State health officials report second day of more than 2,000 new coronavirus cases
MADISON Wis. (WBAY) – For the second day in a row, Wisconsin health officials have confirmed more than 2,000 new coronavirus cases in the state.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) says 2,755 new results came back positive out of a total of 7,362 people who were tested for the coronavirus, which equals 37.42%, or one out of every three three tests. Another 4,607 people tested negative within the past 24 hours for the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19.
According to our records, the seven-day average of new cases increased after dropping for two days in a row. That average continues to be fewer than 2,000 cases a day in the state. State health officials say the average first dipped below 2,000 for the first time since late September on Saturday, December 26th.
Our records show the 14-day average for new coronavirus cases increased for the first time Wednesday after having dropped daily since December 13, a 17-day stretch. The 14-day average on December 13 had been 3,514 and had dropped to 2,296 on Tuesday. The average increased to 2,321 on Wednesday.
To date, 2,344,609 people have tested negative throughout the state since testing began earlier this year.
The 35 deaths reported by state health officials Wednesday brings Wisconsin’s cumulative death toll to 4,818. The first deaths were reported back in March. New deaths were reported in Ashland, Barron, Clark, Dane, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Iowa, Kenosha, La Crosse, Lincoln, Marathon, Milwaukee, Pierce, Rusk, Walworth, Washington, Waukesha, Waupaca and Waushara Counties. The state revised the death toll in Jackson County.
The 7-day average for COVID-19 deaths decreased to 29 Wednesday from Tuesday’s average of 34. This is partly due to low numbers reported Christmas Day and the weekend, when fewer than 10 deaths were reported each day.
For the second straight day, state health officials say Wisconsin’s death rate is at 1.01%. The rate increased to 1.01% after sitting at 1.0% for six straight days. Before Thursday (Christmas Eve), the death rate had been below 1.0% since October 9.
Case and death numbers for Wisconsin counties listed by the Wisconsin DHS are listed later in this article.
To date, 477,292 people tested positive for the coronavirus in Wisconsin since testing began. The DHS says the number of active cases is down to 27,729 people, which is 5.8% of all known cases. There are 444,609 people (93.2%) who are considered recovered. A person is considered recovered if it’s been 30 days since their diagnosis or onset of symptoms or were medically cleared, though some may feel lingering effects from their infection.
Another 126 people were hospitalized for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, according to the DHS on Wednesday. To date, 21,207 people have been hospitalized for COVID-19 treatment since February 5, which is 4.4% of all coronavirus cases. The seven-day average for hospitalizations dropped below 100 after sitting above that for three days. That is due to low numbers of daily hospitalizations for COVID-19 from Christmas through Monday, December 28. There were fewer than 100 people hospitalized for COVID-19 during that four day stretch across the state.
According to Wednesday’s numbers from the Wisconsin Hospital Association’s (WHA), 1,074 people are currently hospitalized for COVID-19 across the state, an decrease from Tuesday’s report of 1,082 statewide hospitalizations. In addition, 244 are in ICU, a decrease of five from Tuesday’s report of 249. Daily changes in hospitalizations take new admissions, discharges and deaths into account.
The alternate care facility at the state fairgrounds helps relieve the strain on state hospitals by treating patients who are close to being discharged but still need some care, such as oxygen. State health officials say as of last Friday it’s treated 168 patients since it opened on October 14. As of 11 a.m. Wednesday, there were no current patients at the facility. That marks the sixth straight day of no patients being at the alternate facility.
For hospital readiness, the WHA reports Wednesday that 252 ICU beds (17.18%) and 2,093 of all types of medical beds (18.73%) -- ICU, intermediate care, medical surgical and negative flow isolation -- are open in the state’s 134 hospitals. These beds are for all patients, not just COVID-19, and whether a bed can be filled depends on whether the hospital has the necessary medical and support staff.
In the Fox Valley region, 17 ICU beds (16.34%) and 95 of all medical beds (11.13%) were open among the 13 hospitals in those eight counties.
