Jeramey Jannene
Daily

State Reports Record High COVID-19 Testing Capacity

But the number of tests performed isn't keeping pace. State officials encourage doctors to test more people.

By - Apr 23rd, 2020 03:08 pm
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COVID-19. Credit: U.S. Army.

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

Testing capacity for COVID-19 has grown substantially in Wisconsin. The Department of Health Services reported Thursday that 48 active labs across Wisconsin have the capacity to process 10,937 tests, that’s up from just over 3,500 on April 6th and 7,238 on Monday.

The figure represents the on-hand capacity at labs, including all of the swabs, reagents and other elements needed to process a test.

But the number of people actually getting tested continues to fluctuate at levels well below the stated capacity. On Thursday DHS reported 2,161 tests were processed over the past 24 hours. It’s the second-highest total reported since the outbreak started, but individuals, including Wisconsin National Guard members, continue to report being unable to get tested despite state guidance allowing testing for anyone showing symptoms. DHS reported has reported an average of 1,643 tests per day in April.

“We are encouraging providers to test anyone with symptoms,” said DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm during a Thursday afternoon media briefing. DHS officials said they are doing a weekly webinar and have reached over 1,000 people. Alerts are also being sent to healthcare providers.

“There can be local variations in the testing availability in swabs, kits and [personal protective equipment],” said Dr. Ryan Westergaard, Chief Medical Officer of the DHS Bureau of Communicable Diseases. “Part of the message we are getting out to healthcare providers is we can and should test people more liberally than we have in the past…. we need those data, even if it doesn’t necessarily change the management of the patient.”

The state’s COVID-19 confirmed case count has grown to 5,052, an increase of 207 since yesterday. That’s the second biggest one day increase reported, following the 225 confirmed cases reported yesterday. Many of those that weeks earlier tested positive have now recovered said Westergaard.

The rate of tests that came back positive in the past 24 hours was 9.58 percent, below the daily average of 9.85 percent across April. “That’s the number that we want to see gradually going down,” said Westergaard.

The death toll from the disease has grown to 257, with 11 new confirmed deaths confirmed in the past 24 hours. Milwaukee County has been the site of 150 of the deaths. Across the state, 70 percent of those that have died from the disease have been 70 years old or older.

DHS officials are also working to ramp up contact tracing, where individuals testing positive are interviewed by public health workers regarding where they have been and who they may have come into contact with.

More Wisconsin residents should expect to receive a call in the near future that they have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. “As we build up our contract tracing abilities and start to turn the dial, more Wisconsinites are going to receive calls,” said Palm. As part of the Badger Bounce Back plan, the state has a goal of hiring 1,000 contact tracers. Those individuals notify individuals that were known to have contacted individuals with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and encourage them to self-isolate for at least 14 days to prevent further spread.

No information, including the name, about the individual that is confirmed to have COVID-19 is shared with those receiving calls.

Across the state, 458 intensive care units beds and 936 ventilators are available according to the Wisconsin Hospital Assocation. In Milwaukee County, 176 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19 according to the county’s dashboard.

Charts and Maps

Wisconsin COVID-19 summary

Status Number (%) of People as of 4/23/2020
Negative Test Results 51,456
Positive Test Results 5,052
Hospitalizations 1,318 (26%)
Deaths 257

Percent of COVID-19 cases and deaths by gender

Gender Confirmed Cases as of 4/23/2020 Deaths as of 4/23/2020
Female 52% 42%
Male 48% 58%
Total Number 5,052 257

Confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths by race

Race Number of cases as of 4/23/2020 Percent of cases as of 4/23/2020 Number of deaths as of 4/23/2020 Percent of deaths as of 4/23/2020
American Indian 46 1% 3 1%
Asian or Pacific Islander 143 3% 5 2%
Black 1,264 25% 85 33%
White 2,665 53% 157 61%
Multiple or Other races 232 5% 1 0%
Unknown 702 14% 6 2%
Total 5,052 100% 257 100%

Confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths by ethnicity

Ethnicity Number of cases as of 4/23/2020 Percent of cases as of 4/23/2020 Number of deaths as of 4/23/2020 Percent of deaths as of 4/23/2020
Hispanic or Latino 956 19% 15 6%
Not Hispanic or Latino 3,359 66% 234 91%
Unknown 737 15% 8 3%
Total 5,052 100% 257 100%

Number of positive cases and deaths by county

Wisconsin County Positive as of 4/23/2020 Negative as of 4/23/2020 Deaths as of 4/23/2020 Rate (positive cases per 100,000 people) as of 4/23/2020 Case fatality percentage (percent of cases who died) as of 4/23/2020
Adams 4 120 1 19.9 25%
Ashland 2 86 0 12.7 0%
Barron 6 634 0 13.3 0%
Bayfield 3 118 1 20.0 33%
Brown 455 1,499 2 175.1 0%
Buffalo 4 150 1 30.4 25%
Burnett 0 68 0 0.0 0%
Calumet 6 282 0 12.0 0%
Chippewa 20 801 0 31.4 0%
Clark 18 160 1 52.2 6%
Columbia 27 610 1 47.4 4%
Crawford 3 174 0 18.4 0%
Dane 387 7,581 21 73.0 5%
Dodge 20 714 1 22.8 5%
Door 9 112 1 32.8 11%
Douglas 9 418 0 20.7 0%
Dunn 9 806 0 20.2 0%
Eau Claire 23 1,586 0 22.3 0%
Florence 2 16 0 46.1 0%
Fond du Lac 66 1,120 3 64.5 5%
Forest 0 43 0 0.0 0%
Grant 26 445 3 50.2 12%
Green 10 258 0 27.1 0%
Green Lake 1 136 0 5.3 0%
Iowa 7 208 0 29.6 0%
Iron 2 33 1 35.0 50%
Jackson 12 213 1 58.5 8%
Jefferson 37 704 0 43.7 0%
Juneau 11 263 1 41.6 9%
Kenosha 294 1,588 6 174.7 2%
Kewaunee 10 90 1 49.1 10%
La Crosse 25 1,698 0 21.2 0%
Lafayette 4 75 0 23.9 0%
Langlade 0 78 0 0.0 0%
Lincoln 0 147 0 0.0 0%
Manitowoc 7 256 0 8.8 0%
Marathon 17 546 1 12.6 6%
Marinette 8 249 1 19.7 13%
Marquette 3 131 1 19.7 33%
Menominee 1 26 0 21.8 0%
Milwaukee 2,382 10,359 150 249.6 6%
Monroe 14 609 0 30.8 0%
Oconto 5 214 0 13.3 0%
Oneida 6 236 0 17.0 0%
Outagamie 38 960 2 20.6 5%
Ozaukee 80 749 9 90.6 11%
Pepin 0 96 0 0.0 0%
Pierce 8 341 0 19.2 0%
Polk 4 209 0 9.2 0%
Portage 4 246 0 5.7 0%
Price 1 65 0 7.4 0%
Racine 215 1,592 10 110.0 5%
Richland 10 212 1 57.0 10%
Rock 99 1,399 4 61.2 4%
Rusk 4 98 0 28.2 0%
Sauk 37 608 3 58.2 8%
Sawyer 2 215 0 12.2 0%
Shawano 6 265 0 14.6 0%
Sheboygan 44 693 2 38.2 5%
St. Croix 13 366 0 14.8 0%
Taylor 0 79 0 0.0 0%
Trempealeau 1 397 0 3.4 0%
Vernon 0 314 0 0.0 0%
Vilas 4 110 0 18.5 0%
Walworth 100 595 7 97.1 7%
Washburn 1 129 0 6.4 0%
Washington 90 1,435 4 66.9 4%
Waukesha 280 2,944 14 70.2 5%
Waupaca 6 289 1 11.7 17%
Waushara 2 111 0 8.3 0%
Winnebago 46 920 1 27.1 2%
Wood 2 359 0 2.7 0%
Total 5,052 51,456 257 87.4 5%

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