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Wisconsin’s coronavirus cases, positivity rate down for first time in days

The state passed 6,700 COVID-19 deaths
(Associated Press)
Published: Apr. 16, 2021 at 2:05 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 16, 2021 at 7:18 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) – Wisconsin saw a drop in new coronavirus cases Friday, identifying 709 people in 59 counties infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, the state Department of Health Services reported.

That was out of 4,738 results from people testing positive or being tested for the first time, or 15% (14.96%) of those results. The 7-day average for the positivity rate -- a measure of the virus’s spread in our communities -- also went down. After plateauing at 3.8% for almost a week, that average fell to 3.6%, back to where it was on March 6.

Wisconsin now has almost 590,000 confirmed coronavirus cases (589,213), and it’s still on pace to reach a milestone 600,000 confirmed cases in the next two weeks if the spread of the disease doesn’t slow. By our calculations, the state is averaging 754 new cases per day for the past week, after three days with more than 900 cases per day. Active cases -- people diagnosed in the past 30 days who aren’t medically cleared -- are now 1.6% of all cases dating back 14 months, up from 1.5% Thursday.

The state passed 6,700 deaths. The COVID-19 death toll rose by five to 6,703 after 3 deaths in Waukesha County, two in Milwaukee County, and one each in Eau Claire and Racine counties. Death counts were revised in Kewaunee and Washington counties.

The number of hospitalizations in the past 24 hours were above average, with 69 patients admitted for COVID-19. The 7-day average is 58 admissions per day, which is a slight decline.

VARIANTS SPREADING

Wisconsin health officials performed genetic testing on about 400 more samples in the past week to find variants of the original SARS-CoV-2. To date, out of 9,740 samples tested, 584 were one of the variants. Statewide, the DHS is finding slightly more cases of the UK variant (299 samples), followed by the California variant (259 samples).

The California variant (scientifically known as B.1.427/B.1.429) was found in 5.3% of samples in the Northeast health care region but only 1.0% of samples in the Fox Valley region. The UK variant (B.1.1.7) makes up 3.8% of samples in the Northeast region and 2.7% of samples in the Fox Valley.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, both of these variants are more contagious than the original coronavirus, spreading quicker and more easily. Studies are still being done to confirm the UK variant is linked to a higher death rate. The California variant may be more resistant to some treatments.

State health officials say the way to stop these variants from spreading is the same as we’ve been told for over a year: Wear a mask (it must be worn over the nose and mouth), maintain social distancing from people who aren’t from your household, and wash your hands more frequently or use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t readily available.

VACCINATIONS

At 10:40 P.M., the DHS had not posted Friday’s vaccination report. Following are vaccination figures from Thursday:

The state reached 1.5 million residents fully vaccinated against COVID-19 on Thursday, which is 25.8% of the state population. Wisconsin also set a record 7-day average for doses administered, up to 62,197 shots per day by our calculations.

The DHS says 38.5% of the population received at least one dose of a vaccine, including almost 15% of teens age 16 and 17 and 79% of seniors 65 and older. The state’s seen a huge jump in the number of teenagers getting vaccinated since that opened up to everyone 16 and up on April 5.

Vaccinations by percentage of age group, as of Thursday:

  • 16-17: 14.8% have received a dose/2.4% completed
  • 18-24: 25.6% have received a dose/12.8% completed
  • 25-34: 32.9% have received a dose/18.7% completed
  • 35-44: 40.5% have received a dose/23.4% completed
  • 45-54: 42.7% have received a dose/24.1% completed
  • 55-64: 53.2% have received a dose/27.8% completed
  • 65+: 78.9% have received a dose/71.2% completed

