COVID-19 in Wisconsin: Cases rising; deaths and hospital admissions down Friday

COVID-19 case numbers on the rise
COVID-19 case numbers on the rise(test)
Published: Jul. 22, 2022 at 2:32 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 22, 2022 at 4:24 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) – The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported fewer than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases Friday, for the first time in 3 days, but the 1,919 new cases weren’t enough to pull down the rising 7-day average. The DHS says Wisconsin is averaging 1,689 cases per day. That rolling average is up from 1,667 a day earlier.

Fifteen of the 20 counties we’re tracking had a double-digit increase in cases and three had single-digit increases. Florence County didn’t report a new case, and Forest County’s total was revised.

The positivity rate -- that is, the percentage of all COVID-19 tests that are positive -- is up to 14.4% over the past week, the highest it’s been since early February. Wisconsin was still easing off the omicron surge at the time. The recent increase in numbers is blamed on BA.5, a highly contagious mutation of COVID-19′s omicron -- yes, a variant of a variant.

As we reported here yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 16 Wisconsin counties have high community levels of COVID-19. These include Brown and Door counties. This is based on new COVID-19 cases per capita, COVID-19 hospitalizations per capita, and the percentage of hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients.

A majority of the state has medium, or elevated, community levels, including 10 of the 20 counties we’re tracking in WBAY’s greater viewing area.

Here’s how the 72 counties are labeled (counties in WBAY’s greater viewing area are in boldface):

  • High: Barron, Brown, Columbia, Dane, Door, Eau Claire, Grant, Green, Iowa, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Portage, Richland, Rock, Rusk, Sawyer (16)
  • Medium: Ashland, Bayfield, Buffalo, Burnett, Chippewa, Crawford, Dunn, Fond du Lac, Forest, Green Lake, Jackson, Jefferson Iron, Kewaunee, La Crosse, Lafayette, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Marinette, Marquette, Menominee, Oconto, Oneida, Ozaukee, Pepin, Polk, Price, Racine, Sauk, Sheboygan, Trempeleau, Vilas, Washburn, Washington, Waukesha, Winnebago, Wood (38)
  • Low: Adams, Calumet, Clark, Dodge, Douglas, Florence, Juneau, Manitowoc, Monroe, Outagamie, Pierce, St. Croix, Shawano, Taylor, Vernon, Walworth, Waupaca, Waushara (18)
CDC map of COVID-19 Community Levels by county for the week ending July 21, 2022
CDC map of COVID-19 Community Levels by county for the week ending July 21, 2022(CDC)

People living in or visiting counties where there are high community levels of coronavirus are encouraged to take the extra precautions we’ve heard so much over the last two years: Wear a mask in public, avoid crowds, social distance, wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.

Menominee County passed 2,000 total COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began -- that’s 44% of the county’s population. The 15 COVID-19 deaths are 0.75% of the cases, which is better than the state’s death rate of 0.85%. Menominee County has one of the highest vaccination rates in the state: 81.7% of the population received at least one dose, 78.4% completed their vaccine series, and 49.5% of the population also got a booster.

Wisconsin’s 7-day average of COVID-19 deaths fell back to a two-month low of 1 death per day. People from Oconto and Jefferson counties were added to the state’s death toll. The death in Oconto County isn’t included in the average because the person died more than 30 days ago.

DHS numbers show 29 people were hospitalized for COVID-19 in the past day. It’s the fewest reported on weekday since July 7 and only the fourth time in two months there were fewer than 30 people hospitalized in a day. (We aren’t counting Mondays, when the state publishes a cumulative total from the weekend.)

There were 462 people with COVID-19 in hospitals Friday, the same as Thursday, according to the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHS), the most since March 3. Out of these, 69 are in intensive care, which is 8 more than Thursday.

The patients include 47 in the Northeast health care region, with 6 in ICU -- 3 more in intensive care and 9 more people in hospitals than the day before. There are 6 patients in Fox Valley hospitals, half of them in ICU, which is 2 fewer patients in intensive care and 7 fewer COVID-19 patients overall.

