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COVID-19 in Wisconsin: Cases and vaccinations up; hospitalizations and deaths stay low

The state reported over 800 cases for 3 days in a row. First-time vaccinations rose 6 days in a row.
COVID-19 case numbers on the rise
COVID-19 case numbers on the rise(test)
Published: Apr. 15, 2022 at 2:58 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 15, 2022 at 3:37 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) – Coronavirus cases are on the rise across the U.S., including Wisconsin, but in the Badger State so are vaccinations.

There were 804 positive tests in the latest results, about the same as Thursday. The 7-day average is 626 cases per day. That’s down from Thursday, but that’s because the average no longer includes the anomalous 1,500 cases reported last week when a backlog was suddenly cleared in the disease surveillance system. Wisconsin has confirmed slightly more than 800 new cases three days in a row for the first time since February 21-23.

Florence, Forest and Menominee counties didn’t report any new cases Friday (Menominee’s case count was revised). Four counties we’re tracking in Northeast Wisconsin had new cases in double digits, and the other 13 had single-digit increases. Yesterday, Wisconsin passed 1.4 million people infected with the COVID-19 virus since the start of the pandemic.

The positivity rate continues to climb. It crossed the 5% mark yesterday, and it’s at 5.4% of all tests in the past week positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.

The state is still averaging 3 COVID-19 deaths per day. The death toll grew by 7 but the state says 5 of those were not recent. No deaths were reported in Northeast Wisconsin. County-by-county case and death totals for WBAY’s greater viewing area are listed at the end of this article.

There were only 4 hospitalizations for COVID-19 in the last 24-hour period. At this rate, by this time next week we’ll have an all-time tally of 60,000 people hospitalized for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. Right now the hospitalization rate is steady at 4.28% of all cases.

The Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) reported a drop in hospitalizations Friday, taking discharges and deaths into account. There are 140 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized, 30 of them in ICU. It’s the fewest COVID-19 patients in hospitals at one time since July 19, even improving upon the low number we reported Wednesday.

Twelve of these patients are in hospitals in the Northeast health care region, including 4 in ICU; that’s 4 fewer people in hospitals since Thursday but the number in intensive care is the same. Fox Valley hospitals have 3 COVID patients, 1 fewer than the day before, with none in ICU.

As we wrote at the beginning, vaccinations are also higher. Numbers from the DHS show the rolling, 7-day average of Wisconsinites getting their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine rose for the sixth day in a row. The rolling average for people completing vaccinations is up 5 days in a row. The 7-day average for booster shots is up for a 4th day in a row.

We have tables of vaccinations by age group and county later in this article.

ILLNESS AFTER VACCINATION

The omicron variant remains the dominant version of the COVID-19 virus. As we’ve reported, it’s generally milder than other variants but highly contagious. Thursday, the DHS worked through data issues for the past few months and released comparisons of vaccinated and unvaccinated cases. The side-by-side comparison of cases last month is nearly the same. The difference is in how severe the cases were.

Comparisons of vaccinated and unvaccinated persons for COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and...
Comparisons of vaccinated and unvaccinated persons for COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in March 2022(Wisconsin Department of Health Services)

Against the omicron variant, the vaccinated and unvaccinated/not-fully-vaccinated had almost a 1:1 chance of getting infected -- 195.9 cases per 100,000 fully vaccinated people compared to 205.5 cases per 100,000 who weren’t fully vaccinated. However, people who were fully vaccinated were 2.4 times less likely to be hospitalized for treatment and 3.4 times less likely to die.

Going deeper into the numbers, among the fully-vaccinated people who were infected, 2.76% were hospitalized and 1.02% died from it. Among the rest, 6.37% of the infected were hospitalized and 3.11% died. (Compare that to the overall death rate of 0.92% over this entire pandemic.)

The DHS never released side-by-side comparison graphics for the omicron surge in January or February -- there were over 342,000 cases in January, so we probably would’ve broken our thumb scrolling through the image -- but the DHS did belatedly release the numbers. Compared to last month, the omicron virus took a much heavier toll on the unvaccinated and not-fully vaccinated in January and February:

January 2022February 2022
For every 100,000 vaccinated:

5,229.8 cases

52.8 hospitalizations (1.01% of infections)

9.6 deaths (0.18% of infections)

For every 100,000 unvaccinated/ not fully vaccinated:

6,726.1 cases

178.6 hospitalizations (2.66% of infections)

70.6 deaths (1.05% of infections)
For every 100,000 vaccinated:

670.9 cases

15.5 hospitalizations (2.31% of infections)

4.7 deaths (0.70% of infections)

For every 100,000 unvaccinated/ not fully vaccinated:

857.3 cases

43.7 hospitalizations (5.10% of infections)

25.8 deaths (3.01% of infections)

VACCINATIONS

The statewide COVID-19 vaccination rates were unchanged with 64.2% of Wisconsin residents (3,745,977 people) getting a shot and 60.9% (3,554,423) completing their vaccinations. The DHS says 33.8% of the state’s population received a booster dose.

