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More than 2 million tested in Wisconsin for coronavirus since February, more than 3,800 test positive Wednesday

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Published: Oct. 28, 2020 at 2:17 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - According to Wednesday’s daily report from the Department of Health Service (DHS), 3,815 people tested positive for the coronavirus within the past 24 hours.

That’s down from Tuesday’s all time daily record of 5,262 people testing. Another 6,003 people tested negative within the past 24 hours.

These numbers come as the state surpasses 2,000,000 people being tested for the coronavirus (2,005,287) in Wisconsin since testing began in February.

The U.S. Census Bureau estimated Wisconsin’s population was 5,822,000 in 2019. That means roughly 34.4% of the state has been tested at least once for the virus.

State health officials say another 45 people have died from COVID-19, the illness brought on by the coronavirus, within the past 24 hours. That’s down from a daily record of 64 deaths reported Tuesday.

New deaths were reported in Barron, Brown, Chippewa, Clark, Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Door, Forest, Grant, Jefferson, Kenosha, La Crosse, Marathon, Marinette, Milwaukee, Monroe, Oconto, Outagamie, Ozaukee, Racine, Shawano, Sheboygan, Vilas, Waukesha, Waupaca and Winnebago counties. The state also revised the number of deaths in Dodge County.

After the state numbers were released Wednesday, the City of Appleton announced a COVID-19 related death, bringing the death toll in the city alone to 25. City health officials say the resident was in their 70′s and lived in the Outagamie County portion of the city.

At this time, Pepin and Menominee Counties are the only counties in the state of Wisconsin to not report a single death from COVID-19.

Wisconsin has now seen 1,897 people die from the disease caused by the coronavirus. Despite the record amount of new deaths reported in a single day, the death rate remains at 0.90%.

The Wisconsin DHS has seen a total of 210,126 positive tests since testing began in February. In that same time period, 10,810 people have been hospitalized for COVID-19.

174 people were hospitalized within the past 24 hours.

The DHS announced earlier this week that it took Wisconsin seven and a half months to reach the first 100,000 cases, and just over a month to reach another 100,000 cases.

Action 2 News will continue to emphasize the state’s summary statistics counting each person once no matter how many times they’re tested. This is the standard method used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its federal reporting and is a better indication of the spread of the coronavirus in a community. For data including all of the results for people tested multiple times, visit the DHS website.

POSITIVE CASES

As of Tuesday, the state’s positivity rate was at 27.2%.

Wisconsin is averaging 3,919 new coronavirus cases every day in the last seven reports. That’s a decrease from Tuesday’s seven day new case average of 3,975.

As of Tuesday, the positivity rate including multiple tests of the same people is now at 14.0%.

County-by-county numbers are listed later in this article.

ACTIVE CASES

The percentage of active cases decreased slightly Wednesday from 20.9% to 20.7%. There are 43,468 people who are considered active cases, meaning they were diagnosed within the past 30 days and haven’t been medically cleared.

The state says nearly 165,000 people (164,726) are considered recovered (78.4%).

HOSPITALIZATIONS

The state reports 174 people were hospitalized for COVID-19 within the past 24 hours.

As of Wednesday, Wisconsin currently has 339 patients in intensive care for COVID-19, and 1,439 hospitalized for COVID-19 treatment overall, according to the DHS.

Since the first patient in Madison on February 5, 10,810 people have been hospitalized for COVID-19 treatment. The 7-day average is at 157 patients per day, a decrease from Monday. The rate of hospitalization for people diagnosed with the coronavirus dropped to 5.1% Wednesday after holding steady at 5.2% since Sunday. Saturday’s percentage was 5.3%.

The number of patients at the state’s alternate care facility (ACF) set up at the Wisconsin State Fair Park near Milwaukee increased by one Wednesday, bringing the total number of patients there to six. The facility opened on October 14 with the intent of handling an overflow at hospitals around the state by receiving patients who are closer to discharge but not quite healthy enough, to make room for people with more serious conditions. To protect patient privacy, the DHS doesn’t say where patients are from.

HOSPITAL READINESS

In terms of hospital readiness, Wednesday’s report from the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) says 11.9% of ICU beds are open. The WHA says there are 1,439 total COVID-19 patients throughout the state, up from 1,385 on Tuesday. That’s a change of 249 new patients in seven days.

Out of those patients, 339 are in the ICU. That number has increased by 40 in the past seven days.

