cases (+11) (5 deaths) (+1)
  • Burnett – 796 cases (+6) (13 deaths)
  • Calumet – 4,117 cases (+31) (26 deaths)
  • Chippewa – 4,990 cases (+69) (53 deaths)
  • Clark – 2,235 cases (+20) (42 deaths)
  • Columbia – 3,555 cases (+24) (12 deaths)
  • Crawford – 1,347 cases (+29) (8 deaths)
  • Dane – 28,226 cases (+396) (102 deaths)
  • Dodge – 8,622 cases (+165) (75 deaths) (+1)
  • Door - 1,633 cases (+21) (11 deaths)
  • Douglas – 2,186 cases (+48) (6 deaths)
  • Dunn – 2,886 cases (+23) (14 deaths) (+1)
  • Eau Claire – 7,956 cases (+47) (59 deaths)
  • Florence - 334 cases (+1) (12 deaths)
  • Fond du Lac – 8,702 cases (+133) (50 deaths)
  • Forest - 738 cases (+5) (18 deaths)
  • Grant – 3,564 cases (+36) (64 deaths)
  • Green – 1,766 cases (+27) (5 deaths)
  • Green Lake - 1,204 cases (+12) (6 deaths)
  • Iowa - 1,332 cases (+17) (5 deaths)
  • Iron - 364 cases (+1) (10 deaths)
  • Jackson - 1,771 cases (+16) (5 deaths)
  • Jefferson – 5,485 cases (+59) (40 deaths) (+1)
  • Juneau - 1,971 cases (+34) (7 deaths)
  • Kenosha – 9,818 cases (+108) (153 deaths)
  • Kewaunee - 1,705 cases (cases revised -8 by state) (21 deaths) (+4)
  • La Crosse – 8,400 cases (+191) (38 deaths) (+1)
  • Lafayette - 1,085 cases (cases revised -10 by state) (3 deaths) (deaths revised -1 by state)
  • Langlade - 1,562 cases (+4) (28 deaths) (deaths revised -1 by state)
  • Lincoln – 1,996 cases (+10) (32 deaths) (+2)
  • Manitowoc – 5,022 cases (+42) (37 deaths)
  • Marathon – 10,019 cases (+93) (131 deaths) (+5)
  • Marinette - 3,027 cases (+15) (29 deaths)
  • Marquette – 1,040 cases (+8) (15 deaths)
  • Menominee - 578 cases (+8) (8 deaths)
  • Milwaukee – 70,528 (+742) (767 deaths) (+11)
  • Monroe - 2,713 cases (+30) (14 deaths)
  • Oconto – 3,200 cases (+23) (30 deaths) (+2)
  • Oneida - 2,370 cases (+24) (35 deaths) (+1)
  • Outagamie – 13,990 cases (+136) (133 deaths)
  • Ozaukee - 4,939 cases (+48) (37 deaths) (+1)
  • Pepin – 511 cases (+14) (2 deaths)
  • Pierce – 2,270 cases (+66) (19 deaths)
  • Polk – 2,286 cases (+50) (16 deaths) (+1)
  • Portage – 4,809 cases (+39) (38 deaths) (+1)
  • Price – 768 cases (+17) (5 deaths) (+1)
  • Racine – 14,429 cases (+141) (179 deaths) (+2)
  • Richland - 897 cases (+6) (13 deaths)
  • Rock – 9,660 cases (+107) (90 deaths)
  • Rusk - 917 cases (+13) (7 deaths)
  • Sauk – 3,689 cases (+52) (19 deaths)
  • Sawyer - 930 cases (+9) (7 deaths)
  • Shawano – 3,741 cases (+18) (50 deaths)
  • Sheboygan – 9,363 cases (+109) (62 deaths)
  • St. Croix – 4,480 cases (+63) (21 deaths)
  • Taylor - 1,242 cases (+20) (10 deaths)
  • Trempealeau – 2,498 cases (+47) (22 deaths)
  • Vernon – 1,191 cases (+20) (12 deaths)
  • Vilas - 1,303 cases (+16) (13 deaths)
  • Walworth – 6,195 cases (+68) (55 deaths) (+2)
  • Washburn – 739 cases (+13) (5 deaths)
  • Washington – 9,225 cases (+166) (74 deaths) (+2)
  • Waukesha – 27,282 cases (+337) (214 deaths) (+4)
  • Waupaca – 3,747 cases (+32) (89 deaths) (+3)
  • Waushara – 1,771 cases (+13) (10 deaths)
  • Winnebago – 13,394 cases (+109) (121 deaths) (+4)
  • Wood – 4,417 cases (+46) (31 deaths) (+2)

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula **

  • Alger - 160 cases (+1) (1 death)
  • Baraga - 422 cases (+3) (24 deaths) (+1)
  • Chippewa - 399 cases (+30) (6 deaths)
  • Delta – 2,272 cases (+16) (51 deaths)
  • Dickinson - 1,720 cases (+11) (45 deaths) (+6)
  • Gogebic - 615 cases (+18) (12 deaths) (+1)
  • Houghton – 1,332 cases (+43) (13 deaths) (+2)
  • Iron – 703 cases (+2) (30 deaths) (+1)
  • Keweenaw – 57 cases (1 death)
  • Luce – 118 cases
  • Mackinac - 225 cases (+5) (1 death)
  • Marquette - 2,727 cases (+77) (30 deaths)
  • Menominee - 1,241 cases (+24) (18 deaths)
  • Ontonagon – 261 cases (+5) (13 deaths)
  • Schoolcraft - 174 cases (+10) (1 death)

* 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 does not update numbers on Sundays. Monday’s numbers include updates since Saturday’s reporting deadline.

You can watch the full DHS briefing below.

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.

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