Friday’s Vaccinations by Age Group (and change since last report)

  • 5 to 11: 28.7% (+0.1) received vaccine/25.8% completed vaccinations/0.0% received booster
  • 12 to 17: 62.3% received vaccine/58.9% completed vaccinations/21.6% received booster
  • 18 to 24: 61.1% (+0.1) received vaccine/55.5% completed vaccinations/20.3% received booster
  • 25 to 34: 64.8% received vaccine/60.3% completed vaccinations/26.2% received booster
  • 35 to 44: 69.6% received vaccine/66.2% completed vaccinations/33.8% received booster
  • 45 to 54: 71.9% received vaccine/69.2% completed vaccinations/38.9% received booster
  • 55 to 64: 78.3% received vaccine/75.9% completed vaccinations/50.2% received booster
  • 65 and up: 85.2% received vaccine/82.6% completed vaccinations/68.4% received booster

Friday’s Vaccinations by County Population (and change since last report)

County (Population)
(Health region)
% of population
with at least 1 dose
% of population
completed series
Brown (264,610) (NE)66.1%63.6%
Calumet (50,209) (FV)57.2%55.2%
Dodge (87,336)52.8%50.7%
Door (27,889) (NE)79.2%75.5%
Florence (4,298) (NE)53.4%51.0%
Fond du Lac (102,902) (SE)56.1%53.8%
Forest (8,960)53.3%50.8%
Green Lake (18,908) (FV)57.8%55.2%
Kewaunee (20,386) (NE)52.8%51.4%
Langlade (19,119)54.2%52.1%
Manitowoc (78,757) (NE)60.9%58.8%
Marinette (40,262) (NE)53.8%51.6%
Menominee (4,546) (FV)81.7%78.4%
Oconto (38,383) (NE)53.3%51.6%
Outagamie (188,766) (FV)64.7%62.1%
Shawano (40,786) (FV)48.1%46.6%
Sheboygan (115,240) (SE)63.3%60.9%
Waupaca (50,664) (FV)55.8%54.0%
Waushara (24,326) (FV)46.4%44.6%
Winnebago (171,631) (FV)62.6%59.9%
NORTHEAST REGION (474,585) (NE)300,147 (63.2%)288,786 (60.9%, +0.1)
FOX VALLEY REGION (549,836) (FV)332,136 (60.4%)318,931 (58.0%)
WISCONSIN (5,832,655)3,769,485 (64.6%)3,586,019 (61.5%)

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 change since last report)

  • Brown – 75,786 cases (+93) (430 deaths)
  • Calumet – 12,307 cases (+12) (102 deaths)
  • Dickinson (Mich.)** - 5,322 cases (92 deaths)
  • Dodge – 25,954 cases (+31) (296 deaths)
  • Door – 7,247 cases (+12) (62 deaths)
  • Florence - 857 cases (17 deaths)
  • Fond du Lac – 31,909 cases (+54) (263 deaths)
  • Forest - 2,667 cases (cases revised -3 by state) (48 deaths)
  • Gogebic (Mich.)** - 3,076 cases (41 deaths)
  • Green Lake - 4,687 cases (+8) (56 deaths)
  • Iron (Mich.)** - 2,533 cases (71 deaths)
  • Kewaunee – 4,811 cases (+11) (43 deaths)
  • Langlade - 5,374 cases (+8) (75 deaths)
  • Manitowoc – 18,848 cases (+14) (163 deaths)
  • Marinette - 10,355 cases (+15) (112 deaths)
  • Menominee – 2,002 cases (+6) (15 deaths)
  • Menominee (Mich.)** - 4,204 cases (61 deaths)
  • Oconto – 9,791 cases (+13) (99 deaths) (+1)
  • Outagamie – 45,888 cases (+49) (364 deaths)
  • Shawano – 10,543 cases (+13) (131 deaths)
  • Sheboygan – 31,942 cases (+32) (275 deaths)
  • Waupaca – 12,194 cases (+18) (200 deaths)
  • Waushara – 5,392 cases (+10) (70 deaths)
  • Winnebago – 48,232 cases (+68) (343 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 Tuesdays.

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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