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Coronavirus in Wisconsin: 2,790 new cases, 49 deaths

Wisconsin saw key metrics rise, but the averages are down from one week ago.
Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 2:06 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 12, 2021 at 3:42 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) – Wisconsin received mixed news Tuesday in its efforts to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported 2,790 new cases, 49 more deaths, and 149 new hospitalizations -- all significantly higher than the last few days. But these numbers are lower than one week ago, and the 7-day averages for these metrics all fell.

The DHS received 6,636 results for people who were tested for the coronavirus -- or tested positive -- for the first time. Tuesday marked the third day in a row with fewer than 3,000 new cases. The remaining 3,846 tests were negative. The 7-day average fell from 2,915 to 2,826 cases per day.

Tuesday’s positive tests represented 42% of these tests. As we’ve reported, more than half of Wisconsin’s population has been tested at least once, and the state is receiving fewer results for these first-timers (the state has only had more than 10,000 results in a day six times in the last 30 days). We expect preliminary numbers on Wednesday for how many tests were received for people who’ve been tested before.

Wisconsin also added 49 people to COVID-19′s death toll, which is now 5,211. Wisconsin added 1,015 COVID-19 deaths in the past 30 days, but the 7-day average fell from 40 to 33 cases per day, helped by the fact a day with 95 deaths eight days ago is no longer counted in that average. The death rate has been 1.02% for 7 days.

The deaths were in 25 counties: Brown (3), Calumet, Dane (3), Dodge, Eau Claire, Iron, Jefferson, Kenosha (2), Kewaunee, La Crosse, Lincoln, Marathon (2), Milwaukee (7), Monroe, Ozaukee, Racine, Rock (3), Shawano, Trempealeau, Walworth, Washington (2), Waukesha (3), Waushara (3), Winnebago (4) and Wood (5). Milwaukee became the first county to have more than 1,000 deaths. Death counts were revised in Fond du Lac and Sauk counties.

County-by-county cases and deaths are listed later in this article.

The state says 477,460 people who tested positive for the coronavirus are now considered recovered, even if they have lingering symptoms. That’s 93.4% of all known cases. There are 28,304 people (5.5%) who are considered active, meaning they were diagnosed or noticed symptoms in the last 30 days and haven’t been medically cleared. To date, 2,920,716 people have been tested for the coronavirus since the first case on February 5, 2020.

In addition to the official daily numbers, the DHS reports results for people tested multiple times*, such as health care workers or patients being treated for COVID-19. By these measures, the DHS received 13,085 results Monday, including 1,301 that were positive, and the 7-day positivity rate declined for a sixth straight day and is down to 9.7% (see explanation below).

Hospitalizations

The DHS reported 149 new COVID-19 hospitalizations in the past 24-hour period, more than the last 2 days combined. However, the 7-day average fell from 122 to 112 hospitalizations per day, as we had more than 200 hospitalizations eight days ago and it fell out of the 7-day range.

Taking discharges, deaths and new admissions into account, the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) reported 988 COVID-19 patients currently in hospitals Tuesday, 29 fewer than the day before. Almost a quarter of them, 225, are in intensive care, which is 4 more than Monday. It’s the second time in three days that the number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals was under 1,000, and is the fewest since mid-October.

The Fox Valley region’s 13 hospitals were treating 66 COVID-19 patients, including 7 in ICU.

The Northeast region’s 10 hospitals were treating 99 COVID-19 patients, with 27 in ICU.

On Tuesday, the alternate care facility at State Fair Park again wasn’t treating any overflow patients for hospitals in the state and it wasn’t providing any outpatient Bamlanivimab infusion therapy.

Hospital Readiness

The WHA also reported Tuesday 259 ICU beds (17.7%) and 1,949 of all types of medical beds (17.4%) -- ICU, intermediate care, medical surgical and negative flow isolation -- were open in the state’s 134 hospitals.

The Fox Valley region had 22 ICU beds (21.2%) and 124 medical beds total (14.5%) open among them for the eight counties they serve.

