CDC: 18 Wisconsin counties have high COVID-19 levels

35 counties have moderate levels and 19 have low levels
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 3:02 PM CDT|Updated: May. 20, 2022 at 3:40 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report 18 counties in Wisconsin have high levels of COVID-19, including Marinette County and a number that border WBAY’s wider viewing area: Lincoln, Marathon, Ozaukee and Washington. The CDC says face masks are strongly recommended in counties with high community spread along with more attention to other mitigation efforts: social distancing, reducing gatherings outside your household, more frequent use of hand sanitizer and/or washing hands, and cleaning high-touch surfaces.

There are 35 counties where COVID-19 levels are moderate. Counties with low levels of COVID-19 in the community are a minority, with 19. A week ago, 7 counties had high levels, all on the western side and southeastern corner of Wisconsin. In WBAY’s viewing area the counties break down this way:

  • High: Marinette
  • Medium: Brown, Door, Florence, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Langlade, Menominee, Shawano, Sheboygan, Waushara, Winnebago
  • Low: Calumet, Dodge, Forest, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Oconto, Outagamie, Waupaca
A map of COVID-19 levels by county. The CDC bases these labels on new cases and hospitalizations.
A map of COVID-19 levels by county. The CDC bases these labels on new cases and hospitalizations.(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention via Wisconsin Department of Health Services)

The CDC bases these labels on the number of new cases per 100,000 residents in the past week, the number of hospital admissions per capita in the past week, and the percentage of hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients.

Numbers from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) suggest we should be seeing some improvement soon. The DHS says Wisconsin averaged 1,980 cases per day, putting the 7-day average below 2,000 for the first time in 11 days, since May 9. That’s despite tests confirming an above-average 2,143 new cases in last 24-hour period -- but new cases are staying below the numbers we hit a week ago, bringing that average down.

Half of the 20 counties we’re tracking had double-digit new case numbers. Eight had single-digit increases. After a day without any county reporting zero cases, today we have two: Florence and Menominee. Langlade County crossed 5,000 cases (5,005), which equivalent to more than 1 in 4 residents (26.2%) testing positive at some point during the pandemic.

The positivity rate fell for a fourth straight day, which is a positive sign with no pun intended. It’s at 12.9%, the first time below 13% since May 9. The positivity rate is the percentage of all COVID-19 tests in the last week that are positive for the virus.

The 7-day average for deaths went back up to 2 deaths per day after just one day below that. The DHS added 5 people to COVID-19 death toll, and all 5 people died within the last 30 days. One of them was from Manitowoc County.

The hospitalization rate fell for the sixth time in 15 days to 4.18% of all cases resulting in a hospital stay. The DHS reports 37 people were hospitalized for COVID-19 care in the last 24-hour period, slightly above our 7-day average of 33 per day.

The Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) reported 343 COVID-19 patients were in hospitals Friday, 8 more than the day before, with the number in ICU unchanged; 53 of those 343 patients are in intensive care.

Hospitals in the 7-county Northeast health care region had 30 patients, with 2 in ICU; that’s 3 more COVID-19 patients in hospitals, with 1 more in ICU, since Thursday. Hospitals in the 8-county Fox Valley region are treating 19 patients, 5 in ICU; coincidentally, it’s also 3 more COVID-19 patients, 1 more in ICU.

The number of Wisconsinites completing their COVID-19 vaccine series hit a new low, with an average 360 over the past week. It was not surprising, since that metric naturally followed the lows for first vaccinations by 3 or 4 weeks -- the time between doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, respectively. All of the other vaccination metrics have been up, just slightly, since then, including the number of Wisconsinites having at least one shot.

Despite that, the only improvements in vaccinations in Northeast Wisconsin counties Friday were in people completing their vaccine series.

