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COVID-19 spread high in 71 Wisconsin counties, very high in 1

Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 2:18 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 4, 2021 at 5:16 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - The Wisconsin Department of Health Services says there are no counties where the spread of the COVID-19 virus is low or moderate. The state’s weekly update Wednesday said the transmission of COVID-19 is high in 71 out of 72 counties. The transmission rate is very high in Milwaukee County. This is based on the rate of positive tests per 100,000 people over the past two weeks (the burden) and the percent change in cases over the past week (the trajectory).

The state says about 192 people out of every 100,000 in Wisconsin were diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past two weeks, between July 21 and August 3. That’s nearly double the rate of 100 people per 100,000 in last week’s update. In Milwaukee County, that burden is 376 out of every 100,000 people.

Cases and deaths

Statewide, Wisconsin averaged 902 cases per day over the past 7 days. In its latest batch of test results there were 1,180 testing positive for the coronavirus that cases COVID-19. The average hasn’t been over 900 since early February, as the winter surge was easing.

The DHS says the 7-day average positivity rate, which is the percentage of all tests that were positive, was steady at 7.2% for a second day. That’s after declining from 7.5% Monday, marking the first decline in the positivity rate since it started climbing on June 23 from a low of 0.7%. The state has had 625,314 people test positive for the COVID-19 virus since February 5, 2020.

The DHS reported 62 more people being hospitalized for COVID-19 treatment since Tuesday. That’s higher than our calculated average of 53 hospitalizations per day but much better than the 116 hospitalizations in Tuesday’s report. Wednesday’s figures from the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA), taking discharges and deaths into account, say there are 12 more patients in hospitals Wednesday than the day before, and 8 more of them in ICU. Currently, there are 353 COVID-19 patients around the state, with 114 in ICU -- the highest for each of those numbers since April 26.

The WHA says hospitals in the Northeast health care region are treating 26 patients, including 9 in ICU. That’s 1 more in intensive care and 3 more overall than the day before. Fox Valley hospitals are treating 11 COVID-19 patients, with 3 in ICU -- one more in ICU since Tuesday (and, we should note, 3 more than Monday) and 2 more patients overall. Since the pandemic began, 33,506 people have been hospitalized in the state for COVID-19 treatment.

There were 3 deaths just reported to the state that occurred in the past 30 days; none of these was in WBAY’s viewing area. The state is averaging 2 deaths per day, after that average briefly slipped to 1 per day. The DHS tallies 7,450 people died from COVID-19 in Wisconsin since March, 2020.

We calculate the death rate fell this week from 1.20% to 1.19% of all known cases, where it was a month ago. Health officials say the death rate isn’t rising with the new cases in large part because vaccinations are minimizing the severity of COVID-19 infections, including the delta variant, and protecting the most vulnerable adults: Almost 82% of adults over 65 and 67% of adults 55-64 are fully vaccinated.

Vaccinations

Daily numbers from vaccinators indicate more people are seeking vaccinations during this outbreak. The number of people getting a vaccine for the first time exceeded the number of people finishing their vaccine series for a 10th straight weekday (numbers aren’t reported on weekends). This week, almost twice as many people were listed getting a first shot (22,110) -- or for people getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, their only shot -- than completed their vaccination series (11,984).

The number of doses COVID-19 vaccine administered increased each of the past three weeks. It remains to be seen if that trend will continue for a 4th week.

Health officials blame the delta mutation of the COVID-19 virus, which the CDC says is as contagious as chickenpox and may be more dangerous than other variants so far. A CDC study found vaccinated people infected with the delta variant can carry a viral load as high as the unvaccinated, they’re just less affected by it. The CDC says vaccines are still highly effective at preventing a COVID-19 infection from leading to serious illness or death, even with the delta variant.

Children ages 12 to 15 continue to see the highest increase in the percentage by age group who received their first dose for the second straight report from the state. Local health departments and school districts have encouraged parents to get students vaccinated before school begins.

Wisconsin population vaccinated, by age group (and change since Tuesday)

  • 12-15: 34.9% received a dose (+0.4)/29.4% completed (+0.2)
  • 16-17: 43.5% received a dose (+0.3)/39.0% completed (+0.1)
  • 18-24: 45.1% received a dose (+0.2)/41.1% completed (+0.0)
  • 25-34: 49.4% received a dose (+0.1)/46.1% completed (+0.1)
  • 35-44: 57.4% received a dose (+0.2)/54.1% completed (+0.1)
  • 45-54: 59.6% received a dose (+0.2)/56.5% completed (+0.1)
  • 55-64: 69.7% received a dose (+0.1)/66.8% completed (+0.0)
  • 65+: 83.9% received a dose (+0.0)/81.8% completed (+0.0)

