MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) – Wisconsin health officials say they have confirmed another 5,146 new coronavirus cases Saturday. This comes after the state’s record day of 7,777 new cases on Friday, which put Wisconsin past the 300,000 case milestone.

As of Saturday, the state has seen a cumulative confirmed case total of 306,311.

The state received a total 18,954 test results Saturday, and 27%, (about one in four tests) were positive. The remaining 13,311 tests were negative.

More than 68,000 people who tested positive (68,453) are still considered active cases, meaning they were diagnosed in the past 30 days and haven’t been medically cleared. That’s 22.4% of all the state’s cases. 235,170 people, or 76.8% of all known cases, are considered recovered.

52 more patients were added to the death toll, bringing that total to 2,625. As of Friday, COVID-19 had killed more people in Wisconsin in less than 8 months than either stroke, Alzheimer disease, diabetes, the flu and pneumonia, and self-harm killed in all of 2018, according to the CDC. The COVID-19 death toll was inserted in a chart where it would appear in the rankings (see chart from Friday’s report by clicking here).

The death rate is back at 0.86% after a one day dip to 0.85% Friday. The 7-day average for deaths increased to 46 after a one day decrease to 45. Our records show that was the first decline for that metric since October 29.

County numbers will be listed later this in this article.

The state says 181 more people were hospitalized in the past 24 hours, putting the total number of cumulative hospitalizations at 14,226.

Since the first patient in Madison on February 5, 4.6% of all known coronavirus cases in the state have required hospitalization. That percentage is a slight decrease from Friday’s report of 4.7%.

Wisconsin is averaging 6,169 new coronavirus cases a day and 34.69% of tests are coming back positive. Those figures are down from Friday’s report, which showed the state with an average of 6,443 cases a day, and a seven day percentage rate of 36.15%.

HOSPITAL READINESS NUMBERS FROM FRIDAY – Saturday’s numbers will be updated once they become available.

As of 11 a.m. Saturday, the DHS reports there are 20 patients at the state’s alternate care facility.

The Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) reports 2,045 COVID-19 patients are currently hospitalized, with 435 in intensive care. The state’s 134 hospitals have a total 162 vacant ICU beds — that’s 50 more than the day before — which is 11% of the state’s ICU beds. Overall, 11.2% of all the state’s hospital beds are open. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re all available to patients if hospitals don’t have staffing to support them.

The Fox Valley region has 13 hospitals serving 8 counties. Friday it has 6 vacant ICU beds out of 104, or 5.8%. There are 51 beds open including ICU, intermediate care, medical surgical and negative flow isolation, indicating 94% of all the beds at the Fox Valley region’s hospitals are occupied.

The Northeast region has 10 hospitals serving 7 counties. They only have 9 vacant ICU beds out of 207, or 4.3%. The hospitals have a total 130 beds open, or 13.6% of all the beds, indicating 86.4% of beds are occupied.

Changes in hospitalization figures take hospital discharges and deaths into account.

Across the state, 23 hospitals report less than a week’s supply of gowns and 14 have less than a week’s supply of paper medical masks on-hand.

In a news conference Thursday afternoon, Gov. Tony Evers said he plans to release pandemic relief bills next week but didn’t offer any details what they might contain. It’s unclear whether the bills will get any traction in the Republican-controlled Legislature. The last relief bill was passed more than six months ago, and the GOP and its allies have blocked every initiative Evers has enacted to slow the virus’s spread since they successfully sued to overturn the safer-at-home order last spring.

The governor issued a new safer-at-home executive order Tuesday night. Unlike the order overturned by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, this order doesn’t apply to businesses except in urging the public to stay home as much as possible; avoid unnecessary errands or travel; and utilize drive-thru, curbside pick-up and delivery options as much as possible (read details here).

SATURDAY’S COUNTY CASE NUMBERS WILL BE POSTED HERE SHORTLY (Counties with new cases or deaths are indicated in bold.)* We will also include the county by county case numbers for Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.**

* 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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