The Northeast region had 23 ICU beds (11.1%) and 164 of all medical beds (17.2%) open for people in seven counties.

These beds are for all patients, not just COVID-19, and whether a bed can be filled depends on whether the hospital has the necessary medical and support staff.

COVID-19 vaccinations

Wisconsin is getting ready to move on to the next phase of COVID-19 vaccinations. In a statement this week, the Department of Health Services announced police officers and firefighters will be eligible for vaccinations starting next Monday, Jan. 18 (related story here) as a start to Phase 1B. Some EMS workers have been vaccinated under the definition of frontline health care worker in Phase 1A.

Gov. Tony Evers said a committee that advises the DHS will make recommendations for who else is eligible for the next phase and release them for public comments this Wednesday (see related story). He’s asked the federal government to increase its distribution of doses to Wisconsin.

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

Wisconsin

  • Adams – 1,401 cases (+8) (11 deaths)
  • Ashland – 1,062 cases (+1) (16 deaths)
  • Barron – 4,760 cases (+23) (58 deaths)
  • Bayfield - 979 cases (+5) (18 deaths)
  • Brown – 27,703 cases (+161) (171 deaths) (+3)
  • Buffalo – 1,101 cases (+9) (7 deaths)
  • Burnett – 1,044 cases (+5) (21 deaths)
  • Calumet – 4,929 cases (+11) (38 deaths) (+1)
  • Chippewa – 6,343 cases (+48) (70 deaths)
  • Clark – 2,936 cases (+12) (54 deaths)
  • Columbia – 4,491 cases (+16) (33 deaths)
  • Crawford – 1,600 cases (+6) (13 deaths)
  • Dane – 35,633 cases (+107) (214 deaths) (+3)
  • Dodge – 10,753 cases (+29) (127 deaths) (+1)
  • Door – 2,187 cases (+17) (15 deaths)
  • Douglas – 3,293 cases (+14) (17 deaths)
  • Dunn – 3,734 cases (+18) (25 deaths)
  • Eau Claire – 9,856 cases (+47) (87 deaths)
  • Florence - 410 cases (+1) (12 deaths)
  • Fond du Lac – 11,016 cases (+33) (70 deaths) (deaths revised -1 by state)
  • Forest - 890 cases (+2) (22 deaths)
  • Grant – 4,282 cases (+19) (77 deaths)
  • Green – 2,470 cases (+11) (10 deaths)
  • Green Lake - 1,427 cases (+2) (14 deaths)
  • Iowa - 1,731 cases (+3) (8 deaths)
  • Iron - 435 cases (+1) (19 deaths) (+1)
  • Jackson - 2,472 cases (+4) (18 deaths)
  • Jefferson – 7,088 cases (+22) (61 deaths) (+1)
  • Juneau - 2,688 cases (+3) (11 deaths)
  • Kenosha – 13,386 cases (+276) (243 deaths) (+2)
  • Kewaunee – 2,188 cases (+16) (25 deaths) (+1)
  • La Crosse – 10,817 cases (+42) (64 deaths) (+1)
  • Lafayette - 1,297 cases (+1) (6 deaths)
  • Langlade - 1,851 cases (+11) (30 deaths)
  • Lincoln – 2,658 cases (+6) (50 deaths) (+1)
  • Manitowoc – 6,508 cases (+17) (55 deaths)
  • Marathon – 12,629 cases (+68) (163 deaths) (+2)
  • Marinette - 3,710 cases (+13) (51 deaths)
  • Marquette – 1,203 cases (+5) (20 deaths)
  • Menominee - 759 cases (+9) (10 deaths)
  • Milwaukee – 89,612 (+455) (1,002 deaths) (+7)
  • Monroe – 3,731 cases (+19) (26 deaths) (+1)
  • Oconto – 3,992 cases (+13) (41 deaths)
  • Oneida - 2,964 cases (+8) (47 deaths)
  • Outagamie – 17,224 cases (+78) (164 deaths)
  • Ozaukee - 6,813 cases (+83) (59 deaths) (+1)
  • Pepin – 733 cases (+10) (6 deaths)
  • Pierce – 3,219 cases (+101) (30 deaths)
  • Polk – 3,304 cases (+26) (29 deaths)
  • Portage – 5,836 cases (+17) (54 deaths)
  • Price – 987 cases (+4) (6 deaths)
  • Racine – 18,765 cases (+129) (269 deaths) (+1)
  • Richland - 1,174 cases (+3) (13 deaths)
  • Rock – 12,941 cases (+94) (125 deaths) (+3)
  • Rusk - 1,168 cases (+6) (14 deaths)
  • Sauk – 4,766 cases (+6) (31 deaths) (deaths revised -1 by state)
  • Sawyer - 1,298 cases (+3) (17 deaths)
  • Shawano – 4,328 cases (+8) (62 deaths) (+1)
  • Sheboygan – 11,921 cases (+21) (96 deaths)
  • St. Croix – 5,731 cases (+27) (32 deaths)
  • Taylor - 1,666 cases (+6) (14 deaths)
  • Trempealeau – 3,132 cases (+9) (31 deaths) (+1)
  • Vernon – 1,638 cases (+3) (32 deaths)
  • Vilas - 1,758 cases (+20) (28 deaths) (+1)
  • Walworth – 8,203 cases (+85) (106 deaths) (+1)
  • Washburn – 1,112 cases (+8) (15 deaths)
  • Washington – 12,524 cases (+100) (105 deaths) (+2)
  • Waukesha – 36,793 cases (+258) (376 deaths) (+3)
  • Waupaca – 4,339 cases (+14) (100 deaths)
  • Waushara – 1,973 cases (+11) (23 deaths) (+3)
  • Winnebago – 15,780 cases (+36) (163 deaths) (+4)
  • Wood – 5,991 cases (+28) (60 deaths) (+5)

