Wisconsin crosses 5,000 COVID-19 deaths
The state is nearing 500,000 testing positive
MADISON Wis. (WBAY) – Wisconsin crossed the threshold of 5,000 COVID-19 deaths Wednesday with the release of the state Department of Health Services report. The death toll is now 5,039 with the deaths of 60 more people.
COVID-19 is equivalent to the third leading cause of death in Wisconsin, based on the latest ranked data available from the CDC -- killing more people in 11 months than suicide, flu, pneumonia, diabetes and liver disease combined killed in all of 2018.
The 60 deaths were in Barron, Brown, Clark (2), Columbia, Fond du Lac, Jefferson (2), Kenosha (3), La Crosse (2), Marathon, Marinette (2), Milwaukee (3), Oconto, Outagamie (3), Ozaukee (3), Pepin, Racine (10), Rock, Rusk, Sauk, Sheboygan (2), Walworth (4), Washburn (2), Waukesha (8), Waupaca, Winnebago (2) and Wood counties.
The DHS reports it received 9,974 results from people being tested or testing positive for coronavirus for the first time, identifying 3,406 new cases. The remaining 6,568 tested negative. New cases were found in 70 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties; Forest and Price were the exceptions.
The new cases is well above the 7-day average of 2,494 cases per day. The state is averaging 32 deaths per day over the past week; four of those days reported 10 deaths or fewer. The death rate edged up again to 1.02%, after reaching a low of 0.89% on December 3.
As always, case and death numbers by county are listed later in this article.
Wisconsin is also nearing 500,000 coronavirus cases diagnosed since the first patient on February 5, 2020. Currently there are 494,747 confirmed cases.
The state says 27,843 (5.6%) of these cases are still active -- diagnosed in the past 30 days and haven’t been medically cleared. Another 461,729 people diagnosed (93.4%) have recovered, though the DHS acknowledges some who fit the broad definition may be suffering lingering effects from the disease.
The DHS says 175 more COVID-19 patients were hospitalized in the past 24 hours. The 7-day average for hospitalizations has risen to 109 per day, just days after reaching a three-month low.
A total 21,971 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 1,128 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, including 243 in intensive care, on Wednesday [updated figures].
|Hospitalized||24-hr change||ICU||24-hr change|
|Fox Valley region|
(8 counties, 13 hospitals)
(7 counties, 10 hospitals)
Daily changes in hospital figures take new admissions, discharges and deaths into account.
At last word, there were no patients at the alternate care facility at State Fair Park. The field hospital was established in October to take patients from hospitals who are close to discharge but still need some care, such as oxygen treatments, freeing up beds for patients with more serious needs. The facility also provides Bamlanivimab infusion therapy on an outpatient basis.
COVID Recovery Clinic
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.
The Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) reported 250 ICU beds (17.1%) and 1,801 of all types of medical beds (16.1%) -- ICU, intermediate care, medical surgical and negative flow isolation -- were open in the state’s 134 hospitals.
The Fox Valley region’s 13 hospitals had 13 ICU beds (12.5%) and 83 of all medical beds (9.7%) open among them in the eight counties they serve.
In the Northeast region, there were 57 ICU beds (27.5%) and 217 of all medical beds (22.7%) open among the 10 hospitals serving 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.
The DHS launched a website updating how many vaccines have been allocated and administered. The site is updated every Tuesday. The state was averaging 4,280 vaccinations a day since December 15. As of Tuesday, 64,674 Pfizer vaccines and 20,935 Moderna vaccines for COVID-19 were administered.
Right now, the vaccine supply is devoted to health care workers, residents and staff at nursing homes and senior living facilities, EMS crews and other essential frontline workers. The CDC is also recommending people 75 and older get vaccinated: Contact your local health provider. Following those, the CDC recommends vaccinating people 65 and older, people 16 and older who have underlying medical conditions, and more essential workers.
Gov. Tony Evers acknowledges it may be months before the general public is able to get vaccinated. He says rather than focusing on vaccination numbers, it’s more important to continue practicing safe habits like wearing face masks, social distancing, and frequent hand washing (see related story).
We’ve heard from 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.
The state says 2,861,826 people have been tested for COVID-19. That’s equivalent to 49.2% of the state’s population.
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 25,830 results Monday, including 3,062 that were positive, and the 7-day positivity rate is rising, now at 11.6%. 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.
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. When a person tests positive for the coronavirus, they can enter a code to anonymously notify people whose mobile devices have a match (see related story).
