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COVID-19 in Wisconsin: Death and hospitalization rates go down

1 in 4 children ages 5-11 in Wisconsin have completed their COVID-19 vaccinations
COVID-19 case numbers on the rise
COVID-19 case numbers on the rise(test)
Published: May. 17, 2022 at 2:53 PM CDT|Updated: May. 17, 2022 at 3:34 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) – The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) reported fewer than 2,000 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday. In the past 24 hours, 1,821 newly confirmed cases were reported to the state. The 1,821 cases were the most reported in 3 days, reversing the four-day trend of numbers declining each day since May 11. But, the 7-day average fell for the first time since May 2; the DHS says we averaged 2,149 daily cases over the last week, down from 2,193 a day ago.

In Northeast Wisconsin, 9 counties reported double-digit increases in cases, meaning a slight majority reported single-digit case numbers or none at all. County case totals are listed at the end of the article.

The positivity rate also went down for the first time since May 1, dipping slightly to 13.8% from 13.9%. That’s the percentage of all COVID-19 tests in the past week that came back positive. It’s still the highest since early February.

Wisconsin is averaging 2 deaths daily. Two recent deaths were reported to the DHS in the past day, including one in Outagamie County. The mortality rate for COVID-19 cases fell another hundredth of a percent from 0.90% to 0.89%. That’s for all known cases in Wisconsin since the pandemic began.

The hospitalization rate fell for a second day in a row, now at 4.19% of all cases resulting in a hospital stay. That’s down two-hundredths of a percent in two days. The DHS says 50 people were admitted for COVID-19 treatment since the last report but our calculated 7-day average remained the same at 35 patients per day.

Dr. Ashok Rai, president and CEO of Prevea Health, said on Action 2 News This Morning, “It’s still pretty early but we’re not seeing that rapid rise in hospitalizations. Are we seeing a rise in hospitalizations? Most definitely. Are we hitting double-digit numbers locally? We are. But the rate of rise is not as high as it has been. We hope it doesn’t go up. I think it’s really important, though, for people to protect themselves, get treatments to prevent those hospitalizations from going up. We have more tools now than we ever had to prevent those hospitalizations.”

Current COVID-19 patient numbers went down Tuesday after nearing 400 patients for the first time since March 6. The Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) reports 380 people are hospitalized for COVID treatment, 17 fewer than a day ago, with 41 of them in intensive care, down 3. The WHA numbers take discharges and deaths into account with new admissions.

Hospitals in the Northeast health care region have 40 COVID-19 patients, 1 in ICU -- 3 more patients but 2 fewer in intensive care than Monday. Hospitals in the Fox Valley are treating 18 people, down 4, with the ICU population unchanged with 2 COVID-19 patients.

The DHS says 1 in 4 children in Wisconsin who are 5 to 11 years old have received both their shots of COVID-19 vaccine. Tuesday the FDA approved booster shots for healthy kids at least 5 months after their last dose, but the plan needs final approval from the CDC. Vaccination rates have been slow for this young age group compared to teens. Although children have been more immune to the effects of the COVID-19 virus, often being asymptomatic if they’re infected, children made up a growing percentage of hospitalizations because older age groups are better protected by vaccinations.

Since the first shots to health care workers on December 14, 2020, almost 9.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Wisconsin -- whether first shots, second shots or boosters, into the arms of both Wisconsinites and out-of-state residents. So far, 9,284,077 have gone into the arms of Wisconsin residents.