VACCINATIONS BY COUNTY POPULATION (WEDNESDAY)

County (Population) (Health region)% of population (change from previous report)Completed % of population (change from previous report)
Brown (264,542) (NE)52.3% (+0.1)49.8% (+0.0)
Calumet (50,089) (FV)47.1% (+0.0)44.8% (+0.0)
Dodge (87,839)42.1% (+0.2)39.8% (+0.0)
Door (27,668) (NE)67.5% (+0.2)65.1% (+0.1)
Fond du Lac (103,403) (SE)44.9% (+0.1)42.7% (+0.0)
Forest (9,004)42.9% (+0.0)41.0% (+0.0)
Florence (4,295) (NE)45.0% (+0.2)43.2% (+0.0)
Green Lake (18,913) (FV)46.1% (+0.1)43.9% (+0.0)
Kewaunee (20,434) (NE)42.1% (+0.1)40.8% (+0.0)
Manitowoc (78,981) (NE)49.3% (+0.1)46.8% (+0.0)
Marinette (40,350) (NE)43.2% (+0.1)41.0% (+0.0)
Menominee (4,556) (FV)55.2% (+0.4)50.4% (+0.1)
Oconto (37,930) (NE)43.6% (+0.1)41.8% (+0.0)
Outagamie (187,885) (FV)52.3% (+0.2)49.6% (+0.1)
Shawano (40,899) (FV)38.5% (+0.1)36.6% (+0.1)
Sheboygan (115,340) (SE)50.7% (+0.1)48.4% (+0.1)
Waupaca (50,990) (FV)45.0% (+0.1)43.0% (+0.1)
Waushara (24,443) (FV)37.1% (+0.1)35.5% (+0.0)
Winnebago (171,907) (FV)50.2% (+0.1)47.8% (+0.1)
NORTHEAST REGION (474,200) (NE)240,556 (50.7%) (+0.1)229,436 (48.4%) (+0.1)
FOX VALLEY REGION (549,682) (FV)267,091 (48.6%) (+0.1)253,987 (46.2%) (+0.1)
WISCONSIN (5,822,434)3,042,387 (52.3%) (+0.2)2,883,052 (49.5%) (+0.0)

To incentivize COVID-19 vaccinations, the state is offering free cream puffs at the Wisconsin State Fair to anyone who gets the Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson vaccine at a clinic in the fair in West Allis.

Outagamie County Public Health and the Wisconsin National Guard have partnered up on a COVID-19 vaccine clinic inside the Fox River Mall. The walk-in clinic near Scheels will operate on select dates through September 2, from 11 A.M. to 7 P.M. Get a list of dates on the Outagamie County website.

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

  • Brown – 32,359 cases (+25) (259 deaths)
  • Calumet – 5,930 cases (+5) (51 deaths)
  • Dickinson (Mich.)* - 2,438 cases (59 deaths)
  • Dodge – 12,167 cases (+5) (177 deaths)
  • Door – 2,657 cases (+2) (30 deaths)
  • Florence - 458 cases (13 deaths)
  • Fond du Lac – 12,796 cases (+26) (133 deaths)
  • Forest - 983 cases (+1) (24 deaths)
  • Gogebic (Mich.)* - 1,088 cases (24 deaths)
  • Green Lake - 1,639 cases (+2) (21 deaths)
  • Iron (Mich.)* – 1,005 cases (43 deaths)
  • Kewaunee – 2,392 cases (28 deaths)
  • Langlade - 2,066 cases (+2) (35 deaths)
  • Manitowoc – 7,728 cases (+4) (76 deaths)
  • Marinette - 4,266 cases (cases revised -2 by state) (68 deaths)
  • Menominee (Mich.)* - 1,815 cases (41 deaths)
  • Menominee – 812 cases (+1) (11 deaths)
  • Oconto – 4,599 cases (+1) (63 deaths)
  • Outagamie – 21,093 cases (+17) (226 deaths)
  • Shawano – 4,822 cases (+2) (73 deaths)
  • Sheboygan – 14,103 cases (+20) (154 deaths)
  • Waupaca – 5,035 cases (+3) (123 deaths)
  • Waushara – 2,239 cases (+2) (35 deaths)
  • Winnebago – 18,634 cases (+33) (204 deaths)

* The Wisconsin Department of Health Services and Wisconsin Hospital Association do not publish updates on weekends. Michigan Department of Health only updates information on Tuesdays and Fridays.

** Cases and deaths are from state COVID-19 reports, which may differ from local health department numbers. The Wisconsin 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.

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