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Wisconsin reports 324 new cases, 28 COVID-19 deaths

The 7-day average of 575 cases is the lowest since July 8
Published: Mar. 2, 2021 at 2:00 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2021 at 3:39 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) – Wisconsin saw 28 deaths added to COVID-19′s death toll on Tuesday as the state reported more than half a million people completed being vaccinated against the disease.

According to the Department of Health Services, 324 more people tested positive for the coronavirus in the last 24-hour period, based on fewer than 2,500 tests (2,414). That’s the fewest test results the state received for people testing positive or being tested for the first time since all the way back to April 23, 2020.

It demonstrates why the state now measures the positivity rate based on all tests received, including people who’ve been tested multiple times, since 55% of the state’s population has now been tested at least once. By that measure, the positivity rate’s 7-day average is down to 2.1%, or levels back to last March when the pandemic began in earnest in our state.

After two days with new cases below 350, the average caseload fell to 575 new cases per day over the last 7 days. This is the lowest 7-day average since July 8. This is also the first month since last June that we had two days with fewer than 400 cases, and we’re just two days into March.

The 28 deaths reported Tuesday is the second-highest increase in the past week. The death toll is now 6,440 people. Wisconsin is averaging 18 deaths per day for the last 7 days, and the death rate remains at 1.14% of all cases.

Deaths were reported in 17 counties: Columbia, Fond du Lac (3), Iowa, Kewaunee, La Crosse (2), Milwaukee (6), Outagamie, Ozaukee, Racine, Richland, Sauk, Sheboygan (3), Trempealeau, Walworth (2), Washington, Waukesha (2) and Wood. The death count was revised by 1 in Manitowoc County.

This was a predictable increase. We followed this pattern of numbers jumping on Tuesdays back to December 22. Daily death totals don’t reflect the actual dates of death but when local health departments reported them to the state and they’re included in the state’s report (for a chart of deaths by date, click here).

SundayMondayTuesday
12/20-12/22188120
12/27-12/2991972
1/3-1/55995
1/10-1/122549
1/17-1/1911942
1/24-1.266854
1/31-2/23140
2/7-2/92139
2/14-2/161438
2/21-2/230033
2/28-3/20028

County by county case and death figures are listed later in this article. New cases were reported in 50 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, with 10 counties reporting just 1 or 2 positive tests. Case numbers were revised downward in 8 counties, including some significant revisions.

VACCINATIONS

More than half a million people vaccinated against COVID-19 have completed their regimen. The state reports 505,123 people received their second shot, which is 13,049 more than Monday. That includes more than 8% of adults age 35 to 64 and almost 1 in 4 adults age 65 and up (23.7%).

At this rate, by the end of the week Wisconsin could have more people inoculated against COVID-19 than tested positive for the virus that causes it. However, health officials remind people the vaccine protects them from the coronavirus developing into COVID-19 or lessens the symptoms of the disease but doesn’t prevent them from being a carrier. For this and other reasons, health experts aren’t sure when we’ll achieve herd immunity from the coronavirus (see related story).

A total 928,958 Wisconsin residents have received one or both shots, which is 16% of the state’s population.

As we reported Monday, the state is expecting 47,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine next week in addition to its allocation of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. In a health briefing on Tuesday, state health officials said those doses will go to educators, mostly because the Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires one dose, so vaccinating can be done with less interruption to the school schedule. Officials don’t know when the state will get more of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after this initial shipment, because every dose manufactured so far is being distributed right now.

The Department of Health Services announced Tuesday that pharmacies at Kroger supermarkets will receive additional COVID-19 vaccine doses from the federal Retail Pharmacy Program. The federal government is shipping 2,340 doses and the state is allocating 1,552 doses to Kroger stores (see related story). Kroger operates Pick ‘n Save, Roundy’s and Metro Market.

Action 2 News continues updating its guide to vaccination clinics and health agencies distributing the COVID-19 vaccine. CLICK HERE for locations and phone numbers and websites to register.

HOSPITALIZATIONS

The DHS says 64 people were hospitalized for COVID-19 in the past 24-hour period -- almost as many as the previous 2 days combined. That brings the total number of people ever hospitalized for COVID-19 to 26,222, or 4.64% of all cases.

Taking discharges and deaths into account, there were 16 fewer people hospitalized Tuesday. The Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) reported 271 COVID-19 patients, with 71 in ICU. That takes us back to August 29 to find fewer patients being treated for COVID-19 at one time.

Locally, there are 14 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the Fox Valley region, two more than Monday, with 2 in ICU, which is one less.

In the Northeast region, 35 patients are being treated, 3 more than Monday, including 10 in ICU, which is one less.

HOSPITAL READINESS

In terms of hospital readiness, the WHA reported 325 ICU beds (22.2%) and 2,205 of all medical beds (19.7%) -- ICU, intermediate care, medical surgical and negative flow isolation beds -- were open in the state’s 134 hospitals on Tuesday.

The Fox Valley’s 13 hospitals had 18 open ICU beds (17.3%) among them and 131 of all medical beds (15.4%) open for the eight counties they serve.

In the Northeast region, the 10 hospitals have 31 ICU beds (15.0%) and 203 of all medical beds (21.2%) available.

These are beds for all patients, not just COVID-19, and because a bed is open or available doesn’t mean a hospital can put a patient in it if there isn’t enough staffing, including doctors, nurses and food services.

