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DHS reports no new COVID-19 deaths, lowest hospitalization numbers in months Sunday

State health officials say the number of active cases in the state is now below 9,000
The CDC says COVID-19 will be a Top 10 leading cause of death for 2020. Data from 2018, the...
The CDC says COVID-19 will be a Top 10 leading cause of death for 2020. Data from 2018, the most recent year available, indicates the virus will rank third behind heart disease and cancer.(Source: CDC via CNN)
Published: Feb. 21, 2021 at 2:24 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) – Wisconsin state health officials are reporting no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in months Sunday as they continue to see a drop in new coronavirus cases.

The Department of Health Services (DHS) says another 403 new cases were identified Sunday. That was 9.45% of the 4,265 results for people being tested, or testing positive, for the coronavirus for the first time. That’s the second time in seven days the positivity rate was less than 10%. In addition, the 7-day average continues to fall, dropping from 625 to 610 cases per day. Just like Saturday, that is the lowest average since July 9, when the average was below 600.

New cases were identified in 47 out of the state’s 72 counties. The state revised case numbers in Monroe County.

Although no new deaths were reported by state health officials for the first time since November 22, that wasn’t enough to drop the death rate.

The death rate continues to hold steady at 1.12% of all COVID-19 cases, and the state’s cumulative death toll due to COVID-19 is 6,284. However, although the death rate didn’t drop, the average of COVID-19 deaths per day lowered to 17 from Saturday’s report of 18.

The state now emphasizes the positivity rate looking at all test results, including people tested multiple times, since more than half of the state’s population has been tested at least once. By that measure, the state says the 7-day average positivity rate continues to sit below 3%. That figure first fell below 3% on February 17, and dropped to 2.7% Sunday. As we’ve reported, health officials want to see these positivity rates fall to 3% to consider the COVID-19 virus is being managed.

349,461 people have completed the two-dose vaccine regimen in Wisconsin, which is 11,950 more people than Saturday’s report. So far, the DHS reports 6% of the state’s population is completely vaccinated.

Health officials say 1,180,445 “shots in the arm” of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. That’s more than twice the 559,172 people who’ve tested positive for the COVID-19 virus since its appearance in the state on February 5, 2020.

Health officials are encouraging people in minority groups to get vaccinated because of the disparity in the vaccination numbers and because minority groups are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. To date, 13% of all the state’s White residents received at least one dose, compared to 9.1% of American Indians, 5.9% of Asians and 4% of the state’s Black population received the vaccine. (The DHS says 8.2% of records listed race as “Unknown” and 4.7% reported it as “Other.”) For more information about racial and ethnic disparities in the pandemic, CLICK HERE.

There are currently 8,882 active cases diagnosed in the past 30 days (1.6% of all known cases); 544,250 people (97.3% of cases) are considered recovered, even if they’re considered “long haulers” with lingering effects from their infection.

Action 2 News put together a guide of vaccination clinics and health agencies distributing the COVID-19 vaccine to people age 65 and older. CLICK HERE for locations and phone numbers and websites to register.

HOSPITALIZATIONS

The DHS says 27 more people were hospitalized for COVID-19, the twelfth consecutive day with fewer than 100 hospitalizations. The last time the state reported fewer than 30 hospitalizations for COVID-19 symptoms within a 24-hour period was September 13. In addition, the 7-day average of hospitalizations per day returned to 63 after a one day increase to 64. Since the virus’s first appearance in Wisconsin, 25,743 people have been hospitalized for COVID-19 treatment, which is 4.6% of all known cases.

Taking deaths and discharges into account, the latest figures from the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) show there are 347 COVID-19 patients are in the state’s hospitals – three fewer patients than Saturday. That includes 83 in intensive care units -- three fewer patients in ICU. There have been fewer than 100 COVID-19 patients in ICU’s across the state since Friday.

The Fox Valley region’s 13 hospitals were treating 15 COVID-19 patients, five fewer than Saturday, with 2 in ICU, a number that held steady from Saturday.

The Northeast region’s 10 hospitals treated 37 COVID-19 patients Saturday, one more than the day before. The number in ICU fell by one to 8 patients.

HOSPITAL READINESS

In terms of hospital readiness, the WHA reported 311 ICU beds (21.2%) and 2,519 of all medical beds (22.54) are open in the state’s 134 hospitals. All medical beds include ICU, intermediate care, medical surgical and negative flow isolation. These are beds for all patients, not just COVID-19.

Fox Valley region hospitals had 10 open ICU beds (9.6%) among them, and 145 of all medical beds (16.99%) for the eight counties they serve. There are no intermediate care beds available.

In the Northeast region’s 10 hospitals, 45 ICU beds (21.7%) and 223 of all medical beds (23.32%) are open.

