Coronavirus in Wisconsin: Four deaths, 281 confirmed cases

MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - A second person has died from coronavirus in Milwaukee County, bringing the state wide total to four people.

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office says it is investigating the death of a 69-year-old man from complications from COVID-19.

"Decedent had been hospitalized for several days prior to his death," reads a tweet.

Coronavirus cases in Wisconsin grew to 281 Saturday, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

The state has recorded four deaths from COVID-19--a man in his 50s in Fond du Lac County, a man in his 90s in Ozaukee County, a 66-year-old man in Milwaukee County, and a 69-year-old man in Milwaukee County.

"These deaths won't be our only deaths. We will see more. We need to start preparing for that," says Andrea Palm, Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

The DHS says 4,628 tests came back negative.

"COVID-19 will impact thousands of Wisconsinites," Palm warns.

CLICK HERE to watch Friday's state briefing on YouTube

"Our hearts go out to all the loved ones affected by these deaths, and to all those suffering from this virus,” Gov. Tony Evers wrote in a statement Thursday night. "We are committed to fighting the spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin and I want to recognize the hard work and bravery of our nurses, doctors, state health officials, and all those on the front lines in the effort to save lives. Together we will get through this historic health challenge.”

The Fond du Lac County Health Department says the man who died had been on an Egypt river cruise.

The number of coronavirus cases increased on Friday by 51 from 155 to 206, and grew to 281 on Saturday.

Health officials told us they expected to see numbers increase as more testing facilities became available for COVID-19 testing.

CLICK HERE to track cases in Wisconsin.

Asterisk (*) indicates community spread (e.g., not the result of travel)

Bayfield 1
Brown* 3
Calumet 1
Chippewa 1
Columbia 5
Dane* 49
Eau Claire 2
Fond du Lac 17
Green 1
Jefferson 1
Kenosha* 5
La Crosse 5
Marathon 1
Milwaukee* 126
Outagamie 2
Ozaukee 11
Pierce 1
Racine 4
Rock 3
Sauk 2
Sheboygan 6
St. Croix 2
Walworth 3
Washington 3
Waukesha 20
Winnebago 5
Wood 1

VISIT wbay.com/coronavirus for local, national and international coverage of the pandemic.

Under state guidelines, priority for testing is given to hospitalized patients, particularly those receiving intensive care for viral pneumonia or respiratory failure. Other hospitalized patients, who aren't in ICU, will be tested if they have a fever and symptoms of lower respiratory tract illness, especially if they traveled to a high-risk area for the coronavirus, or had exposure to a known COVID-19 patient.

Health care workers with an unexplained fever and symptoms of a lower respiratory illness are also given priority for testing.

Older people and those with underlying health conditions (heart disease, diabetes, lung disease) are considered at high risk, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

COVID-19 is spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

"The virus is found in droplets from the throat and nose. When someone coughs or sneezes, other people near them can breathe in those droplets. The virus can also spread when someone touches an object with the virus on it. If that person touches their mouth, face, or eyes the virus can make them sick," says the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

The CDC believes symptoms may appear between two and 14 days after contact with an infected person.

Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Emergency signs include pain and pressure in the chest, confusion and bluish lips or face. CLICK HERE for more information on symptoms.

DHS recommends taking these steps to help stop the spread of the virus:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating and after going to the bathroom, blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If you do not have soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.