Meanwhile, the WHA stated in the Northeast region, 27 ICU beds (13.04%) and 217 of all medical beds (22.69%) are open among the 10 hospitals in seven counties.
The WHA reported little change from Tuesday for hospitals with less than a 7-day supply of PPE (personal protective equipment): 19 hospitals need gowns, 12 need paper medical masks, 10 need goggles, and 9 need N95 masks.
COVID-19 Tracing App
Wisconsin’s COVID-19 tracing app, “Wisconsin Exposure Notification,” became available Wednesday for iOS and Android smartphones. No download is required for iPhones. The Android app is available on Google Play. When two phones with the app (and presumably their owners) are close enough, for long enough, they’ll anonymously share a random string of numbers via Bluetooth. If someone tests positive for the coronavirus, they’ll receive a code to type into the app. If your phones “pinged” each other in the last 14 days, you’ll receive a push notification that you are at risk of exposure. The app doesn’t collect personal information or location information, so you won’t know from whom or where, but you will be told what day the exposure might have occurred so that you can quarantine for the appropriate amount of time.
COVID-19 Home Testing
Gov. Tony Evers announced at-home COVID-19 testing kits will be made available -- for free -- to anyone who wants them. A person can test themselves or family members, even if they don’t have symptoms, then send it to a lab for testing. The Vault Medical Services kit is the first saliva test to get emergency-use authorization from the FDA and normally costs $119. CLICK HERE for details and a link to request a test kit.
As of Monday, December 28, the state has administered 47,157 COVID-19 vaccines. The state started giving out the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 14. Moderna vaccinations started Dec. 22. In addition, 29,000 doses will be allocated to vaccinating residents and staff members at long-term care facilities. The state is updating vaccine information at dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/vaccine.htm.
Wisconsin has also launched a COVID-19 vaccine data page that tracks the number of shots given out and shipped to the state. TRACK STATEWIDE VACCINE DATA HERE: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/vaccine-data.htm
WEDNESDAY’S COUNTY CASE NUMBERS (Counties with new cases or deaths are indicated in bold)*
- Adams – 1,295 cases (+9) (11 deaths)
- Ashland – 989 cases (+2) (16 deaths) (+1)
- Barron – 4,435 cases (+31) (57 deaths) (+1)
- Bayfield - 920 cases (+4) (18 deaths)
- Brown – 26,108 cases (+143) (160 deaths)
- Buffalo – 972 cases (+8) (7 deaths)
- Burnett – 987 cases (+3) (19 deaths)
- Calumet – 4,632 cases (+25) (35 deaths)
- Chippewa – 5,839 cases (+25) (65 deaths)
- Clark – 2,768 cases (+11) (51 deaths) (+1)
- Columbia – 4,173 cases (+16) (30 deaths)
- Crawford – 1,548 cases (+8) (12 deaths)
- Dane – 32,956 cases (+166) (182 deaths) (+3)
- Dodge – 10,356 cases (+47) (121 deaths) (+1)
- Door - 1,999 cases (+29) (13 deaths)
- Douglas – 3,061 cases (+20) (16 deaths)
- Dunn – 3,488 cases (+42) (23 deaths)
- Eau Claire – 9,182 cases (+64) (75 deaths)
- Florence - 396 cases (12 deaths)
- Fond du Lac – 10,334 cases (+39) (67 deaths) (+1)
- Forest - 840 cases (+8) (22 deaths)
- Grant – 4,082 cases (+21) (77 deaths)
- Green – 2,314 cases (+31) (10 deaths)
- Green Lake - 1,385 cases (+2) (10 deaths)
- Iowa - 1,665 cases (+15) (7 deaths) (+1)
- Iron - 417 cases (17 deaths) (+2)