The DHS reported Wednesday that out of all hospital beds in the state (11,025), about 14.5% are available (1,595), a slight decrease from Tuesday’s report of 14.7%.

In the Fox Valley Region, the WHA says Wednesday that in 13 hospitals serving 8 counties, there are 146 COVID-19 patients in hospitals, up from 139 Tuesday. The seven day difference shows an increase of 15 people.

Out of the total number of patients, 23 are in ICU, a one day decrease of one. The seven day change is two. 5 ICU beds out of a total 104 beds are immediately open in the Fox Valley region.

In the Northeast Region, where 10 hospitals serve seven counties, the WHA says as of Wednesday there are 159 COVID-19 patients, a decrease of seven from the past week.

Out of those patients, 52 are in the ICU. That seven day number is at zero, however the one day difference is an increase of three.

That region has 24 ICU beds immediately open out of a total of 207 beds.

Day-to-day changes take hospital discharges and deaths into account.

Prevea CEO/president Dr. Ashok Rai cautioned on Action 2 News This Morning last week that an open bed isn’t necessarily an available bed if the hospital doesn’t have the staffing to support a patient in it (see related story). For this reason, we’re using the term “open” more frequently than “available,” even though that’s the WHA’s terminology.

WEDNESDAY’S COUNTY CASE NUMBERS (Counties with new cases or deaths are indicated in bold)*

Wisconsin

  • Adams - 515 cases (+13) (5 deaths)
  • Ashland - 279 cases (+5) (3 deaths)
  • Barron – 1,132 cases (+39) (7 deaths)(+1)
  • Bayfield - 230 cases (+5) (2 deaths)
  • Brown – 15,377 cases (+274) (97 deaths)(+4)
  • Buffalo - 273 cases (+11) (3 deaths)
  • Burnett – 311 cases (+3) (6 deaths)
  • Calumet - 2,694 cases (+18) (11 deaths)
  • Chippewa - 1,6851 cases (+104) (13 deaths)(+2)
  • Clark – 889 cases (+22) (16 deaths)(+1)
  • Columbia – 1,788 cases (+27) (6 deaths)(+1)
  • Crawford – 340 cases (+12) (1 death)(+1)
  • Dane – 14,929 cases (+369) (49 deaths)(+1)
  • Dodge – 4,158 cases (+107) (26 deaths)(State revised, -1)
  • Door - 822 cases (+42) (6 deaths)(+1)
  • Douglas - 781 cases (+37) (1 death)
  • Dunn – 1,066 cases (+27) (1 death)
  • Eau Claire – 3,531 cases (+89) (12 deaths)
  • Florence - 209 cases (State revised, -1) (6 deaths)
  • Fond du Lac – 4,564 cases (+103) (20 deaths)
  • Forest - 475 cases (+11) (11 deaths)(+1)
  • Grant – 1,881 cases (+48) (32 deaths)(+2)
  • Green - 957 cases (+25) (5 deaths)
  • Green Lake - 751 cases (+10) (3 deaths)
  • Iowa - 480 cases (+14) (1 death)
  • Iron - 191 cases (+1) (4 deaths)
  • Jackson - 494 cases (+22) (1 death)
  • Jefferson - 2,768 cases (+71) (14 deaths)(+3)
  • Juneau - 784 cases (+10) (4 deaths)
  • Kenosha – 5,118 cases (+160) (80 deaths)(+4)
  • Kewaunee - 1,073 cases (+4) (7 deaths)
  • La Crosse – 4,256 cases (+69) (21 deaths)(+1)
  • Lafayette - 550 case (+19) (1 death)
  • Langlade - 983 cases (+29) (9 deaths)
  • Lincoln - 802 cases (+19) (10 deaths)
  • Manitowoc – 2,788 cases (+24) (11 deaths)
  • Marathon - 4,728 cases (+108) (54 deaths)(+1)
  • Marinette - 1,738 cases (+29) (13 deaths)(+1)
  • Marquette - 616 cases (+9) (2 deaths)
  • Menominee - 304 cases (+6)
  • Milwaukee – 40,609 (+466) (582 deaths) (+4)
  • Monroe - 1,132 cases (+21) (5 deaths)(+1)
  • Oconto – 2,114 cases (+24) (17 deaths)(+3)
  • Oneida - 1,239 cases (+17) (14 deaths)
  • Outagamie – 9,251 cases (+75) (75 deaths)(+3)
  • Ozaukee - 2,246 cases (+37) (25 deaths)(+1)
  • Pepin – 146 cases (+6)
  • Pierce – 703 cases (+10) (7 deaths)
  • Polk – 563 cases (+15) (3 deaths)
  • Portage - 2,776 cases (+46) (21 deaths)
  • Price - 367 cases (+12) (2 deaths)
  • Racine – 7,457 cases (+158) (113 deaths)(+1)
  • Richland - 471 cases (+13) (8 deaths)
  • Rock – 5,138 cases (+61) (44 deaths)
  • Rusk - 211 cases (+6) (1 death)
  • Sauk – 1,785 cases (+53) (7 deaths)
  • Sawyer - 380 cases (+8) (3 deaths)
  • Shawano – 2,441 cases (+35) (24 deaths)(+1)
  • Sheboygan - 4,802 cases (+105) (26 deaths)(+3)
  • St. Croix - 1,858 cases (+52) (11 deaths)
  • Taylor - 488 cases (+13) (7 deaths)
  • Trempealeau – 1,036 cases (+30) (2 deaths)
  • Vernon - 499 cases (+4) (2 deaths)
  • Vilas - 563 cases (+8) (6 deaths)(+1)
  • Walworth - 3,411 cases (+26) (38 deaths)
  • Washburn – 245 cases (+3) (2 deaths)
  • Washington - 4,508 cases (+141) (42 deaths)
  • Waukesha – 12,446 cases (+260) (120 deaths)(+1)
  • Waupaca – 2,399 cases (+28) (40 deaths)(+2)
  • Waushara – 1,025 cases (+16) (5 deaths)
  • Winnebago – 8,799 cases (+73) (62 deaths)(+3)
  • Wood - 1,708 cases (+29) (9 deaths)

