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Wisconsin reports 128 coronavirus deaths as expected peak approaches

(WBAY)
Published: Apr. 10, 2020 at 1:54 PM CDT
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The number of deaths related to the coronavirus outbreak in Wisconsin reached 128 Friday, according to numbers reported by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

That's an increase of 17 deaths from Thursday, when the state reported 111 deaths. On Wednesday, Wisconsin reported 99 deaths.

Hospitalizations increased to to 904. Twenty-nine percent of people who have tested positive for coronavirus in Wisconsin have been hospitalized.

Hospitalizations increased by 61 from Thursday when the state reported 843 hospitalizations.

Wisconsin reported 3,068 confirmed cases of coronavirus Friday. That's an increase from 2,885 positive cases reported on Thursday.

Statewide, 33,225 tests have come back negative. That's an increase from 31,424 negative tests reported Thursday.

Cases by county

Adams - 2

Ashland - 1

Barron - 6

Bayfield - 3

Brown - 55 (1 death)

Buffalo - 2 (1 death)

Calumet - 4

Chippewa - 18

Clark - 7

Columbia - 24 (1 death)

Crawford- 3

Dane - 313 (12 deaths)

Dodge 18

Door - 8

Douglas - 7

Dunn - 8

Eau Claire - 21

Florence - 2

Fond du Lac - 52 (2 deaths)

Grant - 4 (1 death)

Green - 9

Iowa - 4

Iron - 1 (fatal)

Jackson - 10

Jefferson - 21

Juneau - 5

Kenosha - 147 (1 death)

Kewaunee - 1

La Crosse - 25

Lafayette - 2

Manitowoc - 3

Marathon - 12

Marinette - 3

Marquette - 2

Menominee - 1

Milwaukee - 1,575 (77 deaths)

Monroe - 8

Oconto - 3

Oneida - 5

Outagamie - 29 (2 deaths)

Ozaukee - 71 (9 deaths)

Pierce - 7

Polk - 1

Portage - 4

Racine - 100 (3 deaths)

Richland - 4

Rock - 5 (2 deaths)

Rusk - 3

Sauk - 25 (2 deaths)

Sawyer - 1

Shawano - 5

Sheboygan - 33 (2 deaths)

St. Croix - 7

Trempealeau - 1

Vilas - 4

Walworth - 35

Washington - 67 (3 deaths)

Waukesha - 193 (6 deaths)

Waupaca - 3 (1 death)

Waushara - 2

Winnebago - 25 (1 death)

Wood - 2

Total 3,068

to track the outbreak in Wisconsin.

Other cases

Forty-six confirmed COVID-19 cases are reported in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Five have died. The first positive COVID-19 test is reported in Menominee County, which borders Wisconsin.

State relaxes testing giudelines

State health officials say the state expanded its testing guidance, giving providers more leeway for testing patients they think could have COVID-19.

The state has increased its testing capacity to the point where labs could handle more tests each day.

"So the guidance that we share that might be different is that clinicians cannot feel constrained in any way about ordering a test when they think it's beneficial for the patient," state infectious disease specialist Dr. Ryan Westergaard said.

Watching for a peak

At a news briefing, Health and Human Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm said it's too early to know if mass gatherings of voters in Tuesday's election will result in a spike in COVID-19 cases.

"The data will tell us what, if any, impact in-person voting will have. We will certainly be monitoring that and understand that better as the days and weeks go on," she said.

Wisconsin's peak was expected to be reached on Monday, April 13. That could change as new data is entered, according to Prevea Health President and CEO Dr. Ashok Rai. He stressed that we must maintain physical distancing, masking and good hygiene to come down from that peak.

"The peak is about not deaths right now. It's about resource utilization. That's what that graph keeps talking about. Yes, it's supposed to peak Monday (April 13), that could change tonight, that could change tomorrow, because new data is being fed in over time into that peak. But the point of that peak is that's supposed to be the peak. The only way that you come down from that peak is somewhat doubling down right now on all the recommendations--hand washing, masking, physical distancing. We need to double our efforts, triple our efforts right now. Everybody needs to be doing it for that peak to go away, which means coming down from that. Remember we said to get back to life we need 14 really good days of boredom, of nothing happening, of the death rate going down, of the infection rate going down, before we can even approach the conversation of how we can slowly get back to our lives," says Dr. Rai.

for Friday's Dr. Rai segments.

The Department of Health Services announced this week it's beefing up ways to trace COVID-19 cases, including ones that could potentially be from in-person voting.

The DHS says over the last few weeks it's added more than 120 "contact tracers" -- investigators who can help local health departments interview COVID-19 patients and places they've gone and people they've encountered and notify those people about possible coronavirus exposure.

"Everyone needs to understand this is a critical piece of how we manage communicable diseases: sharing this information, working together to make sure we know where the infection has spread and the resources we need to contain it when that happens," Dr. Westergaard said.

Safer at Home continues

Governor Tony Evers made note of the one million absentee ballots returned for the spring election. While he wouldn't pledge changes for future elections, he says the number of voters who used the option is telling.

"Going forward, I believe it will be part of Wisconsin's landscape. It's easier and it's a good way to participate in democracy in a way that's reasonable and a safe way to do that."

Several state lawmakers want a commitment that the state will start loosening its Safer at Home order when it's scheduled to end on April 24. The governor would not commit, instead echoing what the DHS said earlier this week: Don't expect to flip the switch and everything goes back to normal.

"Nobody wants to open the state more than I do," the governor said, "but we have to make sure the state is ready to be opened up and in what situation. So, we are working hard on those plans, when we would reverse some of those restrictions we have put in place, but we will follow the science."

Spreading the disease

The coronavirus is spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes or breathes.

"These droplets can remain in the air and on surfaces for an extended period of time. When people breathe in (inhale) the droplets, or touch surfaces that have been contaminated and then touch their mouth, face, or eyes, the virus can make them sick," says the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

People infected with the virus can develop the respiratory disease named COVID-19.

COVID-19 symptoms and prevention

Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

Emergency signs include pain and pressure in the chest, confusion, trouble breathing, and bluish lips or face.

The CDC believes symptoms may appear between 2 and 14 days after contact with an infected person.

for complete local, national and international coverage of the outbreak.

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

--Stay at home

--Limit your physical interactions with people

--Keep at least six feet apart from others

--Frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water

--Make essential trips no more than once a week

--Covering coughs and sneezes

--Avoid touching your face

Local and national health care providers are encouraging people to wear masks in public to avoid spreading the illness to others.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has issued a Safer at Home order restricting large gatherings, non-essential business and travel in the state.

to find out what the order means for you.

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