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Coronavirus in Wisconsin: Wednesday’s cases, deaths above average

The state passed 825,000 people vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus
WISCONSIN state map with CORONAVIRUS lettering, on texture, finished graphic
WISCONSIN state map with CORONAVIRUS lettering, on texture, finished graphic(Associated Press)
Published: Feb. 24, 2021 at 2:02 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 24, 2021 at 4:07 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) – The Wisconsin Department of Health and Human Services reported new coronavirus cases and deaths higher than their 7-day averages on Wednesday.

The state reported 25 more deaths, raising COVID-19′s death toll to 6,342. The state is averaging 18 deaths a day over the past 7 days. The death rate is 1.13% of all known cases; it rose Tuesday after a week at 1.12%.

Deaths were reported in 18 counties: Chippewa (2), Douglas, Fond du Lac, Jefferson (3), Kenosha, La Crosse (2), Lincoln, Marquette, Milwaukee, Outagamie, Ozaukee, Racine, Rock (3), St. Croix, Taylor, Walworth, Washington (2) and Waukesha (2). The death count was revised in Eau Claire County.

The state identified 747 new coronavirus cases out of 5,264 test results on people getting coronavirus testing for the first time or who tested positive for the virus for the first time. The remaining 4,517 results were negative. That’s both the most test results and the most positive tests in 5 days. Wisconsin’s rolling 7-day average is 617 coronavirus cases a day, up from 605 on Tuesday.

Looking at preliminary results for all of the tests received, including people who’ve been tested multiple times, almost 3% of test results Tuesday were positive, the latest data available. The 7-day average for the positivity rate is 2.8%, a slight bump up from the 2.7% average a day earlier.

Ten Wisconsin counties didn’t report any new cases. Fifteen counties had only 1 or 2 positive tests.

County case and death reports appear later in this article.

This 13-day stretch with fewer than 1,000 coronavirus cases per day is the longest since the end of August and beginning of September.

Wisconsin has now had more than 560,000 coronavirus cases (561,311) since February 5, 2020. That’s almost 10% of the state’s population (9.6%).

There are 8,402 active cases where a person was diagnosed or noticed symptoms in the past 30 days, which is 1.5% of all cases. There are 546,408 people who recovered from the virus, or 97.4% of cases; some were asymptomatic for the course of their infection and some so-called “long haulers” still feeling the effects of their infection weeks or months later.

COVID-19 VACCINATIONS

A total 1,237,867 “shots in the arm” of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered. More than 14% of Wisconsin’s population (825,900 people) has now received at least one dose of a vaccine, including almost half (48.1%) of all adults 65 and older and more than 10% of adults age 35 to 64. This includes 6.6% of the population (386,072 people) that completed their vaccine regimen. That’s almost 20,000 more people (19,976) than Tuesday’s report getting that second shot. Vaccination numbers are preliminary for 1 to 3 days as vaccinators’ reports come in.

GroupReceived at least 1 dose
(% of their group)
Received both doses
(% of their group)
16-170.5%0.4%
18-245.1%3.4%
25-349.1%6.9%
35-4410.8%8.1%
45-5410.5%7.7%
55-6410.8%7.2%
65+48.1%14.2%
American Indian9.3%3.9%
Asian6.1%3.7%
Black4.2%1.7%
White13.4%6.2%

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 the COVID-19 virus. For more information about racial and ethnic disparities in the pandemic, CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, state health officials said Wisconsin is on target to expand eligibility for the vaccine next Monday, March 1, with a focus on education workers. This will be dependent on local vaccine supply, but state leaders were told the federal government is increasing shipments. This is not an all-inclusive list:

