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Coronavirus cases climb for fourth straight day; vaccinations set another daily record

26,000 more people finished their vaccinations compared to Thursday’s report
Published: Feb. 19, 2021 at 2:15 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 19, 2021 at 3:45 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) – Wisconsin’s coronavirus caseload remains lower than any time since September, but the state has seen an increasing number of new cases every day for the past four days. The Department of Health Services (DHS) says 774 new cases were identified Friday. That was 14.58% of the 5,309 results for people being tested, or testing positive, for the coronavirus for the first time. Despite the rising day-to-day numbers, the 7-day average fell again to 635 cases per day, the lowest average since last July.

The state now emphasizes the positivity rate looking at all test results, including people tested multiple times, since more than half of the state’s population has been tested at least once. By that measure, the state says the 7-day average positivity rate is below 3% for the first time since mid-June, and only the third time since last March. As we’ve reported, health officials want to see these positivity rates fall to 3% to consider the COVID-19 virus is being managed.

The death rate held steady at 1.12% of all COVID-19 cases after the deaths of 35 more people. The death toll is now 6,267, and the state is averaging 17 COVID-19 deaths per day, 4 more than Thursday’s average.

Eight deaths were added in Brown County. Other counties reporting deaths were Bayfield, Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Dunn, Fond du Lac (2), Kenosha (2), Manitowoc (2), Marathon, Marinette, Milwaukee (3), Outagamie (2), Ozaukee, Portage, Waukesha (2), Waushara (2) and Winnebago (2) counties.

Twelve counties did not report any new coronavirus cases by Friday’s deadline. Of the 60 counties with new cases, 16 added only one or two.

County case and death totals are listed later in this article.

Wisconsin set a new daily record for completed COVID-19 vaccinations for a second day in a row. 314,762 people completed the two-dose vaccine regimen, which is 26,015 more people than Thursday’s report. So far, 5.4% of the state’s population is completed vaccinated. That includes almost 1 in 10 older adults, age 65 and up, and almost 1 in 20 of all White residents of the state.

Health officials are encouraging people in minority groups to get vaccinated because of the disparity in the vaccination numbers and because minority groups are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. To date, 12.6% of all the state’s White residents received at least one dose, compared to 8.9% of American Indians, 5.7% of Asians and 3.8% of the state’s Black population received the vaccine. (The DHS says 8.2% of records listed race as “Unknown” and 4.8% reported it as “Other.”) For more information about racial and ethnic disparities in the pandemic, CLICK HERE.

Health officials say 1,119,705 “shots in the arm” of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. That’s more than twice the 558,496 people who’ve tested positive for the COVID-19 virus since its appearance in the state on February 5, 2020.

There are currently 9,575 active cases diagnosed in the past 30 days (1.7% of all known cases); 542,495 people (97.2% of cases) are considered recovered, even if they’re considered “long haulers” with lingering effects from their infection.

Action 2 News put together a guide of vaccination clinics and health agencies distributing the COVID-19 vaccine to people age 65 and older. CLICK HERE for locations and phone numbers and websites to register.

HOSPITALIZATIONS

The DHS says 79 more people were hospitalized for COVID-19, the tenth day with fewer than 100 hospitalizations but it raised the 7-day average from 59 to 63 hospitalizations per day. Since the virus’s first appearance in Wisconsin, 25,635 people have been hospitalized for COVID-19 treatment, which is 4.6% of all known cases.

Taking deaths and discharges into account, the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) reported there were 370 COVID-19 patients in the state’s hospitals on Friday -- 18 fewer patients than Thursday. That includes 96 in intensive care units -- 11 fewer patients in ICU, and the first time that metric has been 100 since there were 98 patients in ICU on September 18. This is the fourth time in 7 days there were fewer than 400 COVID-19 patients hospitalized at one time.

The Fox Valley region’s 13 hospitals were treating 19 COVID-19 patients, one less than Thursday, with 3 in ICU, one more than Thursday.

The Northeast region’s 10 hospitals treated 37 COVID-19 patients Friday, six more than the day before. The number in ICU fell by two to 10 patients.

HOSPITAL READINESS

In terms of hospital readiness, the WHA reported 255 ICU beds (17.4%) and 2,176 of all medical beds (19.5%) are open in the state’s 134 hospitals. All medical beds include ICU, intermediate care, medical surgical and negative flow isolation. These are beds for all patients, not just COVID-19.

Fox Valley region hospitals had 17 open ICU beds (16.3%) among them, and 134 of all medical beds (15.7%) for the eight counties they serve.

In the Northeast region’s 10 hospitals, 41 ICU beds (19.8%) and 257 of all medical beds (26.9%) are open.

We use the terms “open” or “unoccupied” instead of “available” because whether a bed can be filled depends on hospitals having the staff for a patient in that bed, including doctors, nurses and food services.

Statewide, 16 of the 134 hospitals report they have less than a 7-day supply of gowns and 11 are running low on paper medical masks. Those numbers are the same as Monday.

