State health officials report low numbers, decrease in metrics in Sunday coronavirus report
MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) – Wisconsin saw a decrease in metrics across the board Sunday in the latest coronavirus update from the state health department. Keep in mind, the numbers reported on Sundays are typically lower than the rest of the week.
According the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), 1,832 people tested positive for the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19. That’s out of a total of 7,462 new tests overall, giving a positive percent rate of 24.55%. The state hasn’t reported fewer than 2,000 new confirmed cases in a single day since January 4th, when 1,407 tests came back positive.
So far, a total of 506,890 people have tested positive for the virus since testing began early last year. Meanwhile, another 2,401,736 people have tested negative, including the 5,630 people who received negative test results on Sunday.
Health officials say the seven-day average for new cases per day decreased from 2,996 to 2,908 Sunday. That figure had risen since Thursday, when it was at 2,491.
State health officials also reported two new deaths from COVID-19 on Sunday, the lowest that figure has been since January 2, when only one new death was reported. The seven-day average for deaths attributed to COVID-19 lowered to 40, after having risen to 41 Saturday. On Friday, that figure was at 36.
Although the seven-day average for deaths lowered, the death rate continues to hold steady at 1.02% for a fifth straight day
County-by-county cases and deaths are listed later in this article. The new deaths were reported in Milwaukee and Vernon Counties.
The state reports 472,862 people are considered recovered from COVID-19, which equals 93.3% of all confirmed cases. A recovered person means they haven’t shown signs or symptoms within the past 30 days. Another 28,735 people are considered active, which equals 5.7% of all known cases.
The DHS reported 52 more COVID-19 hospitalizations since Saturday, the lowest that figure has been since January 4, when 51 people were hospitalized within a 24-hour period. The low number caused the 7-day average to decrease to 121 patients a day in the past week.
The Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) reports, there were 999 COVID-19 patients hospitalized across the state. That’s the first time that figure has gone below 1,000 since October 13, where there were 959 patients across the state for COVID-19.
Out of the 999 patients, the WHA says 219 of them are in intensive care. Both numbers have decreased for the past three days. The numbers take deaths, discharges and new admissions into account.
As of Sunday, the alternate care facility at State Fair Park wasn’t handling any overflow patients for hospitals in the state, and, also didn’t have any people receiving outpatient Bamlanivimab infusion therapy. This is the second day in a row the DHS has reported no patients for either the alternate care facility or the infusion therapy.
State health officials say as of Friday, January 8, the field hospital has treated 170 people since it was established in October to take patients who are close to discharge but still need some care, such as oxygen treatments.
In Sunday’s update, the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) reported 261 ICU beds (17.80%) and 2,303 of all types of medical beds (20.61%) -- ICU, intermediate care, medical surgical and negative flow isolation -- were 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.
The Fox Valley region’s 13 hospitals had 10 ICU beds (9.61%) and 92 medical beds total (10.78%) open among them for the eight counties they serve.
The Northeast region’s 10 hospitals had 32 ICU beds (15.45%) and 227 of all medical beds (23.74%) open for people in seven counties.
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 15,136 results Saturday, including 1,470 that were positive, and the 7-day positivity rate declined for a fourth day and is now 10.3%. These results are very preliminary and always at least a day behind the official DHS daily summary; 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.
In a health briefing Thursday, Health Secretary-designee Andrea Palm said about 105,000 people received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 5,000 of those also received their second dose. The state is averaging about 4,773 vaccinations per day since the first shots were given on December 15.
Palm reiterated that everyone in Wisconsin who wants to be vaccinated will get the vaccine, but it may take several months. Wisconsin is still in “Phase 1A” of the vaccinations, focusing on health care workers and the residents and staff at nursing homes and senior living facilities. Some EMS crews and essential frontline workers are also getting the vaccine. Palm emphasized the need to wear face masks and keep a social distance, saying, “It will be months before we can return to normal habits.”
