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Wisconsin reports 95 COVID-19 deaths, nears 5,000 total

COVID-19 hospitalizations surged in the last 24 hours
Published: Jan. 5, 2021 at 1:55 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 5, 2021 at 3:49 PM CST
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MADISON Wis. (WBAY) – Wisconsin is nearing an unwanted milestone of 5,000 COVID-19 deaths eleven months after the virus that causes COVID-19 first appeared in Wisconsin. Tuesday, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services added 95 more people to the death toll, which is now 4,979, including 22 people from Northeast Wisconsin. The death rate crept back up to 1.01% of all known coronavirus cases.

Deaths were reported in 30 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties: Brown (4), Burnett (2), Chippewa, Dane (8), Dodge, Door, Eau Claire, Fond du Lac (2), Green, Kenosha (9), La Crosse, Lincoln (3), Marinette (3), Oconto (2), Outagamie (2), Ozaukee, Portage, Racine (7), Rock (3), Sauk (2), Shawano (2), Trempealeau, Walworth (4), Washburn, Washington (3), Waukesha (14), Waushara (2), Winnebago (3) and Wood (5).

The first coronavirus case in Wisconsin was diagnosed eleven months ago today, on February 5, 2020, when a person returning from a personal trip to China went directly from their flight to U.W. Hospital in Madison. The patient was treated for symptoms and sent home to quarantine (see related story).

In the 335 days since, almost 500,000 people in Wisconsin (491,341) have been diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus and almost 5,000 people have died from the disease, making it equivalent to the third-leading cause of death in Wisconsin behind cancer and heart disease -- surpassing the flu and pneumonia; suicide; liver, kidney and respiratory diseases; stroke; diabetes; Alzheimer disease; and all types of accidents -- based on the latest ranked data available from the CDC. A chart with the cumulative numbers by month appears later in this article. The state is also averaging more than 4,200 vaccinations against COVID-19 each day.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reports testing found 3,403 new coronavirus cases Tuesday in 69 counties. There were 8,208 results for people being tested or testing positive for the first time, giving a positivity rate of 41.46%.

The state has averaged 2,401 new cases and 28 deaths each day over the past 7 days.

As always, case and death numbers by county are listed later in this article.

Hospitalizations

The DHS says 216 people were hospitalized in the past 24 hours for COVID-19. That’s the most hospitalizations in 24 hours since the record 277 hospitalizations on December 1 and follows four days with COVID-19 hospitalizations under 100. It raised the seven-day average for hospitalizations to 102 patients per day after falling to a three-month low Monday.

A total 21,796 people have ever been hospitalized for COVID-19 treatment, which is 4.4% of all coronavirus cases -- a percentage that hasn’t changed in months.

The Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) reported there were 1,102 COVID-19 patients hospitalized across the state Tuesday, including 245 in intensive care.

Hospitalized24-hr changeICU24-hr change
Statewide1,102-20245+14
Fox Valley region
(8 counties, 13 hospitals)
64+47+3
Northeast region
(7 counties, 10 hospitals)
102-525-3

Daily changes in hospital figures take new admissions, discharges and deaths into account.

The state’s alternate care facility reported no patients receiving Bamlanivimab infusion therapy as off 11 A.M. Tuesday. An update on patients at the facility wasn’t available at the time of this writing; there were no patients on Monday. The field hospital 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, or people who need outpatient drug therapy.

Hospital Readiness

Monday, the latest figures available, the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) reported 218 ICU beds (14.9%) and 1,783 of all types of medical beds (16%) -- ICU, intermediate care, medical surgical and negative flow isolation -- were open in the state’s 134 hospitals.

In the Fox Valley region, 25 ICU beds (24%) and 129 of all medical beds (15.1%) were open among the 13 hospitals in those eight counties.

In the Northeast region, there were 18 ICU beds (8.7%) and 212 of all medical beds (22.2%) open among the 10 hospitals in seven counties.

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.

Recoveries

Currently, there are 27,576 (5.6%) are active coronavirus cases -- meaning they were diagnosed in the past 30 days and haven’t been medically cleared. That’s up from 5.4% of cases Monday. Another 458,650 people diagnosed (93.4%) have recovered, though the DHS acknowledges some who fit the broad definition may be suffering lingering effects from the disease. Another

Tuesday, Prevea Health announced a COVID Recovery Clinic for people suffering symptoms 14 days or longer after their diagnosis, such as body aches or joint pain, coughing, shortness of breath, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, headaches, “brain fog,” dizziness or gastrointestinal issues. Contact your Prevea primary care provider or, if you don’t have a Prevea provider, call (920) 272-3540 in the Green Bay area or Lakeshore or (920) 846-8187 in the Oconto Falls area.