SUNDAY’S COUNTY CASE AND DEATH TOTALS (Counties with new cases or deaths are indicated in bold) *

Wisconsin

  • Adams – 1,569 cases (11 deaths)
  • Ashland – 1,171 cases (16 deaths)
  • Barron – 5,299 cases (+4) (75 deaths)
  • Bayfield - 1,063 cases (+1) (19 deaths)
  • Brown – 30,051 cases (+16) (219 deaths)
  • Buffalo – 1,312 cases (+3) (7 deaths)
  • Burnett – 1,178 cases (+2) (23 deaths)
  • Calumet – 5,429 cases (+4) (43 deaths)
  • Chippewa – 7,009 cases (+9) (90 deaths)
  • Clark – 3,149 cases (57 deaths)
  • Columbia – 4,993 cases (+3) (51 deaths)
  • Crawford – 1,663 cases (+1) (17 deaths)
  • Dane – 39,946 (+85) (267 deaths)
  • Dodge – 11,362 cases (+1) (155 deaths)
  • Door – 2,404 cases (+1) (19 deaths)
  • Douglas – 3,648 cases (+2) (24 deaths)
  • Dunn – 4,220 cases (+3) (28 deaths)
  • Eau Claire – 10,927 cases (+4) (104 deaths)
  • Florence - 432 cases (12 deaths)
  • Fond du Lac – 11,880 cases (91 deaths)
  • Forest - 924 cases (23 deaths)
  • Grant – 4,618 cases (+1) (79 deaths)
  • Green – 3,076 cases (+10) (16 deaths)
  • Green Lake - 1,520 cases (18 deaths)
  • Iowa - 1,844 cases (9 deaths)
  • Iron - 531 cases (20 deaths)
  • Jackson - 2,575 cases (23 deaths)
  • Jefferson – 7,823 cases (+11) (76 deaths)
  • Juneau - 2,975 cases (+4) (19 deaths)
  • Kenosha – 14,726 cases (+8) (299 deaths)
  • Kewaunee – 2,412 cases (+2) (27 deaths)
  • La Crosse – 12,127 cases (+3) (75 deaths)
  • Lafayette - 1,442 cases (+3) (7 deaths)
  • Langlade - 1,928 cases (31 deaths)
  • Lincoln – 2,892 cases (+3) (56 deaths)
  • Manitowoc – 7,190 cases (63 deaths)
  • Marathon – 13,571 cases (+7) (172 deaths)
  • Marinette - 3,970 cases (62 deaths)
  • Marquette – 1,297 cases (21 deaths)
  • Menominee - 795 cases (11 deaths)
  • Milwaukee – 97,576 (+71) (1,221 deaths)
  • Monroe – 4,271 cases (State revised, decrease of 23) (31 deaths)
  • Oconto – 4,247 cases (+5) (48 deaths)
  • Oneida - 3,340 cases (+3) (66 deaths)
  • Outagamie – 19,049 cases (+22) (191 deaths)
  • Ozaukee – 7,580 cases (+3) (74 deaths)
  • Pepin – 801 cases (7 deaths)
  • Pierce – 3,434 cases (+3) (33 deaths)
  • Polk – 3,857 cases (+6) (44 deaths)
  • Portage – 6,425 cases (+6) (64 deaths)
  • Price – 1,148 cases (7 deaths)
  • Racine – 20,223 cases (+16) (314 deaths)
  • Richland - 1,275 cases (+1) (14 deaths)
  • Rock – 14,300 cases (+11) (151 deaths)
  • Rusk - 1,245 cases (16 deaths)
  • Sauk – 5,230 cases (+13) (39 deaths)
  • Sawyer - 1,494 cases (+1) (21 deaths)
  • Shawano – 4,566 cases (+3) (70 deaths)
  • Sheboygan – 12,762 cases (+6) (126 deaths)
  • St. Croix – 6,303 cases (+1) (42 deaths)
  • Taylor - 1,792 cases (20 deaths)
  • Trempealeau – 3,374 cases (36 deaths)
  • Vernon – 1,808 cases (+3) (36 deaths)
  • Vilas - 2,080 cases (36 deaths)
  • Walworth – 8,777 cases (+1) (125 deaths)
  • Washburn – 1,287 cases (18 deaths)
  • Washington – 13,664 cases (+1) (131 deaths)
  • Waukesha – 40,297 cases (+18) (471 deaths)
  • Waupaca – 4,756 cases (+3) (111 deaths)
  • Waushara – 2,090 cases (30 deaths)
  • Winnebago – 16,923 cases (+1) (183 deaths)
  • Wood – 6,660 cases (+7) (73 deaths)

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula **

  • Alger - 277 cases (1 death)
  • Baraga - 503 cases (32 deaths)
  • Chippewa - 714 cases (22 deaths)
  • Delta – 2,640 cases (65 deaths)
  • Dickinson - 2,122 cases (55 deaths)
  • Gogebic - 910 cases (19 deaths)
  • Houghton – 2,081 cases (32 deaths)
  • Iron – 864 cases (39 deaths)
  • Keweenaw – 109 cases (1 death)
  • Luce – 132 cases
  • Mackinac - 282 cases (3 deaths)
  • Marquette - 3,442 cases (54 deaths)
  • Menominee - 1,612 cases (35 deaths)
  • Ontonagon – 357 cases (19 deaths)
  • Schoolcraft - 229 cases (4 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.

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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