- Jackson - 2,361 cases (+11) (17 deaths) (State revised, decrease of 1)
- Jefferson – 6,551 cases (+38) (57 deaths)
- Juneau - 2,429 cases (+24) (10 deaths)
- Kenosha – 12,214 cases (+90) (215 deaths) (+1)
- Kewaunee – 2,047 cases (+13) (24 deaths)
- La Crosse – 9,994 cases (+85) (57 deaths) (+1)
- Lafayette - 1,238 cases (+9) (5 deaths)
- Langlade - 1,793 cases (+18) (30 deaths)
- Lincoln – 2,438 cases (+10) (45 deaths) (+1)
- Manitowoc – 6,006 cases (+35) (51 deaths)
- Marathon – 11,863 cases (+60) (156 deaths) (+1)
- Marinette - 3,528 cases (+23) (42 deaths)
- Marquette – 1,145 cases (+4) (18 deaths)
- Menominee - 710 cases (+2) (10 deaths)
- Milwaukee – 84,213 (+537) (981 deaths) (+3)
- Monroe – 3,423 cases (+20) (25 deaths)
- Oconto – 3,744 cases (+22) (38 deaths)
- Oneida - 2,771 cases (+11) (47 deaths)
- Outagamie – 15,968 cases (+67) (158 deaths)
- Ozaukee - 6,270 cases (+32) (51 deaths)
- Pepin – 670 cases (+14) (5 deaths)
- Pierce – 2,892 cases (+11) (30 deaths) (+1)
- Polk – 3,004 cases (+25) (22 deaths)
- Portage – 5,511 cases (+48) (51 deaths)
- Price – 929 cases (+4) (5 deaths)
- Racine – 17,341 cases (+155) (246 deaths)
- Richland - 1,086 cases (+7) (13 deaths)
- Rock – 12,023 cases (+89) (114 deaths)
- Rusk - 1,098 cases (+2) (13 deaths) (+1)
- Sauk – 4,431 cases (+12) (27 deaths)
- Sawyer - 1,203 cases (+10) (10 deaths)
- Shawano – 4,156 cases (+9) (56 deaths)
- Sheboygan – 11,270 cases (+73) (93 deaths)
- St. Croix – 5,390 cases (+18) (27 deaths)
- Taylor - 1,591 cases (+10) (14 deaths)
- Trempealeau – 2,949 cases (+17) (29 deaths)
- Vernon – 1,587 cases (+67) (29 deaths)
- Vilas - 1,587 cases (+14) (21 deaths)
- Walworth – 7,603 cases (+32) (89 deaths) (+1)
- Washburn – 1,015 cases (12 deaths)
- Washington – 11,594 cases (+81) (97 deaths) (+2)
- Waukesha – 33,919 cases (+111) (338 deaths) (+8)
- Waupaca – 4,115 cases (+23) (98 deaths) (+2)
- Waushara – 1,904 cases (+4) (17 deaths) (+3)
- Winnebago – 15,042 cases (+57) (148 deaths)
- Wood – 5,612 cases (+35) (44 deaths)
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula** (The State of Michigan says Wednesday’s county case numbers will be the final county update for the year. State health officials there will be no daily case updates for each county on its website on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day due to the holiday. The state will again provide county case updates on January 2nd.)
- Alger - 190 cases (1 death)
- Baraga - 459 cases (+4) (28 deaths)
- Chippewa - 556 cases (+8) (12 deaths)
- Delta – 2,474 cases (+10) (60 deaths)
- Dickinson - 1,986 cases (+9) (54 deaths)
- Gogebic - 708 cases (+1) (15 deaths)
- Houghton – 1,582 cases (+9) (25 deaths)
- Iron – 769 cases (+4) (32 deaths)
- Keweenaw – 67 cases (+1) (1 death)
- Luce – 127 cases
- Mackinac - 260 cases (2 deaths)
- Marquette - 3,139 cases (+18) (51 deaths)
- Menominee - 1,451 cases (+11) (25 deaths)
- Ontonagon – 277 cases (15 deaths)
- Schoolcraft - 210 cases (+14) (3 deaths)
* Cases and deaths are from the daily DHS COVID-19 reports, which may differ from local health department numbers. 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. They 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.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified these as possible symptoms of COVID-19:
- Fever of 100.4 or higher
- Shortness of breath
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
- 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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