Vaccinations

The DHS launched a website updating how many vaccines have been allocated and administered. The state is averaging 4,280 vaccinations a day since December 15. As of Tuesday, 64,674 Pfizer vaccines and 20,935 Moderna vaccines for COVID-19 have been administered.

We’ve heard from a number of local health departments saying they’re inundated by people asking when they can get a COVID-19 vaccine. Health departments will make it very well known through the news media and social media when they’re ready to vaccinate certain age groups and then the general public.

Right now, the vaccine supply is devoted to health care workers and the residents and staff at nursing homes and senior living facilities. Next in line are EMS crews and other essential frontline workers; the CDC also recommends people 75 and older get vaccinated at this stage. Following those, the CDC recommends vaccinating people 65 and older, people 16 and older who have underlying medical conditions, and more essential workers.

Testing

The state says 2,861,826 people have been tested for COVID-19. That’s equivalent to 49.2% of the state’s population.

The Wisconsin National Guard reports it will perform its one millionth COVID-19 test this week. The National Guard has been collecting specimens at community-based testing sites around the state since April, as well as senior living facilities, correctional facilities and some health care facilities. To find community testing sites near you, contact your local health department or visit https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/community-testing.htm.

In addition to the official daily numbers, the DHS reports results for people tested multiple times, such as health care workers or patients being treated for COVID-19. By these measures, the DHS received 14,092 results Monday, including 1,672 that were positive, and the 7-day positivity rate was 11.2%. These results are very preliminary and at least a day behind the official state reporting; they include negative tests undergoing further review and take about two weeks to finalize. We emphasize that reporting one result per person rather than multiple tests is considered a better indicator of the virus’s spread in the community and is how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention compiles its own reports.

11 Months of Coronavirus in Wisconsin

Numbers in the chart are cumulative

DateTestedPositiveDeathsHospitalized
Feb. 5, 20201100
March 519100
April 525,1692,26712Not available
May 583,9678,5663531,663
June 5303,33220,2496332,791
July 5584,11131,5777963,586
Aug. 5944,98456,9409704,826
Sept. 51,217,27880,3001,1686,048
Oct. 51,472,577134,3581,3817,702
Nov. 51,881,813249,9242,19412,310
Dec. 52,188,949409,3863,70218,126
Jan. 5, 20212,370,485491,3414,97921,796

Health Secretary-designee Andrea Palm says the state’s COVID-19 contact tracing app has been downloaded one million times since it debuted for iOS and Android mobile devices two weeks ago. When two devices that have the app installed are close enough for long enough, they share a string of random numbers. If a person tests positive for the coronavirus, that person can enter a code to anonymously notify people whose mobile devices have a match (see related story).