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

Wisconsin

  • Adams – 1,581 cases (10 deaths)
  • Ashland – 1,174 cases (16 deaths)
  • Barron – 5,369 cases (+2) (76 deaths)
  • Bayfield - 1,066 cases (19 deaths)
  • Brown – 30,219 cases (+27) (223 deaths)
  • Buffalo – 1,320 cases (+1) (7 deaths)
  • Burnett – 1,205 cases (23 deaths) (cases revised -1 by state)
  • Calumet – 5,479 cases (+6) (43 deaths)
  • Chippewa – 7,052 cases (+8) (92 deaths)
  • Clark – 3,158 cases (+3) (57 deaths)
  • Columbia – 5,045 cases (+3) (52 deaths) (+1)
  • Crawford – 1,667 cases (17 deaths) (cases revised -1 by state)
  • Dane – 40,577 (+6) (273 deaths)
  • Dodge – 11,430 cases (+13) (155 deaths)
  • Door – 2,419 cases (+1) (20 deaths)
  • Douglas – 3,636 cases (26 deaths) (cases revised -39 by state)
  • Dunn – 4,269 cases (+5) (28 deaths)
  • Eau Claire – 11,018 cases (+9) (104 deaths)
  • Florence - 434 cases (12 deaths)
  • Fond du Lac – 11,995 cases (+11) (96 deaths) (+3)
  • Forest - 924 cases (23 deaths) (cases revised -1 by state)
  • Grant – 4,657 cases (+6) (80 deaths)
  • Green – 3,152 cases (+5) (16 deaths)
  • Green Lake - 1,525 cases (18 deaths)
  • Iowa - 1,860 cases (+2) (10 deaths) (+1)
  • Iron - 545 cases (+4) (20 deaths)
  • Jackson - 2,575 cases (23 deaths)
  • Jefferson – 7,882 cases (+5) (111 deaths)
  • Juneau - 2,989 cases (+5) (19 deaths)
  • Kenosha – 14,854 cases (+30) (300 deaths)
  • Kewaunee – 2,414 cases (+0) (28 deaths) (+1)
  • La Crosse – 12,246 cases (+14) (80 deaths) (+2)
  • Lafayette - 1,463 cases (7 deaths)
  • Langlade - 1,934 cases (32 deaths)
  • Lincoln – 2,912 cases (+3) (58 deaths)
  • Manitowoc – 7,242 cases (+3) (63 deaths) (deaths revised -1 by state)
  • Marathon – 13,698 cases (+6) (176 deaths)
  • Marinette - 3,960 cases (63 deaths) (cases revised -21 by state)
  • Marquette – 1,307 cases (21 deaths)
  • Menominee - 795 cases (11 deaths)
  • Milwaukee – 98,319 (+60) (1,243 deaths) (+6)
  • Monroe – 4,322 cases (+4) (31 deaths)
  • Oconto – 4,268 cases (+5) (48 deaths)
  • Oneida - 3,388 cases (+7) (67 deaths)
  • Outagamie – 19,298 cases (+11) (196 deaths) (+1)
  • Ozaukee – 7,644 cases (+11) (78 deaths) (+1)
  • Pepin – 806 cases (7 deaths)
  • Pierce – 3,483 cases (+6) (33 deaths)
  • Polk – 3,932 cases (+5) (44 deaths)
  • Portage – 6,482 cases (+5) (64 deaths)
  • Price – 1,162 cases (+5) (7 deaths)
  • Racine – 20,367 cases (+20) (321 deaths) (+1)
  • Richland - 1,286 cases (revised -2 by state) (15 deaths) (+1)
  • Rock – 14,422 cases (+17) (159 deaths)
  • Rusk - 1,257 cases (+4) (16 deaths)
  • Sauk – 5,293 cases (+6) (42 deaths) (+1)
  • Sawyer - 1,518 cases (+1) (21 deaths)
  • Shawano – 4,595 cases (+2) (70 deaths)
  • Sheboygan – 12,915 cases (+1) (131 deaths) (+3)
  • St. Croix – 6,401 cases (+7) (43 deaths)
  • Taylor - 1,800 cases (21 deaths)
  • Trempealeau – 3,398 cases (+5) (37 deaths) (+1)
  • Vernon – 1,832 cases (+1) (36 deaths)
  • Vilas - 2,141 cases (+1) (36 deaths)
  • Walworth – 8,850 cases (+13) (129 deaths) (+2)
  • Washburn – 1,295 cases (18 deaths)
  • Washington – 13,774 cases (+21) (135 deaths) (+1)
  • Waukesha – 40,696 cases (+43) (484 deaths) (+2)
  • Waupaca – 4,773 cases (112 deaths) (cases revised -19 by state)
  • Waushara – 2,099 cases (+1) (31 deaths)
  • Winnebago – 17,063 cases (+3) (183 deaths)
  • Wood – 6,666 cases (revised -35 by state) (74 deaths) (+1)

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (reflects Saturday-Monday updates) **

  • Alger - 277 cases (1 death)
  • Baraga - 507 cases (32 deaths)
  • Chippewa - 723 cases (+1) (23 deaths)
  • Delta – 2,664 cases (65 deaths)
  • Dickinson - 2,131 cases (55 deaths)
  • Gogebic - 928 cases (20 deaths) (cases revised -1 by state)
  • Houghton – 2,133 cases (+2) (33 deaths)
  • Iron – 866 cases (40 deaths)
  • Keweenaw – 115 cases (1 death)
  • Luce – 132 cases
  • Mackinac - 292 cases (+2) (3 deaths)
  • Marquette - 3,462 cases (+7) (55 deaths)
  • Menominee - 1,617 cases (35 deaths)
  • Ontonagon – 358 cases (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

Nobody has a natural immunity to the coronavirus. 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:

  • Wear a face mask in public
  • Stay at least six feet away from people from outside your household
  • Avoid close contact with people who are or appear sick
  • Stay at home as much as possible
  • Don’t go to work if you feel sick
  • Cancel events and avoid groups, gatherings, play dates and non-essential appointments

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