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula ***

  • Alger - 212 cases (+1) (1 death)
  • Baraga - 478 cases (+2) (29 deaths)
  • Chippewa - 660 cases (+8) (13 deaths)
  • Delta – 2,552 cases (+2) (60 deaths)
  • Dickinson - 2,051 cases (+3) (56 deaths)
  • Gogebic - 747 cases (+2) (16 deaths)
  • Houghton – 1,780 cases (+25) (27 deaths)
  • Iron – 800 cases (+1) (32 deaths)
  • Keweenaw – 84 cases (+1) (1 death)
  • Luce – 127 cases
  • Mackinac - 269 cases (3 deaths)
  • Marquette - 3,275 cases (+5) (51 deaths)
  • Menominee - 1,539 cases (+6) (31 deaths) (+1)
  • Ontonagon – 283 cases (+1) (15 deaths)
  • Schoolcraft - 223 cases (3 deaths)

** Cases and deaths are from the daily DHS COVID-19 reports, which may differ from local health department numbers. 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. They 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. Monday’s numbers include updates since Saturday’s reporting deadline.

Testing

*Results for people tested multiple times are very preliminary and always at least a day behind the official DHS daily summary; they include negative tests undergoing further review and take about two weeks to finalize. We emphasize that reporting one result per person rather than multiple tests is considered a better indicator of the virus’s spread in the community and is how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention compiles its own reports.

COVID-19 Tracing App

Wisconsin’s COVID-19 tracing app, “Wisconsin Exposure Notification,” is available for iOS and Android smartphones. No download is required for iPhones. The Android app is available on Google Play. When two phones with the app (and presumably their owners) are close enough, for long enough, they’ll anonymously share a random string of numbers via Bluetooth. If someone tests positive for the coronavirus, they’ll receive a code to type into the app. If your phones “pinged” each other in the last 14 days, you’ll receive a push notification that you are at risk of exposure. The app doesn’t collect personal information or location information, so you won’t know from whom or where, but you will be told what day the exposure might have occurred so that you can quarantine for the appropriate amount of time.

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

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