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COVID-19 in Wisconsin: Virus activity “very high” in 56 counties

COVID-19 numbers jumped Wednesday, as we’ve seen happen after other holidays
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Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 2:48 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 8, 2021 at 3:54 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reports the spread of COVID-19 remains very high in 56 counties (updated number) and high in the other 16. But in positive news, the DHS says the virus’s spread shows “no significant change” over the past two weeks. Between August 25 and September 7, there were 463.3 cases confirmed for every 100,000 people in Wisconsin. That’s up from 440.1 cases per 100,000 in the previous two-week period, but the number of cases were increasing over that two-week period (the “trajectory”). Are we reaching a plateau? We might have to wait another week for that answer.

The spread of the virus is “very high” in all the counties in WBAY’s viewing area except Menominee County. Over the two-week period there was no significant change in case numbers in 13 of the counties we’re following. The state says case numbers are shrinking in Calumet, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Manitowoc and Waupaca counties. Case numbers are growing in Florence County.

After a post-holiday slump, Wisconsin’s COVID-19 numbers took a post-holiday jump on Wednesday. The same thing happened on December 27, January 4, and the 6th of July, as medical clinics and facilities resumed normal schedules, coronavirus testing increased, and local health department staff may have done catch-up on records following a break.

Wisconsin’s COVID-19 death toll increased by 19, to 7,686 lives lost. Seventeen of these happened within the past 30 days and are counted towards the 7-day average. The state is averaging 8 deaths per day. Dodge, Outagamie, Shawano, Waupaca and Winnebago counties reported one death each.

The DHS says the state is averaging 1,590 new coronavirus cases daily, up slightly from the rolling average of 1,583 on Tuesday. It further reports 8.4% of all tests in the past 7-day period came back positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, compared to 8.0% a day ago but more in line with the 8.3% positivity rate reported before the Labor Day weekend. The state identified 2,064 new cases in the latest batch of test results. Every county in WBAY’s viewing area saw an increase in cases since Tuesday’s report (county case and death totals are listed in this article).

There were 187 more hospital admissions for COVID-19 reported in the past 24-hour period, but taking discharges and deaths into account, the number of patients currently hospitalized went down. The Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) reports there are 1,039 COVID-19 patients statewide, and 313 of them are in intensive care. That’s 2 fewer in ICU and 6 fewer overall compared to Tuesday. Hospitals in the Northeast health care region have 90 patients, with 31 in ICU -- no change in the ICU numbers but 6 fewer overall. Fox Valley region hospitals are treating 70 patients, which is 2 more than a day ago, with 11 of them in ICU, which is 3 fewer. Since the pandemic began, 5.42% of cases have resulted in hospitalization.

The Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene says 100% of the case samples that underwent genetic testing over the last two weeks were the delta variant. Three weeks ago, the delta variant was found in 98.74% of samples. Only a fraction of cases are sampled for genetic testing to determine which variants are dominant and if new mutations appear. A new variant, known as mu, has been detected elsewhere in the U.S.; there are concerns it has vaccine resistance, but it doesn’t appear to be as contagious as the delta variant.

As we’ve reported, the delta variant is more contagious and is more likely to cause serious symptoms, even death, than the original COVID-19 virus that reached Wisconsin in February, 2020. These include so-called breakthrough cases among people who are fully vaccinated, though they represent a fraction of the number of patients who are unvaccinated or haven’t completed the vaccination process.

So far, 52.0% of Wisconsin’s entire population has completed vaccinations against COVID-19, including 62.6% of adults. That’s 3,027,602 people.

A total 3,224,764 people have received at least one dose of vaccine, which is 55.4% of the state’s population, including 66.3% of adults. Almost 50% of Wisconsinites (49.7%) ages 16 to 24 have received at least one dose of vaccine. Kids 12 to 15 aren’t far behind, with 43.7% of their age group getting the vaccine.

