MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) – Wisconsin state health officials are reporting a drop in new coronavirus cases for the first time after a steady in rise in cases during the past four days, as noted in the chart below. The Department of Health Services (DHS) says another 676 new cases were identified Saturday. That was 14.08% of the 4,802 results for people being tested, or testing positive, for the coronavirus for the first time. Despite the rising day-to-day numbers, the 7-day average fell again to 625 cases per day, the lowest average since July 9, when the average was below 600.
|Number of new cases reported by the DHS in a 24 hour period|
New cases were reported in 62 out of 72 counties. Meanwhile, the state revised case numbers in Walworth County, and revised death totals in Dane County. New deaths were reported in Brown, Dunn, Kenosha, Monroe, Ozaukee, Richland, Walworth, Washington, Waukesha, Winnebago and Wood Counties.
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 is below 3% for the third straight day. That figure first fell below 3% on February 17, when it hit 2.9%, and dropped to 2.8% on Thursday, and held steady for Friday. As we’ve reported, health officials want to see these positivity rates fall to 3% to consider the COVID-19 virus is being managed.
For the fourth straight day, the death rate held steady at 1.12% of all COVID-19 cases, despite the deaths of 17 more people. The DHS says Wisconsin’s cumulative death toll due to COVID-19 is now 6,284, and the state is averaging 18 COVID-19 deaths per day, one more than Friday’s average.
337,511 people have completed the two-dose vaccine regimen in Wisconsin, which is 22,749 more people than Friday’s report. So far, 5.8% of the state’s population is completely vaccinated, an increase of 0.4% from Friday.
Health officials say 1,159,390 “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, 12.9% of all the state’s White residents received at least one dose, compared to 9% 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 9,318 active cases diagnosed in the past 30 days (1.7% of all known cases); 543,411 people (97.2% 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 – some figures will still be updated later Saturday afternoon
The DHS says 81 more people were hospitalized for COVID-19, the eleventh day with fewer than 100 hospitalizations but it raised the 7-day average from 63 to 64 hospitalizations per day. Since the virus’s first appearance in Wisconsin, 25,716 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 were 370 COVID-19 patients in the state’s hospitals on Friday — 18 fewer patients than Thursday. That includes 96 in intensive care units — 11 fewer patients in ICU, and the first time that metric has been 100 since there were 98 patients in ICU on September 18. This is the fourth time in 7 days there were fewer than 400 COVID-19 patients hospitalized at one time.
The Fox Valley region’s 13 hospitals were treating 19 COVID-19 patients, one less than Thursday, with 3 in ICU, one more than Thursday.
The Northeast region’s 10 hospitals treated 37 COVID-19 patients Friday, six more than the day before. The number in ICU fell by two to 10 patients.
HOSPITAL READINESS – these figures will be updated later Saturday afternoon
In terms of hospital readiness, the WHA reported 255 ICU beds (17.4%) and 2,176 of all medical beds (19.5%) 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 17 open ICU beds (16.3%) among them, and 134 of all medical beds (15.7%) for the eight counties they serve.
In the Northeast region’s 10 hospitals, 41 ICU beds (19.8%) and 257 of all medical beds (26.9%) are open.
We use the terms “open” or “unoccupied” instead of “available” because whether a bed can be filled depends on hospitals having the staff for a patient in that bed, including doctors, nurses and food services.
Statewide, 16 of the 134 hospitals report they have less than a 7-day supply of gowns and 11 are running low on paper medical masks. Those numbers are the same as Monday.
SATURDAY’S COUNTY CASE AND DEATH TOTALS WILL BE HERE SHORTLY (Counties with new cases or deaths are indicated in bold) *
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula **
* 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.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified these as possible symptoms of COVID-19:
- Fever of 100.4 or higher
- Shortness of breath
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
- 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
Copyright 2021 WBAY. All rights reserved.