  • Education and child care: Includes preschool to grade 12, higher education, community learning programs, and Boys & Girls Club and YMCA staff members
  • People enrolled in Medicaid long-term care programs, such as Family Care and IRIS
  • Some public-facing frontline workers, including public transit and people responsible for utility and communications infrastructure
  • 911 operators
  • Workers in the food supply chain: Farms; production plants; food retail, which includes supermarkets and convenience stores selling groceries; and hunger relief distribution
  • Congregate living: Residents and staff of domestic abuse and homeless shelters; housing for the elderly or people with disabilities; prisons and jails; mental health facilities; some employer-based housing
  • Non-frontline essential health care: Emergency management; cyber security; critical support roles such as cleaning, HVAC and refrigeration; critical supply chain, such as production and distribution of vaccine

Action 2 News continues updating its guide to vaccination clinics and health agencies distributing the COVID-19 vaccine. CLICK HERE for locations and phone numbers and websites to register.

HOSPITALIZATIONS

The DHS says 55 people were hospitalized for COVID-19 in the past 24-hour period. That’s in line with the 7-day average of 56 new hospitalizations per day. By the state’s count, 25,893 people have ever been hospitalized in Wisconsin for COVID-19 treatment, or 4.6% of all cases.

The Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) reported there are 355 people currently hospitalized for COVID-19, with 93 in ICU, after taking deaths and discharges into account. That’s 1 more in ICU and 8 more in hospitals overall since Tuesday.

There are 17 COVID-19 patients in the Fox Valley region’s 13 hospitals, with only 1 in ICU. Those numbers are the same as Tuesday.

The Northeast region’s 10 hospitals were treating 37 patients, which is 1 less than Tuesday, with 12 people in ICU, which is 2 more than Tuesday.

HOSPITAL READINESS

In terms of hospital readiness, the WHA reported 276 ICU beds (18.8%) and 2,038 of all medical beds (18.2%) -- ICU, intermediate care, medical surgical and negative flow isolation beds -- are open in the state’s 134 hospitals.

Fox Valley hospitals had 11 ICU beds (10.6%) and 120 of all medical beds (14.1%) open for the eight counties they serve.

In the Northeast region, hospitals have 26 ICU beds (12.6%) and 184 of all medical beds (19.2%) available.

These are beds for all patients, not just COVID-19, and because a bed is open or available doesn’t mean a hospital can put a patient in it if there isn’t enough staffing, including doctors, nurses and food services.

