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Wisconsin: 51 more COVID-19 deaths as rate rises; almost 15,000 coronavirus cases in 4 days

MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) – Wisconsin’s death rate rose for a second time this week, back to 0.91%, where it was 5 days ago, as Wisconsin nears 215,000 confirmed coronavirus cases since the pandemic reached our state almost 9 months ago.

Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported 4,870 positive tests in its latest 13,174 results, or almost 37% positive (36.97%). The state added almost 15,000 coronavirus cases in 4 days and has now confirmed 214,996 cases since February 5.

New cases were reported in all 72 counties. County-by-county numbers are listed later in this article.

The number of new cases Thursday is second only to the record 5,262 reported on Tuesday, and the fourth time in 7 days more than 4,000 cases were confirmed. The state is now averaging 4,128 new cases a day over the past 7 days, an all-time high. The 7-day average positivity is also at an all-time high of 29.11%, or nearly 3 in 10 people tested getting a positive result.

DEATHS

Fifty-one more people were added to the state’s COVID-19 death toll, bringing it to 1,948.

The list of counties where people died is long: 7 deaths were reported in Brown County; 6 in Chippewa County; 5 in Manitowoc County; 4 each in Eau Claire and Waupaca counties; 3 each in Kenosha and Milwaukee counties; 2 each in Langlade, Outagamie and Rock counties; and one each in Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Door, Douglas, Florence, Jefferson, Marinette, Monroe, Price, Shawano, Sheboygan, Trempealeau, Vilas and Waukesha counties.

Death counts were revised downward in Adams, Oneida and Washington counties. Sheboygan County Public Health reported 3 more deaths occurred Thursday, too late to be included in this state report; one was in their 50′s, and the health department will only say the other two were in the “80 and up” age range.

ACTIVE CASES

The percentage of active cases went back up to 20.9% on Thursday after declining to 20.7% on Wednesday. The state reports almost 45,000 people in Wisconsin (44,896) were diagnosed within the last 30 days and haven’t been medically cleared.

There are 168,117 people who tested positive for the coronavirus but are no longer active cases, or 78.2% of all coronavirus cases.

HOSPITALIZATIONS

Almost 200 more people (193) were hospitalized for COVID-19 treatment, putting the number of people ever hospitalized in Wisconsin for COVID-19 over 11,000 (11,003). The percentage of people diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus who were hospitalized holds steady at 5.1%.

There were 1,453 COVID-19 patients in hospitals on Thursday, including 330 in intensive care, according to the Wisconsin Hospital Association. That’s 223 more COVID-19 patients in hospitals than a week ago, even taking deaths and hospital discharges into account.

There are currently 7 patients at the alternate care facility (ACF), a field hospital set up at the Wisconsin State Fair Park near Milwaukee. The facility helps the state’s hospitals make room for more serious patients by receiving patients who are closer to discharge but not quite ready, such as patients who can walk on their own but still need oxygen. To protect patient privacy, the DHS doesn’t say where patients are from. The ACF is funded by the federal CARES Act and there’s no charge to patients or their insurance for their care and transport to and from their local hospital.

NEW COMMUNITY TEST SITES

Gov. Tony Evers and DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm announced expanded community testing for COVID-19 on Thursday.

Seventy-one new community test sites will open by the end of the week for testing through December 10. Once they’re all open, 56 counties and 7 tribal nations will have regular testing sites.

Thirty-five testing sites will be open 1 to 3 days a week and 31 will conduct testing every other week. Five of these new sites, opening in 3 counties, will be open at least once a month.

CLICK HERE for the list of testing sites by county.

Anyone who lives or works in Wisconsin can get tested. Although you can register at the test site, you’re encouraged to register ahead of time at the COVID Connect web site.

Each site will be staffed by Wisconsin National Guard members and local site managers.

Evers and Palm say each new site is able to open through a partnership with local and tribal health departments, the Wisconsin National Guard, the State of Wisconsin Emergency Operations Center and county and tribal emergency management, and the Healthcare Emergency Readiness Coalition.

HOSPITAL READINESS

The DHS says 14% of all the state’s licensed medical beds are open right now, down from the range in the low 20s we were seeing a month ago. Thursday’s update from the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) reports 12% of ICU beds are open.

In the Fox Valley region, there are only 8 ICU beds open in the region’s 13 hospitals, and only 6.4% of all beds are open. Those hospitals report 145 COVID-19 patients, with 21 in ICU.

In the Northeast Region, 19 ICU beds are open, and 17.4% of all beds. The region’s 10 hospitals are treating 164 COVID-19 patients, 50 in ICU.

Day-to-day changes take hospital discharges and deaths into account.

The state says 454 patients are on mechanical ventilation and the 134 hospitals still have more than 1,800 ventilators on-hand. It’s important to note this includes patients with other medical issues, not just COVID-19 patients.