Tuesday’s Vaccinations by Age Group

  • 5 to 11: 27.8% received vaccine/25.0% (+0.1) completed vaccinations
  • 12 to 17: 61.8% (+0.1) received vaccine/58.3% completed vaccinations/19.6% received booster
  • 18 to 24: 60.5% (+0.1) received vaccine/54.9% completed vaccinations/19.5% (+0.1) received booster
  • 25 to 34: 64.4% received vaccine/59.9% completed vaccinations/25.5% (+0.1) received booster
  • 35 to 44: 69.4% received vaccine/66.0% completed vaccinations/33.1% received booster
  • 45 to 54: 71.8% received vaccine/69.0% completed vaccinations/38.1% (+0.1) received booster
  • 55 to 64: 78.2% received vaccine/75.7% completed vaccinations/49.4% (+0.1) received booster
  • 65 and up: 85.4% received vaccine/82.6% completed vaccinations/67.8% received booster

Tuesday’s Vaccinations by County Population

County (Population)
(Health region)
% of population
with at least 1 dose
% of population
completed series
Brown (264,610) (NE)65.8%63.2%
Calumet (50,209) (FV)57.0%54.9%
Dodge (87,336)52.7% (+0.1)50.5%
Door (27,889) (NE)78.9% (+0.1)75.0% (+0.1)
Florence (4,298) (NE)53.0%50.2%
Fond du Lac (102,902) (SE)55.9%53.5% (+0.1)
Forest (8,960)52.9%50.4% (-0.1)
Green Lake (18,908) (FV)57.5% (+0.1)54.8%
Kewaunee (20,386) (NE)52.8%51.4%
Langlade (19,119)54.0%52.0% (+0.1)
Manitowoc (78,757) (NE)60.7%58.5%
Marinette (40,262) (NE)53.6%51.4% (-0.1)
Menominee (4,546) (FV)81.1% (+0.1)77.8%
Oconto (38,383) (NE)53.0%51.3%
Outagamie (188,766) (FV)64.4%61.8%
Shawano (40,786) (FV)48.0%46.4%
Sheboygan (115,240) (SE)63.1%60.6%
Waupaca (50,664) (FV)55.6%53.7%
Waushara (24,326) (FV)46.3% (+0.1)44.3%
Winnebago (171,631) (FV)62.4%59.6%
NORTHEAST REGION (474,585) (NE)298,972 (63.0%)287,265 (60.5%)
FOX VALLEY REGION (549,836) (FV)330,894 (60.2%)317,322 (57.7%)
WISCONSIN (5,832,655)3,754,465 (64.4%)3,567,098 (61.2%, +0.1)

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.

TUESDAY’S COUNTY CASE AND DEATH TOTALS* (boldface indicates changes since the last report)

  • Brown – 71,709 cases (+72) (426 deaths)
  • Calumet – 11,766 cases (+12) (99 deaths)
  • Dickinson (Mich.)** - 5,065 cases (88 deaths)
  • Dodge – 24,879 cases (+9) (295 deaths)
  • Door – 6,753 cases (+10) (61 deaths)
  • Florence - 822 cases (17 deaths)
  • Fond du Lac – 30,284 cases (+35) (259 deaths)
  • Forest - 2,457 cases (+3) (48 deaths)
  • Gogebic (Mich.)** - 2,771 cases (40 deaths)
  • Green Lake - 4,388 cases (+5) (55 deaths)
  • Iron (Mich.)** - 2,337 cases (70 deaths)
  • Kewaunee – 4,635 cases (+5) (42 deaths)
  • Langlade - 4,989 cases (+9) (75 deaths)
  • Manitowoc – 17,686 cases (+11) (160 deaths)
  • Marinette - 9,851 cases (+9) (108 deaths)
  • Menominee – 1,934 (14 deaths)
  • Menominee (Mich.)** - 3,981 cases (60 deaths)
  • Oconto – 9,446 cases (+5) (97 deaths)
  • Outagamie – 43,417 cases (+39) (357 deaths) (+1)*
  • Shawano – 10,099 cases (+10) (129 deaths)
  • Sheboygan – 30,055 cases (+23) (271 deaths)
  • Waupaca – 11,560 cases (+8) (195 deaths)
  • Waushara – 5,127 cases (+8) (70 deaths)
  • Winnebago – 45,439 cases (+63) (334 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 county information on Wednesdays.

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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