Friday’s Vaccinations by Age Group (no age groups showed any change in percentages Friday)

  • 5 to 11: 27.8% received vaccine/25.0% completed vaccinations
  • 12 to 17: 61.8% received vaccine/58.3% completed vaccinations/19.7% received booster
  • 18 to 24: 60.5% received vaccine/54.9% completed vaccinations/19.5% received booster
  • 25 to 34: 64.4% received vaccine/59.9% completed vaccinations/25.5% received booster
  • 35 to 44: 69.4% received vaccine/66.0% completed vaccinations/33.2% received booster
  • 45 to 54: 71.8% received vaccine/69.0% completed vaccinations/38.1% received booster
  • 55 to 64: 78.2% received vaccine/75.7% completed vaccinations/49.4% received booster
  • 65 and up: 85.4% received vaccine/82.6% completed vaccinations/67.9% received booster

Friday’s Vaccinations by County Population

County (Population)
(Health region)
% of population
with at least 1 dose
% of population
completed series
Brown (264,610) (NE)65.9%63.2%
Calumet (50,209) (FV)57.0%54.9%
Dodge (87,336)52.7%50.5%
Door (27,889) (NE)78.9%75.0%
Florence (4,298) (NE)53.0%50.3%
Fond du Lac (102,902) (SE)55.9%53.5%
Forest (8,960)52.9%50.4%
Green Lake (18,908) (FV)57.5%54.9% (+0.1)
Kewaunee (20,386) (NE)52.8%51.4%
Langlade (19,119)54.1%52.0%
Manitowoc (78,757) (NE)60.8% (+0.1)58.5%
Marinette (40,262) (NE)53.6%51.4%
Menominee (4,546) (FV)81.2%77.9%
Oconto (38,383) (NE)53.1%51.3%
Outagamie (188,766) (FV)64.5%61.8%
Shawano (40,786) (FV)48.0%46.4%
Sheboygan (115,240) (SE)63.1%60.6%
Waupaca (50,664) (FV)55.6%53.8% (+0.1)
Waushara (24,326) (FV)46.3%44.4% (+0.1)
Winnebago (171,631) (FV)62.4%59.6%
NORTHEAST REGION (474,585) (NE)299,074 (63.0%)287,343 (60.5%)
FOX VALLEY REGION (549,836) (FV)330,981 (60.2%)317,440 (57.7%)
WISCONSIN (5,832,655)3,755,978 (64.4%)3,568,933 (61.2%)

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

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

  • Brown – 71,950 cases (+81) (426 deaths)
  • Calumet – 11,787 cases (+8) (99 deaths)
  • Dickinson (Mich.)** - 5,088 cases (88 deaths)
  • Dodge – 24,939 cases (+12) (294 deaths)
  • Door – 6,773 cases (+6) (61 deaths)
  • Florence - 823 cases (17 deaths)
  • Fond du Lac – 30,377 cases (+32) (259 deaths)
  • Forest - 2,462 cases (+5) (48 deaths)
  • Gogebic (Mich.)** - 2,797 cases (40 deaths)
  • Green Lake - 4,409 cases (+4) (55 deaths)
  • Iron (Mich.)** - 2,349 cases (71 deaths)
  • Kewaunee – 4,649 cases (+2) (42 deaths)
  • Langlade - 5,003 cases (+5) (75 deaths)
  • Manitowoc – 17,751 cases (+17) (161 deaths) (+1)
  • Marinette - 9,885 cases (+10) (108 deaths)
  • Menominee – 1,937 cases (14 deaths)
  • Menominee (Mich.)** - 4,013 cases (60 deaths)
  • Oconto – 9,465 cases (+8) (97 deaths)
  • Outagamie – 43,548 cases (+41) (357 deaths)
  • Shawano – 10,128 cases (+12) (129 deaths)
  • Sheboygan – 30,155 cases (+28) (271 deaths)
  • Waupaca – 11,611 cases (+16) (195 deaths)
  • Waushara – 5,147 cases (+2) (70 deaths)
  • Winnebago – 45,649 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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