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

Wisconsin

  • Adams – 1,577 cases (+5) (11 deaths)
  • Ashland – 1,172 cases (16 deaths)
  • Barron – 5,321 cases (+12) (76 deaths)
  • Bayfield - 1,063 cases (19 deaths)
  • Brown – 30,119 cases (+26) (221 deaths)
  • Buffalo – 1,314 cases (+2) (7 deaths)
  • Burnett – 1,191 cases (+3) (23 deaths)
  • Calumet – 5,442 cases (+6) (43 deaths)
  • Chippewa – 7,013 cases (+0) (92 deaths) (+2)
  • Clark – 3,153 cases (+2) (57 deaths)
  • Columbia – 5,005 cases (+4) (51 deaths)
  • Crawford – 1,666 cases (+1) (17 deaths)
  • Dane – 40,123 (+82) (272 deaths)
  • Dodge – 11,374 cases (+8) (155 deaths)
  • Door – 2,406 cases (20 deaths)
  • Douglas – 3,661 cases (+7) (26 deaths) (+1)
  • Dunn – 4,244 cases (+10) (28 deaths)
  • Eau Claire – 10,961 cases (+19) (104 deaths) (deaths revised -1 by state)
  • Florence - 434 cases (+1) (12 deaths)
  • Fond du Lac – 11,934 cases (+14) (93 deaths) (+1)
  • Forest - 924 cases (23 deaths) (cases revised -1 by state)
  • Grant – 4,625 cases (+3) (79 deaths)
  • Green – 3,100 cases (+19) (16 deaths)
  • Green Lake - 1,524 cases (+2) (18 deaths)
  • Iowa - 1,849 cases (+1) (9 deaths)
  • Iron - 537 cases (20 deaths)
  • Jackson - 2,578 cases (+2) (23 deaths)
  • Jefferson – 7,838 cases (+5) (79 deaths) (+3)
  • Juneau - 2,976 cases (+1) (19 deaths)
  • Kenosha – 14,764 cases (+16) (301 deaths) (+1)
  • Kewaunee – 2,413 cases (+1) (27 deaths)
  • La Crosse – 12,162 cases (+18) (77 deaths) (+2)
  • Lafayette - 1,449 cases (+6) (7 deaths)
  • Langlade - 1,931 cases (+1) (31 deaths)
  • Lincoln – 2,897 cases (+2) (58 deaths) (+1)
  • Manitowoc – 7,213 cases (+9) (63 deaths)
  • Marathon – 13,621 cases (+14) (175 deaths)
  • Marinette - 3,977 cases (62 deaths)
  • Marquette – 1,297 cases (21 deaths)
  • Menominee - 795 cases (+1) (11 deaths)
  • Milwaukee – 97,825 (+104) (1,224 deaths) (+1)
  • Monroe – 4,284 cases (+3) (31 deaths)
  • Oconto – 4,252 cases (+4) (48 deaths)
  • Oneida - 3,349 cases (+1) (66 deaths)
  • Outagamie – 19,120 cases (+28) (192 deaths) (+1)
  • Ozaukee – 7,598 cases (+10) (77 deaths) (+1)
  • Pepin – 804 cases (+3) (7 deaths)
  • Pierce – 3,454 cases (+11) (33 deaths)
  • Polk – 3,882 cases (+15) (44 deaths)
  • Portage – 6,452 cases (+11) (64 deaths)
  • Price – 1,151 cases (7 deaths)
  • Racine – 20,270 cases (+17) (315 deaths) (+1)
  • Richland - 1,284 cases (+3) (14 deaths)
  • Rock – 14,336 cases (+21) (156 deaths) (+3)
  • Rusk - 1,247 cases (+1) (16 deaths)
  • Sauk – 5,245 cases (+5) (39 deaths)
  • Sawyer - 1,501 cases (+1) (21 deaths)
  • Shawano – 4,582 cases (+8) (70 deaths)
  • Sheboygan – 12,826 cases (+24) (128 deaths)
  • St. Croix – 6,348 cases (+24) (43 deaths) (+1)
  • Taylor - 1,797 cases (+4) (21 deaths) (+1)
  • Trempealeau – 3,378 cases (+3) (36 deaths)
  • Vernon – 1,818 cases (+4) (36 deaths)
  • Vilas - 2,104 cases (+14) (36 deaths)
  • Walworth – 8,801 cases (+17) (126 deaths) (+1)
  • Washburn – 1,287 cases (18 deaths)
  • Washington – 13,700 cases (+17) (133 deaths) (+2)
  • Waukesha – 40,451 cases (+57) (480 deaths) (+2)
  • Waupaca – 4,766 cases (+3) (112 deaths)
  • Waushara – 2,098 cases (+5) (30 deaths)
  • Winnebago – 16,982 cases (+22) (183 deaths)
  • Wood – 6,676 cases (+5) (73 deaths)

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula **

  • Alger - 277 cases (1 death)
  • Baraga - 505 cases (+1) (32 deaths)
  • Chippewa - 716 cases (23 deaths) (cases revised -1 by state)
  • Delta – 2,644 cases (+2) (65 deaths)
  • Dickinson - 2,131 cases (+2) (55 deaths)
  • Gogebic - 926 cases (+5) (19 deaths)
  • Houghton – 2,108 cases (+8) (32 deaths)
  • Iron – 866 cases (40 deaths)
  • Keweenaw – 115 cases (+3) (1 death)
  • Luce – 132 cases
  • Mackinac - 290 cases (+1) (3 deaths)
  • Marquette - 3,448 cases (+2) (54 deaths)
  • Menominee - 1,614 cases (35 deaths)
  • Ontonagon – 359 cases (+1) (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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