THURSDAY’S COUNTY VACCINATION UPDATES

County (Population)Received at least 1 dose (% of pop.)Completed (% of pop.)
Brown (264,542) (NE)102,806 (38.9%)71,896 (27.2%)
Calumet (50,089) (FV)17,276 (34.5%)12,136 (24.2%)
Dodge (87,839)27,406 (30.8%)18,775 (21.4%)
Door (27,668) (NE)15,465 (55.9%)10,290 (37.2%)
Fond du Lac (103,403) (FV)35,066 (33.9%)26,195 (25.3%)
Forest (9,004)3,190 (35.4%)2,480 (27.5%)
Florence (4,295) (NE)1,483 (34.5%)1,259 (29.3%)
Green Lake (18,913) (FV)6,532 (34.5%)5,229 (27.6%)
Kewaunee (20,434) (NE)6,870 (33.6%)5,046 (24.7%)
Manitowoc (78,981) (NE)30,065 (38.1%)21,027 (26.6%)
Marinette (40,350) (NE)13,291 (32.9%)9,237 (22.9%)
Menominee (4,556) (FV)1,907 (41.9%)1,647 (36.2%)
Oconto (37,930) (NE)12,941 (34.1%)9,758 (25.7%)
Outagamie (187,885) (FV)68,740 (36.6%)47,651 (25.4%)
Shawano (40,899) (FV)11,802 (28.9%)9,138 (22.3%)
Sheboygan (115,340)43,277 (37.5%)27,737 (24.0%)
Waupaca (50,990) (FV)16,441 (32.2%)12,735 (25.0%)
Waushara (24,443) (FV)6,873 (28.1%)5,470 (22.4%)
Winnebago (171,907) (FV)61,427 (35.7%)44,610 (26.0%)
NORTHEAST REGION (NE)182,921 (38.6%)128,513 (27.1%)
FOX VALLEY REGION (FV)190,998 (34.7%)138,616 (25.2%)
WISCONSIN (5,822,434)2,239,906 (38.5%)1,504,167 (25.8%)

CLICK HERE to track vaccine data in Wisconsin

CLICK HERE for the First Alert Vaccine Team’s guide to vaccine clinics and vaccinators, including phone numbers and websites to make appointments and information on free rides to appointments.

Since February 5, 2020, the DHS reports 3,377,182 people in Wisconsin were tested at least once for the coronavirus. Out of these:

  • 588,504 tested positive for the COVID-19 virus
  • 28,462 were hospitalized (4.8%)
  • 6,703 died (1.14%)
  • 572,354 are considered recovered (97.4%)
  • 9,208 are still active cases (1.6%)

HOSPITAL READINESS

COVID-19 hospitalizations were back over 300 on Friday. We reported earlier in this article that 69 more patients were hospitalized. The Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) reports there are 309 patients, 18 more people than the day before after taking deaths and discharges into account, and 86 in ICU, which is 10 more than Thursday.

Fox Valley hospitals were treating 19 COVID-19 patients, with 6 in ICU. That’s 3 fewer in ICU and 2 fewer patients overall than Thursday.

Hospitals in the Northeast region were treating 33 COVID-19 patients, including 7 in ICU. That’s 2 more in ICU but 1 more patient overall since Thursday.

For hospital readiness, the WHA reports 237 ICU beds were available in the state’s hospitals (16.2% of the state’s supply). A total 1,885 of all hospital beds are available -- ICU, intermediate care, medical surgical and negative-flow isolation (16.9%).

The Fox Valley region’s 13 hospitals had 5 ICU beds available among them (4.8%), and 91 total open beds total (8.9%), but no intermediate care beds.

The 10 hospitals in the Northeast region had 25 ICU beds (12.1%) and 249 of all bed types (26.1%) open.

These beds are for all patients, not just COVID-19. We use terms like “open” or “available,” but a hospital can only put a patient in a bed if it has the staff to care for them, including doctors, nurses and food services.