As of January 8, which are the latest figures from state health officials, 123,402 COVID-19 vaccines out of the 266,675 vaccines shipped have been administered. The state started giving out the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 14th, with 83,302 of them being administered so far. Moderna vaccinations started Dec. 22nd, and 40,100 of them have been administered. 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
SUNDAY’S COUNTY CASE NUMBERS (Counties with new cases or deaths are indicated in bold)*
- Adams – 1,382 cases (+6) (11 deaths)
- Ashland – 1,054 cases (16 deaths)
- Barron – 4,724 cases (+19) (58 deaths)
- Bayfield - 967 cases (+7) (18 deaths)
- Brown – 27,535 cases (+69) (168 deaths)
- Buffalo – 1,086 cases (+8) (7 deaths)
- Burnett – 1,033 cases (+1) (21 deaths)
- Calumet – 4,900 cases (+24) (37 deaths)
- Chippewa – 6,264 cases (+37) (70 deaths)
- Clark – 2,917 cases (+3) (54 deaths)
- Columbia – 4,459 cases (+14) (33 deaths)
- Crawford – 1,594 cases (+6) (13 deaths)
- Dane – 35,391 cases (+202) (211 deaths)
- Dodge – 10,700 cases (+24) (126 deaths)
- Door – 2,168 cases (+10) (15 deaths)
- Douglas – 3,263 cases (+9) (17 deaths)
- Dunn – 3,712 cases (+14) (25 deaths)
- Eau Claire – 9,789 cases (+69) (87 deaths)
- Florence - 408 cases (12 deaths)
- Fond du Lac – 10,961 cases (+48) (71 deaths)
- Forest - 886 cases (22 deaths)
- Grant – 4,260 cases (+12) (77 deaths)
- Green – 2,455 cases (+11) (10 deaths)
- Green Lake - 1,425 cases (+2) (14 deaths)
- Iowa - 1,728 cases (+5) (8 deaths)
- Iron - 434 cases (18 deaths)
- Jackson - 2,467 cases (+4) (18 deaths)
- Jefferson – 7,033 cases (+33) (60 deaths)
- Juneau - 2,675 cases (+18) (11 deaths)
- Kenosha – 13,104 cases (+35) (241 deaths)
- Kewaunee – 2,172 cases (+6) (24 deaths)
- La Crosse – 10,717 cases (+26) (63 deaths)
- Lafayette - 1,290 cases (+15) (5 deaths)
- Langlade - 1,840 cases (+1) (30 deaths)
- Lincoln – 2,643 cases (+10) (49 deaths)
- Manitowoc – 6,461 cases (+37) (55 deaths)
- Marathon – 12,527 cases (+35) (161 deaths)
- Marinette - 3,682 cases (+14) (51 deaths)
- Marquette – 1,195 cases (+3) (20 deaths)
- Menominee - 749 cases (10 deaths)
- Milwaukee – 88,939 (+291) (995 deaths) (+1)
- Monroe – 3,694 cases (+19) (25 deaths)
- Oconto – 3,968 cases (+33) (41 deaths)
- Oneida - 2,944 cases (+21) (47 deaths)
- Outagamie – 17,097 cases (+91) (164 deaths)
- Ozaukee - 6,713 cases (+25) (58 deaths)
- Pepin – 721 cases (+8) (6 deaths)
- Pierce – 3,111 cases (+22) (30 deaths)
- Polk – 3,269 cases (+12) (29 deaths)
- Portage – 5,809 cases (+23) (54 deaths)
- Price – 981 cases (+1) (6 deaths)
- Racine – 18,597 cases (+42) (268 deaths)
- Richland - 1,169 cases (+3) (13 deaths)
- Rock – 12,797 cases (+33) (122 deaths)
- Rusk - 1,158 cases (+2) (14 deaths)
- Sauk – 4,742 cases (+38) (31 deaths)
- Sawyer - 1,293 cases (+3) (17 deaths)
- Shawano – 4,315 cases (+6) (60 deaths)
- Sheboygan – 11,842 cases (+31) (96 deaths)
- St. Croix – 5,688 cases (+28) (32 deaths)
- Taylor - 1,649 cases (+4) (14 deaths)
- Trempealeau – 3,113 cases (+11) (30 deaths)
- Vernon – 1,631 cases (+5) (32 deaths) (+1)
- Vilas - 1,718 cases (+15) (27 deaths)
- Walworth – 8,093 cases (+42) (105 deaths)
- Washburn – 1,097 cases (+4) (15 deaths)
- Washington – 12,402 cases (+34) (103 deaths)
- Waukesha – 36,362 cases (+72) (373 deaths)
- Waupaca – 4,314 cases (+13) (100 deaths)
- Waushara – 1,963 cases (+10) (20 deaths)
- Winnebago – 15,698 cases (+38) (159 deaths)
- Wood – 5,953 cases (+15) (54 deaths)
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula **
- Alger - 210 cases (1 death)
- Baraga - 476 cases (29 deaths)
- Chippewa - 647 cases (13 deaths)
- Delta – 2,544 cases (60 deaths)
- Dickinson - 2,047 cases (56 deaths)
- Gogebic - 737 cases (16 deaths)
- Houghton – 1,734 cases (27 deaths)
- Iron – 792 cases (32 deaths)
- Keweenaw – 83 cases (1 death)
- Luce – 127 cases
- Mackinac - 269 cases (3 deaths)
- Marquette - 3,253 cases (51 deaths)
- Menominee - 1,530 cases (30 deaths)
- Ontonagon – 282 cases (15 deaths)
- Schoolcraft - 220 cases (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.
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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