1,351 Positive COVID-19 Cases in Wisconsin, 674 in Milwaukee County
State working with private partners to double testing capacity.
The total number of individuals testing positive for COVID-19 continues to rise in Wisconsin. And the state continues to evolve how it describes what period of time the data reflects.
The Department of Health Services reported 1,351 positive cases on Tuesday afternoon, an increase of 130 over yesterday’s total and the third biggest one-day increase.
The data previously was accurate as of 9 p.m. the evening prior, but during a media briefing on Monday DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm said the state now cuts off counting at 12:30 p.m. the same day. “All data are laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 that we freeze once a day to verify and ensure that we are reporting accurate information. These numbers are the official state numbers, though counties may report their own totals independent of DHS. Combining the DHS and local totals may result in inaccurate totals,” says the DHS website.
Regardless of when the results are from, it’s not an exact count of the number of Wisconsinites suffering from the disease. The United States continues to have fewer tests available than it does people experiencing symptoms. A state memo provides physicians and labs with guidance on who should be tested, including those requiring hospitalization and healthcare workers.
“We don’t think everyone should get tested because we need to preserve resources,” said Dr. Ryan Westergaard, Chief Medical Officer of the Bureau of Communicable Diseases, on Friday. He said the actual number of people with the disease could be 10 times greater, but that figure isn’t known at this point.
“The rate-limiting factor here, beyond bricks and mortar and equipment, is the reagents necessary to run these tests,” said Palm on Monday. “The supply chain for testing materials is extremely fragile.”
Governor Tony Evers announced a public-private partnership Monday designed to increase the state’s testing capacity. According to Tuesday’s data, 1,649 Wisconsin residents had lab-processed tests in the past 24 hours.
There is other encouraging news. She said hospitals, clinics and labs are doing a better and better job of inventorying their equipment in a shared fashion. The state previously reported 620 ventilators in the state. “I can tell you the system is telling me now that we have 1,215 ventilators,” said Palm.
A total of 11 deaths have been confirmed in Milwaukee County to date with two cases pending. A total of 25 deaths have been reported across Wisconsin, but the state report currently only includes 16 (including six in Milwaukee County).
DHS reports, based on data cleaned up to remove duplicates and non-Wisconsin residents, that 17,375 people have tested negative for the virus. Yesterday Palm and Westergaard said the state would soon be able to report hospitalization data.
Charts and Maps
Wisconsin COVID-19 Test Results
|Test Results||Number of People|
Number of Positive Results by County
|Wisconsin County||Total Cases||Total Deaths|
|Fond du Lac||22||2|
*The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s data portal shows 14 COVID-19 deaths as of 3/31/2020. Two cases are not currently certified, and one was a resident of Waukesha County.
*On 3/29/2020 it was reported that a Waukesha County employee’s death was connected to COVID-19, the employee was a resident of Washington County.
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