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

Wisconsin

  • Adams – 1,677 cases (+5) (10 deaths)
  • Ashland – 1,221 cases (+2) (16 deaths)
  • Barron – 5,635 cases (+10) (76 deaths)
  • Bayfield - 1,117 cases (19 deaths)
  • Brown – 31,069 cases (revised -9 by state) (234 deaths)
  • Buffalo – 1,336 cases (+3) (7 deaths)
  • Burnett – 1,296 cases (+9) (21 deaths)
  • Calumet – 5,701 (+7) (46 deaths)
  • Chippewa – 7,259 cases (+1) (94 deaths)
  • Clark – 3,197 cases (+3) (58 deaths)
  • Columbia – 5,279 cases (+3) (57 deaths)
  • Crawford – 1,696 cases (17 deaths)
  • Dane – 43,389 (+87) (290 deaths)
  • Dodge – 11,663 cases (+5) (162 deaths)
  • Door – 2,567 cases (+2) (22 deaths)
  • Douglas – 3,892 cases (+9) (32 deaths)
  • Dunn – 4,530 cases (+5) (32 deaths)
  • Eau Claire – 11,373 cases (+12) (106 deaths) (+1)
  • Florence - 441 cases (12 deaths)
  • Fond du Lac – 12,207 cases (+7) (105 deaths)
  • Forest - 944 cases (23 deaths)
  • Grant – 4,830 cases (+11) (85 deaths)
  • Green – 3,431 cases (+5) (17 deaths)
  • Green Lake - 1,556 cases (+1) (19 deaths)
  • Iowa - 1,982 cases (+2) (10 deaths)
  • Iron - 571 cases (21 deaths)
  • Jackson - 2,600 cases (+3) (26 deaths)
  • Jefferson – 8,215 cases (+13) (108 deaths)
  • Juneau - 3,062 cases (+4) (21 deaths)
  • Kenosha – 15,238 cases (+15) (305 deaths)
  • Kewaunee – 2,319 cases (+1) (25 deaths) (deaths revised -1 by state)
  • La Crosse – 12,539 cases (+2) (80 deaths)
  • Lafayette - 1,538 cases (7 deaths)
  • Langlade - 1,964 cases (+6) (32 deaths)
  • Lincoln – 3,015 cases (60 deaths)
  • Manitowoc – 7,419 cases (+4) (69 deaths)
  • Marathon – 14,239 cases (+21) (184 deaths)
  • Marinette - 4,046 cases (+1) (65 deaths)
  • Marquette – 1,356 cases (+2) (22 deaths)
  • Menominee - 792 cases (11 deaths)
  • Milwaukee – 103,080 (+164) (1,275 deaths) (+2)
  • Monroe – 4,430 cases (+10) (37 deaths)
  • Oconto – 4,355 case (+3) (49 deaths)
  • Oneida - 3,559 case (+7) (68 deaths)
  • Outagamie – 20,297 cases (+18) (201 deaths)
  • Ozaukee – 8,025 cases (+1) (83 deaths)
  • Pepin – 827 cases (+3) (7 deaths)
  • Pierce – 3,743 cases (+13) (35 deaths)
  • Polk – 4,194 cases (+6) (43 deaths)
  • Portage – 6,625 cases (+3) (67 deaths)
  • Price – 1,207 cases (+4) (7 deaths)
  • Racine – 21,080 cases (+27) (337 deaths) (+1)
  • Richland - 1,288 cases (+1) (15 deaths)
  • Rock – 15,258 cases (+41) (167 deaths)
  • Rusk - 1,275 cases (cases revised -1 by state) (16 deaths)
  • Sauk – 5,648 cases (+5) (46 deaths)
  • Sawyer - 1,597 cases (+4) (24 deaths)
  • Shawano – 4,663 cases (+2) (69 deaths)
  • Sheboygan – 13,520 cases (+17) (134 deaths)
  • St. Croix – 7,251 cases (+23) (50 deaths)
  • Taylor - 1,844 cases (24 deaths)
  • Trempealeau – 3,490 cases (+1) (39 deaths)
  • Vernon – 1,894 cases (39 deaths)
  • Vilas - 2,221 cases (+3) (39 deaths)
  • Walworth – 9,267 cases (+15) (136 deaths)
  • Washburn – 1,401 cases (+2) (18 deaths)
  • Washington – 14,347 cases (+8) (143 deaths) (deaths revised -1 by state)
  • Waukesha – 42,978 cases (+58) (512 deaths) (+3)
  • Waupaca – 4,837 cases (cases revised -4 by state) (117 deaths)
  • Waushara – 2,136 cases (+2) (32 deaths)
  • Winnebago – 17,817 cases (+12) (190 deaths)
  • Wood – 6,858 cases (+9) (77 deaths)

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula **

  • Alger - 299 cases (+1) (1 death)
  • Baraga - 532 cases (+2) (33 deaths)
  • Chippewa - 967 cases (+15) (27 deaths) (+1)
  • Delta – 3,019 cases (+24) (67 deaths)
  • Dickinson - 2,302 cases (+7) (56 deaths)
  • Gogebic - 992 cases (+1) (22 deaths)
  • Houghton – 2,393 cases (+12) (32 deaths)
  • Iron – 904 cases (+3) (42 deaths)
  • Keweenaw – 135 cases (+3) (1 death)
  • Luce – 159 cases (+3)
  • Mackinac - 362 cases (+3) (3 deaths)
  • Marquette - 3,913 cases (+27) (56 deaths)
  • Menominee - 1,697 cases (+4) (39 deaths)
  • Ontonagon – 388 cases (+2) (20 deaths)
  • Schoolcraft - 275 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 state of Michigan does not update numbers on Sundays. Monday’s numbers include updates since Saturday’s reporting deadline.

CDC GUIDANCE ON GATHERINGS

The Centers for Disease Control have announced that fully vaccinated Americans can gather with other vaccinated people indoors without wearing a mask or social distancing.

The CDC’s recommendations also say vaccinated people can come together in the same way – in a single household -- with people considered at low-risk for severe disease, such as in the case of vaccinated grandparents visiting healthy children and grandchildren.

The CDC is continuing to recommend that fully vaccinated people still wear well-fitted masks, avoid large gatherings, and physically distance themselves from others when out in public. The CDC also advised vaccinated people to get tested if they develop symptoms that could be related to COVID-19.

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

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