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula **

  • Alger - 89 cases (+5) (1 death)
  • Baraga - 87 cases (+12) (4 deaths)
  • Chippewa - 89 cases (+5)
  • Delta – 1,120 cases (+61) (24 deaths)(+1)
  • Dickinson – 639 cases (+18) (19 deaths)
  • Gogebic - 290 cases (+5) (3 deaths)
  • Houghton – 783 cases (+6) (8 deaths)
  • Iron – 411 cases (+3) (22 deaths)
  • Keweenaw – 20 cases (+1)
  • Luce – 47 cases (+8)
  • Mackinac - 127 cases (+3)
  • Marquette - 934 cases (+30) (15 deaths)
  • Menominee - 648 cases (+12) (5 deaths)
  • Ontonagon –91 cases (+2)
  • Schoolcraft - 75 cases (+5)

* Viewers have asked us why the state has different numbers than what’s reported on some county health department websites. The 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.

The DHS reports deaths attributed to COVID-19 or in which COVID-19 contributed to their death. Most of the people severely affected by the coronavirus have underlying illnesses or conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease or obesity, which raises a person’s risk of dying from COVID-19 but would’ve lived longer if not for their infection. The state may revise case and death numbers after further review, such as the victim’s residence, duplicated records, or a correction in lab results. Details can be found on the DHS website and Frequently Asked Questions.

**The state of Michigan does not update numbers on Sundays.

Symptoms

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified these as possible symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Fever of 100.4 or higher
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

Prevention

  • The coronavirus is a new, or “novel,” virus. Nobody has a natural immunity to it. Children and teens seem to recover best from the virus. Older people and those with underlying health conditions (heart disease, diabetes, lung disease) are considered at high risk, according to the CDC. Precautions are also needed around people with developing or weakened immune systems.
  • To help prevent the spread of the virus:
  • Stay at least six feet away from other people
  • Avoid close contact with people who are or appear sick
  • Stay at home as much as possible
  • Cancel events and avoid groups, gatherings, play dates and nonessential appointments
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care
  • Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a mask. At a minimum, use a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.

Health experts say face masks are still the most effective way the general public can slow the spread of the coronavirus, but only if the masks are worn appropriately -- over the nose and chin. County and state health officials are reminding and urging people to stay home when they feel sick, avoid large gatherings, and distance yourself six feet from people who aren’t from your household.

To help people understand how their decisions affect their own health and others, the Department of Health Services has a decision tool at https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/decision.htm. The tool describes how choices matter and offers suggestions to make activities safer.

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