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.
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.
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 Association. 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|
Percent of COVID-19 cases and deaths by gender
|Gender||Confirmed Cases as of 4/23/2020||Deaths as of 4/23/2020|
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|
|Asian or Pacific Islander||143||3%||5||2%|
|Multiple or Other races||232||5%||1||0%|
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%|
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|
|Fond du Lac||66||1,120||3||64.5||5%|
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