WEDNESDAY’S COUNTY CASE NUMBERS (Counties with new cases or deaths are indicated in bold)*
- Adams – 1,346 cases (+26) (11 deaths)
- Ashland – 1,030 cases (+8) (16 deaths)
- Barron – 4,585 cases (+18) (58 deaths) (+1)
- Bayfield - 949 cases (+9) (18 deaths)
- Brown – 26,988 cases (+178) (167 deaths) (+1)
- Buffalo – 1,041 cases (+18) (7 deaths)
- Burnett – 1,016 cases (+7) (21 deaths)
- Calumet – 4,777 cases (+26) (35 deaths)
- Chippewa – 6,067 cases (+52) (67 deaths)
- Clark – 2,866 cases (+7) (53 deaths) (+2)
- Columbia – 4,342 cases (+35) (33 deaths) (+1)
- Crawford – 1,569 cases (+5) (12 deaths)
- Dane – 34,337 cases (+195) (190 deaths)
- Dodge – 10,546 cases (+54) (126 deaths)
- Door – 2,102 cases (+30) (14 deaths)
- Douglas – 3,184 cases (+14) (17 deaths)
- Dunn – 3,634 cases (+39) (24 deaths)
- Eau Claire – 9,548 cases (+84) (80 deaths)
- Florence - 406 cases (+1) (12 deaths)
- Fond du Lac – 10,685 cases (+33) (70 deaths) (+2)
- Forest - 867 cases (22 deaths)
- Grant – 4,201 cases (+27) (77 deaths)
- Green – 2,394 cases (+21) (11 deaths)
- Green Lake - 1,408 cases (+1) (10 deaths)
- Iowa - 1,709 cases (+10) (8 deaths)
- Iron - 425 cases (+2) (18 deaths)
- Jackson - 2,429 cases (+14) (18 deaths)
- Jefferson – 6,833 cases (+55) (59 deaths) (+2)
- Juneau - 2,573 cases (+40) (10 deaths)
- Kenosha – 12,774 cases (+118) (229 deaths) (+3)
- Kewaunee – 2,120 cases (+11) (24 deaths)
- La Crosse – 10,482 cases (+96) (61 deaths) (+2)
- Lafayette - 1,262 cases (+8) (5 deaths)
- Langlade - 1,819 cases (+3) (30 deaths)
- Lincoln – 2,549 cases (+19) (49 deaths)
- Manitowoc – 6,245 cases (+50) (51 deaths)
- Marathon – 12,275 cases (+74) (161 deaths) (+1)
- Marinette - 3,594 cases (+10) (50 deaths) (+2)
- Marquette – 1,178 cases (+9) (18 deaths)
- Menominee - 735 cases (+4) (10 deaths)
- Milwaukee – 87,144 (+710) (991 deaths) (+3)
- Monroe – 3,593 cases (+44) (25 deaths)
- Oconto – 3,872 cases (+22) (41 deaths) (+1)
- Oneida - 2,869 cases (+12) (47 deaths)
- Outagamie – 16,512 cases (+61) (164 deaths) (+3)
- Ozaukee - 6,525 cases (+60) (57 deaths) (+3)
- Pepin – 691 cases (+5) (5 deaths)
- Pierce – 3,013 cases (+20) (30 deaths)
- Polk – 3,167 cases (+40) (23 deaths)
- Portage – 5,700 cases (+44) (53 deaths)
- Price – 965 cases (5 deaths)
- Racine – 18,168 cases (+100) (266 deaths) (+10)
- Richland - 1,131 cases (+11) (13 deaths)
- Rock – 12,500 cases (+73) (119 deaths) (+1)
- Rusk - 1,125 cases (+4) (14 deaths) (+1)
- Sauk – 4,602 cases (+29) (30 deaths) (+1)
- Sawyer - 1,262 cases (+7) (12 deaths)
- Shawano – 4,252 cases (+16) (59 deaths)
- Sheboygan – 11,609 cases (+95) (96 deaths) (+2)
- St. Croix – 5,560 cases (+40) (28 deaths)
- Taylor - 1,616 cases (+10) (14 deaths)
- Trempealeau – 3,058 cases (+21) (30 deaths)
- Vernon – 1,582 cases (+14) (30 deaths)
- Vilas - 1,648 cases (+15) (21 deaths)
- Walworth – 7,890 cases (+51) (103 deaths) (+4)
- Washburn – 1,062 cases (+11) (15 deaths) (+2)
- Washington – 12,060 cases (+135) (100 deaths)
- Waukesha – 35,313 cases (+267) (366 deaths) (+8)
- Waupaca – 4,212 cases (+18) (99 deaths) (+1)
- Waushara – 1,935 cases (+5) (19 deaths)
- Winnebago – 15,404 cases (+26) (157 deaths) (+2)
- Wood – 5,817 cases (+29) (54 deaths) (+1)
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula **
- Alger - 202 cases (+7) (1 death)
- Baraga - 476 cases (+2) (29 deaths)
- Chippewa - 624 cases (+6) (13 deaths)
- Delta – 2,528 cases (+16) (60 deaths)
- Dickinson - 2,037 cases (+6) (56 deaths)
- Gogebic - 721 cases (+5) (16 deaths)
- Houghton – 1,658 cases (+22) (27 deaths) (+1)
- Iron – 782 cases (+2) (32 deaths)
- Keweenaw – 77 cases (+2) (1 death)
- Luce – 127 cases
- Mackinac - 267 cases (+4) (3 deaths)
- Marquette - 3,200 cases (+19) (51 deaths)
- Menominee - 1,509 cases (+8) (26 deaths)
- Ontonagon – 278 cases (15 deaths)
- Schoolcraft - 217 cases (+1) (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.
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.
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
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
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