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

Wisconsin

  • Adams – 546 cases (+31) (4 deaths) (deaths revised -1 by state)
  • Ashland – 282 cases (+3) (3 deaths)
  • Barron – 1,178 cases (+46) (7 deaths)
  • Bayfield – 245 cases (+15) (2 deaths)
  • Brown – 15,738 cases (+361) (104 deaths)(+7)
  • Buffalo – 294 cases (+21) (3 deaths)
  • Burnett – 314 cases (+3) (6 deaths)
  • Calumet – 2,739 cases (+45) (11 deaths)
  • Chippewa – 1,789 cases (+104) (19 deaths) (+6)
  • Clark – 909 cases (+20) (16 deaths)
  • Columbia – 1,820 cases (+38) (7 deaths) (+1)
  • Crawford – 347 cases (+7) (1 death)
  • Dane – 15,153 cases (+24) (50 deaths) (+1)
  • Dodge – 4,343 cases (+185) (27 deaths) (+1)
  • Door – 871 cases (+49) (7 deaths) (+1)
  • Douglas – 798 cases (+18) (2 deaths) (+1)
  • Dunn – 1,102 cases (+36) (1 death)
  • Eau Claire – 3,656 cases (+125) (16 deaths) (+4)
  • Florence – 214 cases (+5) (7 deaths) (+1)
  • Fond du Lac – 4,695 cases (+131) (20 deaths)
  • Forest – 486 cases (+11) (11 deaths)
  • Grant – 1,906 cases (+25) (32 deaths)
  • Green – 982 cases (+25) (5 deaths)
  • Green Lake – 767 cases (+16) (3 deaths)
  • Iowa – 500 cases (+20) (1 death)
  • Iron – 194 cases (+3) (4 deaths)
  • Jackson – 544 cases (+50) (1 death)
  • Jefferson – 2,840 cases (+72) (15 deaths) (+1)
  • Juneau – 808 cases (+24) (4 deaths)
  • Kenosha – 5,241 cases (+123) (83 deaths)(+3)
  • Kewaunee – 1,105 cases (+31) (7 deaths)
  • La Crosse – 4,366 cases (+110) (21 deaths)
  • Lafayette – 562 case (+12) (1 death)
  • Langlade – 1,024 cases (+41) (11 deaths) (+2)
  • Lincoln – 834 cases (+32) (10 deaths)
  • Manitowoc – 2,867 cases (+79) (16 deaths) (+5)
  • Marathon – 4,896 cases (+168) (54 deaths)
  • Marinette – 1,777 cases (+39) (14 deaths) (+1)
  • Marquette – 628 cases (+12) (2 deaths)
  • Menominee – 315 cases (+11)
  • Milwaukee – 41,292 (+683) (585 deaths) (+3)
  • Monroe – 1,166 cases (+32) (6 deaths) (+1)
  • Oconto – 2,158 cases (+44) (17 deaths)
  • Oneida – 1,287 cases (+48) (13 deaths) (deaths revised -1 by state)
  • Outagamie – 9,443 cases (+192) (77 deaths) (+2)
  • Ozaukee – 2,340 cases (+94) (25 deaths)
  • Pepin – 156 cases (+10)
  • Pierce – 737 cases (+34) (7 deaths)
  • Polk – 584 cases (+21) (3 deaths)
  • Portage – 2,815 cases (+39) (21 deaths)
  • Price – 372 cases (+5) (3 deaths)
  • Racine – 7,604 cases (+147) (113 deaths)
  • Richland – 478 cases (+7) (8 deaths)
  • Rock – 5,197 cases (+59) (46 deaths) (+2)
  • Rusk – 223 cases (+12) (1 death)
  • Sauk – 1,810 cases (+25) (7 deaths)
  • Sawyer – 391 cases (+11) (3 deaths)
  • Shawano – 2,506 cases (+65) (25 deaths) (+1)
  • Sheboygan – 4,929 cases (+127) (27 deaths) (+1)
  • St. Croix – 1,912 cases (+54) (11 deaths)
  • Taylor – 502 cases (+14) (7 deaths)
  • Trempealeau – 1,065 cases (+29) (3 deaths) (+1)
  • Vernon – 502 cases (+3) (2 deaths)
  • Vilas – 585 cases (+22) (7 deaths) (+1)
  • Walworth – 3,449 cases (+38) (38 deaths)
  • Washburn – 252 cases (+7) (2 deaths)
  • Washington – 4,583 cases (+75) (41 deaths) (deaths revised -1 by state)
  • Waukesha – 12,728 cases (+282) (122 deaths) (+2)
  • Waupaca – 2,457 cases (+58) (44 deaths) (+4)
  • Waushara – 1,051 cases (+26) (5 deaths)
  • Winnebago – 8,960 cases (+161) (62 deaths)
  • Wood – 1,773 cases (+65) (9 deaths)

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

  • Alger – 88 cases (1 death) (cases revised -1 by state)
  • Baraga – 91 cases (+4) (4 deaths)
  • Chippewa – 92 cases (+3)
  • Delta – 1,150 cases (+30) (28 deaths) (+4)
  • Dickinson – 664 cases (+25) (20 deaths) (+2)
  • Gogebic – 298 cases (+8) (3 deaths)
  • Houghton – 797 cases (+14) (8 deaths)
  • Iron – 421 cases (+10) (22 deaths)
  • Keweenaw – 19 cases (cases revised -1 by state)
  • Luce – 63 cases (+16)
  • Mackinac – 127 cases (+3)
  • Marquette – 1,008 cases (+74) (15 deaths)
  • Menominee – 660 cases (+12) (6 deaths) (+1)
  • Ontonagon – 96 cases (+5)
  • Schoolcraft – 81 cases (+6)

* 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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