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)56.0% (+0.0)52.7% (+0.1)
Calumet (50,089) (FV)50.2% (+0.0)47.5% (+0.0)
Dodge (87,839)45.2% (+0.0)42.2% (+0.1)
Door (27,668) (NE)70.3% (+0.1)67.3% (+0.1)
Fond du Lac (103,403) (SE)48.2% (+0.1)45.1% (+0.1)
Forest (9,004)45.3% (+0.1)42.9% (+0.1)
Florence (4,295) (NE)46.2% (+0.0)44.6% (+0.2)
Green Lake (18,913) (FV)49.4% (+0.1)46.2% (+0.1)
Kewaunee (20,434) (NE)45.5% (+0.1)43.0% (+0.1)
Manitowoc (78,981) (NE)52.6% (+0.0)49.6% (+0.0)
Marinette (40,350) (NE)46.1% (+0.1)43.2% (+0.1)
Menominee (4,556) (FV)65.0% (+0.2)56.5% (+0.2)
Oconto (37,930) (NE)46.8% (+0.1)44.2% (+0.1)
Outagamie (187,885) (FV)55.7% (+0.0)52.5% (+0.0)
Shawano (40,899) (FV)41.4% (+0.1)38.7% (+0.1)
Sheboygan (115,340) (SE)53.9% (+0.0)51.0% (+0.1)
Waupaca (50,990) (FV)48.3% (+0.1)45.3% (+0.0)
Waushara (24,443) (FV)39.4% (+0.0)37.4% (+0.1)
Winnebago (171,907) (FV)53.6% (+0.1)50.3% (+0.0)
NORTHEAST REGION (474,200) (NE)256,876 (54.2%) (+0.1)242,036 (51.0%) (+0.0)
FOX VALLEY REGION (549,682) (FV)285,297 (51.9%) (+0.0)268,254 (48.8%) (+0.0)
WISCONSIN (5,822,434)3,224,764 (55.4%) (+0.1)3,027,602 (52.0%) (+0.1)

Wisconsinites getting COVID-19 vaccine, by age group (and change since last report)

  • 12-15: 43.7% received vaccine (+0.1)/37.1% fully vaccinated (+0.2)
  • 16-17: 49.7% received vaccine (+0.0)/44.4% fully vaccinated (+0.2)
  • 18-24: 49.7% received vaccine (+0.1)/44.4% fully vaccinated (+0.0)
  • 25-34: 53.9% received vaccine (+0.1)/49.1% fully vaccinated (+0.1)
  • 35-44: 61.6% received vaccine (+0.1)/57.2% fully vaccinated (+0.1)
  • 45-54: 63.2% received vaccine (+0.1)/59.4% fully vaccinated (+0.1)
  • 55-64: 72.4% received vaccine (+0.1)/69.3% fully vaccinated (+0.1)
  • 65 and up: 85.0% received vaccine (+0.1)/82.9% fully vaccinated (+0.0)

The community vaccination clinic inside Fox River Mall in Grand Chute will resume Thursday, September 9. Outagamie County Public Health says the clinic, near the food court and Scheels, will be open from 11 A.M. to 7 P.M. on select dates through December 15. No appointment is necessary for this walk-in clinic. There’s no cost and no ID required. The list of dates will be updated on the Outagamie County website.

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, the Oneida Nation and Options for Independent Living announced they’re holding free vaccination clinics at NWTC. No appointment is necessary for the clinic, and anyone who is at least 12 years old is eligible for the vaccine. The last clinic is next Tuesday, September 14, from 1 to 4 P.M. If you’d like to attend the clinic, but need help with transportation, you’re asked to call 920-490-0500.

WEDNESDAY’S COUNTY CASE AND DEATH TOTALS (increase since the last report is in bold)**

  • Brown – 34,489 cases (+114) (263 deaths)
  • Calumet – 6,306 cases (+14) (52 deaths)
  • Dickinson (Mich.)* - 2,539 cases (+40) (60 deaths) (+1)
  • Dodge – 12,923 cases (+12) (180 deaths) (+1)
  • Door – 2,859 cases (+5) (30 deaths)
  • Florence - 470 cases (+8) (13 deaths)
  • Fond du Lac – 13,798 cases (+16) (137 deaths)
  • Forest - 1,103 cases (+20) (24 deaths)
  • Gogebic (Mich.)* - 1,178 cases (+13) (24 deaths)
  • Green Lake - 1,834 cases (+12) (23 deaths)
  • Iron (Mich.)* – 1,093 cases (+16) (43 deaths)
  • Kewaunee – 2,519 cases (+6) (29 deaths)
  • Langlade - 2,255 cases (+14) (35 deaths)
  • Manitowoc – 8,258 cases (+19) (78 deaths)
  • Marinette - 4,523 cases (+22) (69 deaths)
  • Menominee (Mich.)* - 2,016 cases (+22) (42 deaths)
  • Menominee – 847 cases (+1) (11 deaths)
  • Oconto – 4,944 cases (+19) (64 deaths)
  • Outagamie – 22,314 cases (+64) (230 deaths) (+1)
  • Shawano – 5,111 cases (+33) (74 deaths) (+1)
  • Sheboygan – 14,971 cases (+17) (156 deaths)
  • Waupaca – 5,390 cases (+11) (129 deaths) (+1)
  • Waushara – 2,391 cases (+10) (38 deaths)
  • Winnebago – 19,968 cases (+66) (207 deaths) (+1)

* The Wisconsin Department of Health Services and Wisconsin Hospital Association do not publish updates on weekends. Update: Michigan Department of Health updates information on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Due to the Labor Day holiday, Michigan’s numbers were not updated today.

** 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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