FRIDAY’S COUNTY CASE AND DEATH TOTALS (Counties with new cases or deaths are indicated in bold) *

Wisconsin

  • Adams – 1,564 cases (+2) (11 deaths)
  • Ashland – 1,170 cases (+2) (16 deaths)
  • Barron – 5,282 cases (+12) (75 deaths)
  • Bayfield - 1,062 cases (+0) (19 deaths) (+1)
  • Brown – 30,035 cases (+22) (211 deaths) (+8)
  • Buffalo – 1,309 cases (+1) (7 deaths)
  • Burnett – 1,175 cases (+7) (23 deaths)
  • Calumet – 5,420 cases (+10) (43 deaths)
  • Chippewa – 6,993 cases (+4) (90 deaths)
  • Clark – 3,149 cases (+1) (57 deaths)
  • Columbia – 4,982 cases (+9) (51 deaths) (+1)
  • Crawford – 1,661 cases (17 deaths)
  • Dane – 39,744 (+160) (268 deaths) (+1)
  • Dodge – 11,351 cases (+11) (155 deaths) (+1)
  • Door – 2,402 cases (+1) (19 deaths)
  • Douglas – 3,644 cases (+1) (24 deaths)
  • Dunn – 4,213 cases (+8) (27 deaths)
  • Eau Claire – 10,906 cases (+11) (104 deaths)
  • Florence - 432 cases (12 deaths)
  • Fond du Lac – 11,865 cases (+19) (91 deaths) (+2)
  • Forest - 922 cases (+1) (23 deaths)
  • Grant – 4,614 cases (+6) (79 deaths)
  • Green – 3,042 cases (+19) (16 deaths)
  • Green Lake - 1,520 cases (18 deaths)
  • Iowa - 1,843 cases (+3) (9 deaths)
  • Iron - 530 cases (+1) (20 deaths)
  • Jackson - 2,575 cases (23 deaths)
  • Jefferson – 7,801 cases (+16) (76 deaths)
  • Juneau - 2,968 cases (+1) (19 deaths)
  • Kenosha – 14,704 cases (+23) (298 deaths) (+2)
  • Kewaunee – 2,410 cases (27 deaths)
  • La Crosse – 12,115 cases (+22) (75 deaths)
  • Lafayette - 1,433 cases (+3) (7 deaths)
  • Langlade - 1,926 cases (+3) (31 deaths)
  • Lincoln – 2,886 cases (+9) (56 deaths)
  • Manitowoc – 7,182 cases (+5) (63 deaths) (+2)
  • Marathon – 13,547 cases (+15) (172 deaths) (+1)
  • Marinette - 3,966 cases (+0) (62 deaths) (+1)
  • Marquette – 1,297 cases (21 deaths)
  • Menominee - 795 cases (+2) (11 deaths)
  • Milwaukee – 97,419 (+101) (1,221 deaths) (+3)
  • Monroe – 4,255 cases (+8) (30 deaths)
  • Oconto – 4,240 cases (+0) (48 deaths) (+1)
  • Oneida - 3,331 cases (+2) (66 deaths)
  • Outagamie – 19,008 cases (+25) (191 deaths) (+2)
  • Ozaukee – 7,567 cases (+10) (73 deaths)
  • Pepin – 800 cases (7 deaths)
  • Pierce – 3,428 cases (+7) (33 deaths)
  • Polk – 3,831 cases (+20) (44 deaths)
  • Portage – 6,411 cases (+16) (64 deaths) (+1)
  • Price – 1,145 cases (+1) (7 deaths)
  • Racine – 20,184 cases (+13) (314 deaths)
  • Richland - 1,267 cases (+1) (13 deaths)
  • Rock – 14,275 cases (+22) (151 deaths)
  • Rusk - 1,243 cases (+2) (16 deaths)
  • Sauk – 5,214 cases (+4) (39 deaths)
  • Sawyer - 1,485 cases (+6) (21 deaths)
  • Shawano – 4,560 cases (+3) (70 deaths)
  • Sheboygan – 12,748 cases (+10) (126 deaths)
  • St. Croix – 6,296 cases (+2) (42 deaths)
  • Taylor - 1,792 cases (20 deaths)
  • Trempealeau – 3,370 cases (+6) (36 deaths)
  • Vernon – 1,804 cases (36 deaths)
  • Vilas - 2,080 cases (+5) (36 deaths)
  • Walworth – 8,778 cases (+12) (124 deaths)
  • Washburn – 1,283 cases (+5) (18 deaths)
  • Washington – 13,645 cases (+15) (129 deaths)
  • Waukesha – 40,220 cases (+30) (470 deaths) (+2)
  • Waupaca – 4,737 cases (+6) (111 deaths)
  • Waushara – 2,088 cases (+1) (30 deaths) (+2)
  • Winnebago – 16,909 cases (+23) (181 deaths) (+2)
  • Wood – 6,648 cases (+9) (72 deaths)

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula **

  • Alger - 277 cases (1 death)
  • Baraga - 503 cases (32 deaths)
  • Chippewa - 714 cases (+1) (22 deaths) (+1)
  • Delta – 2,640 cases (+1) (65 deaths)
  • Dickinson - 2,122 cases (+3) (55 deaths)
  • Gogebic - 910 cases (+0) (19 deaths) (+1)
  • Houghton – 2,081 cases (+8) (32 deaths)
  • Iron – 864 cases (39 deaths)
  • Keweenaw – 109 cases (1 death)
  • Luce – 132 cases
  • Mackinac - 282 cases (+1) (3 deaths)
  • Marquette - 3,442 cases (+1) (54 deaths)
  • Menominee - 1,612 cases (+4) (35 deaths)
  • Ontonagon – 357 cases (+1) (19 deaths)
  • Schoolcraft - 229 cases (4 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.

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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