No age group showed a change from the previous day’s report. In Northeast Wisconsin, only Langlade, Menominee and Waushara counties saw a change in the percentage of residents vaccinated.

Friday’s Vaccinations by Age Group

  • 5 to 11: 27.4% received vaccine/24.5% completed vaccinations
  • 12 to 17: 61.4% received vaccine/57.9% completed vaccinations
  • 18 to 24: 60.1% received vaccine/54.6% completed vaccinations
  • 25 to 34: 64.2% received vaccine/59.6% completed vaccinations
  • 35 to 44: 69.2% received vaccine/65.8% completed vaccinations
  • 45 to 54: 71.6% received vaccine/68.8% completed vaccinations
  • 55 to 64: 78.1% received vaccine/75.5% completed vaccinations
  • 65 and up: 85.5% received vaccine/82.4% completed vaccinations

Friday’s Vaccinations by County Population

County (Population)
(Health region)
% of population
with at least 1 dose
% of population
completed series
Brown (264,542) (NE)65.7%63.0%
Calumet (50,089) (FV)56.9%54.8%
Dodge (87,839)52.6%50.3%
Door (27,668) (NE)78.6%74.5%
Florence (4,295) (NE)52.8%50.1%
Fond du Lac (103,403) (SE)55.8%53.3%
Forest (9,004)52.7%50.2%
Green Lake (18,913) (FV)57.3%54.6%
Kewaunee (20,434) (NE)52.7%51.1%
Langlade (19,189)54.0% (+0.1)51.8%
Manitowoc (78,981) (NE)60.5%58.3%
Marinette (40,350) (NE)53.5%51.1%
Menominee (4,556) (FV)80.6% (+0.1)76.9% (+0.1)
Oconto (37,930) (NE)52.9%51.1%
Outagamie (187,885) (FV)64.3%61.6%
Shawano (40,899) (FV)47.9%46.3%
Sheboygan (115,340) (SE)63.0%60.4%
Waupaca (50,990) (FV)55.5%53.6%
Waushara (24,443) (FV)46.2% (+0.1)44.2% (+0.1)
Winnebago (171,907) (FV)62.3%59.4%
NORTHEAST REGION (474,200) (NE)298,313 (62.9%, +0.1)286,269 (60.3%)
FOX VALLEY REGION (549,682) (FV)330,304 (60.1%)316,419 (57.5%)
WISCONSIN (5,822,434)3,745,977 (64.2%)3,554,423 (60.9%)

To find free COVID-19 vaccination sites near you, text your ZIP Code to 438829. Visit wbay.com/vaccine for a list of health care organizations offering vaccine shots.

FRIDAY’S COUNTY CASE AND DEATH TOTALS (boldface indicates increase since last report)

Note: Michigan now only updates county case and death totals on Wednesdays

  • Brown – 70,234 cases (+34) (423 deaths)
  • Calumet – 11,544 cases (+7) (99 deaths)
  • Dickinson (Mich.) - 4,987 cases (86 deaths)
  • Dodge – 24,520 cases (+6) (294 deaths)
  • Door – 6,598 cases (+3) (61 deaths)
  • Florence - 813 cases (16 deaths)
  • Fond du Lac – 29,487 cases (+6) (253 deaths)
  • Forest - 2,431 cases (48 deaths)
  • Gogebic (Mich.) - 2,734 cases (40 deaths)
  • Green Lake - 4,227 cases (+5) (54 deaths)
  • Iron (Mich.) - 2,311 cases (71 deaths)
  • Kewaunee – 4,557 cases (+1) (42 deaths)
  • Langlade - 4,878 cases (+2) (73 deaths)
  • Manitowoc – 17,317 cases (+12) (158 deaths)
  • Marinette - 9,680 cases (+1) (104 deaths)
  • Menominee – 1,845 (cases revised -1 by state) (14 deaths)
  • Menominee (Mich.) - 3,945 cases (60 deaths)
  • Oconto – 9,328 cases (+2) (96 deaths)
  • Outagamie – 42,495 cases (+10) (355 deaths)
  • Shawano – 9,749 cases (+1) (127 deaths)
  • Sheboygan – 29,430 cases (+6) (266 deaths)
  • Waupaca – 11,334 cases (+1) (194 deaths)
  • Waushara – 4,996 cases (+1) (70 deaths)
  • Winnebago – 44,028 cases (+26) (332 deaths)

You can find cases and deaths for all 72 Wisconsin counties on the DHS County Data website and for Michigan counties on the Michigan Department of Health COVID-19 website. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services and Wisconsin Hospital Association publish updates Mondays through Fridays. Michigan Department of Health updates information on Mondays, Wednesdays 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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