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

Wisconsin

  • Adams – 1,320 cases (11 deaths)
  • Ashland – 1,022 cases (+7) (16 deaths)
  • Barron – 4,567 cases (+18) (57 deaths)
  • Bayfield - 940 cases (+2) (18 deaths)
  • Brown – 26,810 cases (+343) (166 deaths) (+4)
  • Buffalo – 1,023 cases (+13) (7 deaths)
  • Burnett – 1,009 cases (+1) (21 deaths) (+2)
  • Calumet – 4,751 cases (+19) (35 deaths)
  • Chippewa – 6,015 cases (+11) (67 deaths) (+1)
  • Clark – 2,859 cases (+15) (51 deaths)
  • Columbia – 4,307 cases (+20) (32 deaths)
  • Crawford – 1,564 cases (+2) (12 deaths)
  • Dane – 34,142 cases (+129) (190 deaths) (+8)
  • Dodge – 10,492 cases (+12) (126 deaths) (+1)
  • Door – 2,072 cases (+5) (14 deaths) (+1)
  • Douglas – 3,170 cases (+45) (17 deaths)
  • Dunn – 3,595 cases (+15) (24 deaths)
  • Eau Claire – 9,464 cases (+37) (80 deaths) (+1)
  • Florence - 405 cases (+6) (12 deaths)
  • Fond du Lac – 10,652 cases (+40) (69 deaths) (+2)
  • Forest - 867 cases (+9) (22 deaths)
  • Grant – 4,174 cases (+16) (77 deaths)
  • Green – 2,373 cases (11 deaths) (+1)
  • Green Lake - 1,407 cases (+5) (10 deaths)
  • Iowa - 1,699 cases (+10) (8 deaths)
  • Iron - 423 cases (18 deaths)
  • Jackson - 2,415 cases (+14) (18 deaths)
  • Jefferson – 6,778 cases (+20) (57 deaths)
  • Juneau - 2,533 cases (+26) (10 deaths)
  • Kenosha – 12,656 cases (+143) (226 deaths) (+9)
  • Kewaunee – 2,109 cases (+25) (24 deaths)
  • La Crosse – 10,386 cases (+79) (59 deaths) (+1)
  • Lafayette - 1,254 cases (+1) (5 deaths)
  • Langlade - 1,816 cases (+12) (30 deaths)
  • Lincoln – 2,530 cases (+17) (49 deaths) (+3)
  • Manitowoc – 6,195 cases (+22) (51 deaths)
  • Marathon – 12,201 cases (+90) (160 deaths)
  • Marinette - 3,584 cases (+9) (48 deaths) (+3)
  • Marquette – 1,169 cases (+5) (18 deaths)
  • Menominee - 731 cases (+4) (10 deaths)
  • Milwaukee – 86,434 (+581) (988 deaths) (+3)
  • Monroe – 3,549 cases (+39) (25 deaths)
  • Oconto – 3,850 cases (+7) (40 deaths) (+2)
  • Oneida - 2,857 cases (+26) (47 deaths)
  • Outagamie – 16,451 cases (+76) (161 deaths) (+2)
  • Ozaukee - 6,465 cases (+59) (54 deaths) (+3)
  • Pepin – 686 cases (+5) (5 deaths)
  • Pierce – 2,993 cases (+23) (30 deaths)
  • Polk – 3,127 cases (+20) (23 deaths)
  • Portage – 5,656 cases (+27) (53 deaths) (+1)
  • Price – 965 cases (+9) (5 deaths)
  • Racine – 18,068 cases (+245) (256 deaths) (+7)
  • Richland - 1,120 cases (+3) (13 deaths)
  • Rock – 12,427 cases (+100) (118 deaths) (+3)
  • Rusk - 1,121 cases (+5) (13 deaths)
  • Sauk – 4,573 cases (+20) (29 deaths) (+2)
  • Sawyer - 1,255 cases (+3) (12 deaths)
  • Shawano – 4,236 cases (+16) (59 deaths) (+2)
  • Sheboygan – 11,514 cases (+31) (94 deaths)
  • St. Croix – 5,520 cases (+37) (28 deaths)
  • Taylor - 1,606 cases (+2) (14 deaths)
  • Trempealeau – 3,037 cases (+11) (30 deaths) (+1)
  • Vernon – 1,568 cases (+7) (30 deaths)
  • Vilas - 1,633 cases (+16) (21 deaths)
  • Walworth – 7,839 cases (+84) (99 deaths) (+4)
  • Washburn – 1,051 cases (+5) (13 deaths) (+1)
  • Washington – 11,925 cases (+95) (100 deaths) (+3)
  • Waukesha – 35,046 cases (+505) (358 deaths) (+14)
  • Waupaca – 4,194 cases (+11) (98 deaths)
  • Waushara – 1,930 cases (+1) (19 deaths) (+2)
  • Winnebago – 15,378 cases (+58) (155 deaths) (+3)
  • Wood – 5,788 cases (+30) (53 deaths) (+5)

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula **

  • Alger - 195 cases (1 death)
  • Baraga - 474 cases (+2) (29 deaths) (+1)
  • Chippewa - 618 cases (+15) (13 deaths) (+1)
  • Delta – 2,512 cases (+9) (60 deaths)
  • Dickinson - 2,031 cases (+6) (56 deaths) (+2)
  • Gogebic - 716 cases (+4) (16 deaths)
  • Houghton – 1,636 cases (+26) (26 deaths)
  • Iron – 780 cases (+2) (32 deaths)
  • Keweenaw – 75 cases (1 death)
  • Luce – 127 cases
  • Mackinac - 263 cases (3 deaths)
  • Marquette - 3,181 cases (+2) (51 deaths)
  • Menominee - 1,501 cases (+6) (26 deaths) (+1)
  • Ontonagon – 278 cases (15 deaths)
  • Schoolcraft - 216 cases (+4) (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.

COVID-19 Tracing App

Wisconsin’s COVID-19 tracing app, “Wisconsin Exposure Notification,” is available 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.

COVID-19 Vaccine

As of Tuesday, December 29, the state says 47,157 COVID-19 vaccines out of the 156,875 vaccines shipped have been administered. The state started giving out the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 14th, with 40,850 of them being administered so far. Moderna vaccinations started Dec. 22nd, and 6,306 of them have been administered. 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.

RELATED: Wisconsin starts vaccinating residents, staff in long-term care facilities with help of CVS Health

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

RELATED: Wisconsin launches COVID vaccine data page

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

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