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COVID-19 in Wisconsin: Fast rise, slow fall

35 counties have moderate levels and 19 have low levels
Public Health Madison Dane County shared that over the last month daily cases are in a steady...
Public Health Madison Dane County shared that over the last month daily cases are in a steady decline.(NBC)
Published: May. 24, 2022 at 2:25 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) – Wisconsin health officials reported the most new COVID-19 cases in 3 days Tuesday, but the 7-day average continued its slow decline since its latest peak on May 15.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) says tests confirmed 1,598 cases in the last 24-hour period, about 50% more than the 1,055 cases confirmed a day earlier. Still, the 7-day average slipped from 1,918 to 1,871 cases per day. To date, there are 1,461,465 confirmed COVID-19 cases, equivalent to 1 in 4 Wisconsinites (25.1%) testing positive for COVID-19 at some point in the pandemic.

The positivity rate -- the percentage of all tests that are positive for the COVID-19 virus -- continues to fall. It’s now 12.2%, down from 12.5% a day earlier, after reaching its latest peak of 14.1% nine days ago.

The change in the state’s death count was more dramatic, with four deaths removed from the COVID-19 death toll. Possible reasons for this are COVID-19 was determined not to be a contributing factor in a death after further investigation, or a person was counted twice, such as by their county of residence and the county where they died. There were no recent deaths reported to the DHS, leaving the tally at 12,962, or 0.89% of all known cases. With the revision, Wisconsin’s 7-day average is 1 COVID-19 death per day.

Almost 61,000 people have been hospitalized for COVID-19 since the pandemic began, which is 4.17% of all known cases. The hospitalization rate is down from 4.18% last Friday. By our estimate, Wisconsin is averaging 31 hospitalizations per day for COVID-19 treatment.

Tuesday, the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) reported 332 people hospitalized for COVID-19, 20 fewer than the day before, with 53 of them in intensive care -- a day earlier there were 54 in ICU, the most in ICU since March 13.

Northeast health care region hospitals were treating 26 of those patients, 2 in ICU. The Fox Valley region had 21 COVID-19 patients, 5 of them in ICU.

The number of Wisconsinites completing their vaccinations reached a new low with a 7-day average of 359 per day. We told you that was going to happen when first-time vaccinations hit all-time lows three and four weeks ago; since the vast majority were getting Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, the second doses are required three or four weeks later, respectively. First-time vaccinations have not rebounded much since then.

Tuesday’s Vaccinations by Age Group (and change in percentages since Friday)

  • 5 to 11: 27.9% (+0.1) received vaccine/25.1% (+0.1) completed vaccinations/0.0% received booster
  • 12 to 17: 61.8% received vaccine/58.4% (+0.1) completed vaccinations/19.8% (+0.1) received booster
  • 18 to 24: 60.5% received vaccine/55.0% (+0.1) completed vaccinations/19.6% (+0.1) received booster
  • 25 to 34: 64.5% (+0.1) received vaccine/59.9% completed vaccinations/25.6% (+0.1) 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/38.2% (+0.1) received booster
  • 55 to 64: 78.2% received vaccine/75.7% completed vaccinations/49.5% (+0.1) received booster
  • 65 and up: 85.4% received vaccine/82.6% completed vaccinations/67.9% received booster

Tuesday’s Vaccinations by County Population (and change in percentages since Friday)

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)52.9% (-0.1)50.2% (-0.1)
Fond du Lac (102,902) (SE)55.9%53.5%
Forest (8,960)52.9%50.5% (+0.1)
Green Lake (18,908) (FV)57.5%54.9%
Kewaunee (20,386) (NE)52.7% (-0.1)51.3% (-0.1)
Langlade (19,119)54.0% (-0.1)52.0%
Manitowoc (78,757) (NE)60.8%58.6% (+0.1)
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%61.9% (+0.1)
Shawano (40,786) (FV)48.0%46.4%
Sheboygan (115,240) (SE)63.1%60.7% (+0.1)
Waupaca (50,664) (FV)55.6%53.8%
Waushara (24,326) (FV)46.3%44.4%
Winnebago (171,631) (FV)62.4%59.6%
NORTHEAST REGION (474,585) (NE)299,149 (63.0%)287,407 (60.6%, +0.1)
FOX VALLEY REGION (549,836) (FV)331,050 (60.2%)317,533 (57.8%, +0.1)
WISCONSIN (5,832,655)3,756,461 (64.4%)3,569,611 (61.2%)

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*

  • Brown – 72,209 cases (426 deaths)
  • Calumet – 11,829 cases (99 deaths)
  • Dickinson (Mich.)** - 5,088 cases (88 deaths)
  • Dodge – 25,005 cases (294 deaths)
  • Door – 6,798 cases (61 deaths)
  • Florence - 824 cases (17 deaths)
  • Fond du Lac – 30,453 cases (259 deaths)
  • Forest - 2,473 cases (48 deaths)
  • Gogebic (Mich.)** - 2,797 cases (40 deaths)
  • Green Lake - 4,424 cases (55 deaths)
  • Iron (Mich.)** - 2,349 cases (71 deaths)
  • Kewaunee – 4,657 cases (42 deaths)
  • Langlade - 5,021 cases (75 deaths)
  • Manitowoc – 17,751 cases (161 deaths)
  • Marinette - 9,911 cases (108 deaths)
  • Menominee – 1,945 cases (14 deaths)
  • Menominee (Mich.)** - 4,013 cases (60 deaths)
  • Oconto – 9,484 cases (97 deaths)
  • Outagamie – 43,666 cases (357 deaths)
  • Shawano – 10,159 cases (129 deaths)
  • Sheboygan – 30,256 cases (271 deaths)
  • Waupaca – 11,650 cases (195 deaths)
  • Waushara – 5,168 cases (70 deaths)
  • Winnebago – 45,814 cases (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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