Jeramey Jannene

381 Cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin, 4 Deaths

"Stay at home," says Governor Tony Evers in simple message on how Wisconsinites can help.

By - Mar 22nd, 2020 01:58 pm
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COVID-19. Credit: U.S. Army.

COVID-19. Credit: U.S. Army.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin continues to rise.

A total of 381 individuals have now tested positive for the disease, up from 281 yesterday according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS). As of Sunday, four deaths had been reported in Wisconsin as a result of the disease.

The number of negative tests also continues to rise, the count is now at 6230, up from yesterday’s total of 4,628.

The numbers don’t tell the whole story of how the pandemic is playing out because of the shortage of testing supplies, turnaround time in getting test results back and lag time in hoped impact of public gathering restrictions put in place by state and local officials.

The state issued a memo earlier this week that established a four-tier testing system intended to make sure the highest risk individuals are tested. Tests have been primarily processed by two public health labs, one at UW-Madison and another operated by the Milwaukee Health Department, but private labs are adding capacity.

Testing priority is given to tier-one cases (critically ill, in an intensive care unit or hospitalized with known exposure to COVID-19 case or travel to area with community transmission) and tier-two cases (hospitalized patients and long-term care residents with unexplained fever and signs of a lower respiratory tract illness or health care workers with unexplained fever and a lower respiratory tract illness, no hospitalization requirement).

Individuals experiencing no or mild symptoms may never be tested. “There is no need to test people that are not having symptoms,” said Dr. Ryan Westergaard, Chief Medical Officer of the Bureau of Communicable Diseases, on Tuesday. “Unless you’re experiencing shortness of breath, it’s not a medical emergency,” said Milwaukee Health Commissioner Jeanette Kowalik in laying out who should be tested during a media briefing this week.

But that doesn’t mean the individuals aren’t spreading the disease and putting others at risk. Six counties, including Milwaukee County, are now reporting “community transmission” indicating that officials cannot trace the origin of a new case to an existing one.

Governor Tony Evers delivered a simple message to Wisconsinites during a briefing Friday, “stay at home.”.

DHS, through its Twitter account, suggested people can go outside, but must maintain “social distancing” of six feet from others. The most common way the disease is believed to spread is through “respiratory droplets” when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website offers guidance on how the disease spreads and how individuals can protect themselves and others.

For more on the strategy to “flatten the curve” and ensure enough intensive care unit facilities are available in hospitals, see our coverage from yesterday.

Wisconsin COVID-19 Test Results

Test Results Number of People as of 3/22/2020
Negative 6230
Positive 381
Deaths 4

Number of Positive Results by County

Wisconsin County Total Cases as of 3/22/2020 Total Deaths as of 3/22/2020
Bayfield 1 0
Brown* 3 0
Calumet 1 0
Chippewa 1 0
Columbia* 5 0
Dane* 61 0
Douglas 1 0
Dunn 1 0
Eau Claire 4 0
Fond du Lac 16 1
Green 1 0
Jefferson 2 0
Kenosha* 10 0
La Crosse 5 0
Marathon 1 0
Milwaukee* 182 2
Outagamie 2 0
Ozaukee 13 1
Pierce 1 0
Racine 4 0
Rock 3 0
Sauk 2 0
Sheboygan 6 0
St. Croix 2 0
Walworth 3 0
Washington 14 0
Waukesha* 30 0
Winnebago 5 0
Wood 1 0
Total 381 4

* An asterisk indicates community spread has been identified.

About the Data

A variety of testing totals are shared every day. Urban Milwaukee uses the daily DHS website update at 2 p.m. as its primary reporting measure. Milwaukee County updates its tracking website at 7:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. each day.

For more on the COVID-19 pandemic, see our topic page aggregating our articles and press releases from politicians, businesses and other organizations.

If you think stories like this are important, become a member of Urban Milwaukee and help support real, independent journalism. Plus you get some cool added benefits, all detailed here.

More about the Coronavirus Pandemic

Categories: Health

One thought on “381 Cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin, 4 Deaths”

  1. Mark Nicolini says:

    I am very supportive of the emphasis on social/spatial distancing and associated restrictions.

    I also understand why, at the present time, we need to limit testing for the virus.

    However, as this article states “that doesn’t mean the {asymptomatic} individuals aren’t spreading the disease and putting others at risk.”

    It’s my understanding that at some point, when adequate testing capacity is available, it will be optimal to test practically everyone who hasn’t been identified as infected, in order to determine who should receive humane quarantine, and if necessary, treatment, so that those who haven’t been infected can return safely to normal behavior. This would also allow for intense contact tracing pertaining to those who do in fact present as infected,

    My concern: the messaging that surrounds the current, and unfortunately, necessary, rationing of testing might eventually result in confusion or resistance to a community-wide testing regimen when that becomes feasible. If my understanding is indeed correct, perhaps this can be incorporated into the public health guidance. Something along the line of “not now, but possibly later” for those without symptoms.

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