Jeramey Jannene
WI Daily

COVID-19 Early Indicators Are “Very Troubling”

Medical College of Wisconsin CEO warns of accelerating spread of COVID-19. Positive case rate has increased for 25 days.

By - Jul 13th, 2020 04:48 pm
Get a daily rundown of the top stories on Urban Milwaukee
COVID-19. Credit: U.S. Army.

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

Wisconsin is nearly a month into a growing surge in COVID-19 cases.

The Department of Health Services reported 494 newly-confirmed cases on Monday afternoon, below the 14-day average of 635, but just above the 30-day average of 481. The 30 days prior had an average of 375 cases per day.

An average of 9,517 tests per day were processed over the past 30 days as daily testing capacity grew from 16,668 to 24,362. The daily processed tests average is an increase over the 9,126 tests per day processed in the 30 days prior, but does not explain the over 100 case per day increase.

The biggest driver in the increase is the positive case rate, the 14-day average of which has now been growing for 25 straight days. The figure is a measure of the percentage of tests that confirm a new case of the disease. The percentage of people testing positive for the disease is increasing even as the number of tests administered fluctuates.

DHS reported a positive case rate of 7.46 percent on Monday, increasing the 14-day average to 6.30 percent. The seven-day average stands at 6.47 percent and the gap between seven- and 14-day averages is now the smallest it has been since the upward trend began.

“Our early indicators of COVID-19 are very troubling, the worst we have seen since mid-March, yet our lagging indicators still are good,” said Dr. John R. Raymond, Sr., President and CEO of the Medical College of Wisconsin during a brief Monday afternoon.

One of those lagging indicators, the number of people actively hospitalized increased by 19 to 284. The Monday total is the third-highest figure reported in the past 30 days (high: 291, June 14th). The state reported a three-month low of 235 on July 4th. A total of 26 people were newly hospitalized in the past 24 hours, below the 30-day average of 27.

For the second day in a row the state reported no new deaths from the disease, with the total standing at 820. It’s the third time the state has reported back-to-back days with no new deaths. An average of 4.3 deaths per day have been reported over the past 30 days, down from 8.71 in the 30 days prior.

And while the leading indicator, the number of new cases, continues on an upward trend, the lagging indicators of hospitalizations and deaths might not follow the same trajectory. The majority of new cases are being reported in individuals under the age of 40, a population that requires less hospitalization and has a lower death from the disease.

But both Raymond and Dr. Ryan Westergaard, Chief Medical Officer of DHS’ Bureau of Communicable Diseases, have expressed concern that cases could jump from young people to the state’s more vulnerable seniors. The hospitalization rate grows six-fold when comparing individuals under 40 to those 40 and older.

A total of 36,942 people have tested positive for the disease since the outbreak began with 14,424 in the past 30 days and 4,881 in the past week.  DHS reports that 78 percent of individuals with a confirmed case have “recovered,” as defined by a documented abatement of symptoms or a diagnosis over 30 days ago. The percent fell from a high of 79 as a surge in new cases has been reported.

According to DHS data, 1,477.5 out of every 100,000 Milwaukee County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 (up from 1,459.6) since the outbreak began. Brown County, which is anchored by Green Bay, has 1,242.9 cases per 100,000 residents (up from 1,242.6). Racine County has 1,202.5 cases per 100,000 residents (up from 1,197).

Kenosha (1,048.5), Walworth (767.9), Rock (643.5), Trempealeau (625), Dodge (595.8), Dane (575.5), Forest (532.3), La Crosse (501.5), Lafayette (484), Winnebago (453.7), Waukesha (432.5), Jefferson (426.3) and Grant (405.2) are the only other counties with more than 400 cases per 100,000 residents.

The statewide average of cases per 100,000 residents rose to 639.3 (up from 630.8 yesterday).

According to data last updated Wednesday, Dane County has the fastest growing spread, followed by Milwaukee, Trempealeau, Walworth, La Crosse, Marquette and Brown counties.

There are currently 960 ventilators and 414 intensive care unit (ICU) beds available across the state according to the Wisconsin Hospital Association. Since the data became publicly available on April 10th, WHA has reported an average of 945 ventilators and 389 ICU beds as available.

Charts and Maps

Data from DHS.

Percent of COVID-19 cases by hospitalization status

Hospitalization status Number of confirmed cases as of 7/13/2020 Percent of confirmed cases as of 7/13/2020
Ever hospitalized 3,850 10%
Never hospitalized 21,120 57%
Unknown 11,972 32%
Total 36,942 100%

Summary of COVID-19 cases by age group

Data from DHS.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths by gender

Data from DHS.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths by race

Data from DHS.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths by ethnicity

Data from DHS.

Number of positive cases and deaths by county

Wisconsin County Positive as of 7/13/2020 Negative as of 7/13/2020 Deaths as of 7/13/2020 Rate (positive cases per 100,000 people) as of 7/13/2020 Case fatality percentage (percent of cases who died) as of 7/13/2020
Adams 41 1,835 2 204.3 5%
Ashland 8 1,031 0 50.9 0%
Barron 48 4,156 1 106.1 2%
Bayfield 7 1,267 1 46.7 14%
Brown 3,229 34,993 44 1242.9 1%
Buffalo 15 1,172 2 113.9 13%
Burnett 5 1,039 1 32.8 20%
Calumet 159 4,131 2 319.2 1%
Chippewa 140 6,813 0 220.0 0%
Clark 111 2,596 7 321.8 6%
Columbia 123 6,983 1 216.0 1%
Crawford 45 2,741 0 276.3 0%
Dane 3,049 84,720 33 575.5 1%
Dodge 523 12,005 5 595.8 1%
Door 54 3,123 3 196.8 6%
Douglas 61 2,931 0 140.5 0%
Dunn 57 4,134 0 128.1 0%
Eau Claire 340 10,382 1 330.1 0%
Florence 4 466 0 92.2 0%
Fond du Lac 399 11,396 6 390.0 2%
Forest 48 653 3 532.3 6%
Grant 210 6,442 13 405.2 6%
Green 110 3,515 1 298.4 1%
Green Lake 43 1,907 0 229.2 0%
Iowa 45 2,984 0 190.5 0%
Iron 17 487 1 297.5 6%
Jackson 36 4,165 1 175.6 3%
Jefferson 361 8,199 4 426.5 1%
Juneau 52 4,294 1 196.8 2%
Kenosha 1,765 20,118 46 1048.5 3%
Kewaunee 77 1,809 1 378.2 1%
La Crosse 591 13,966 0 501.5 0%
Lafayette 81 1,596 0 484.0 0%
Langlade 11 1,567 1 57.4 9%
Lincoln 23 2,109 0 82.6 0%
Manitowoc 155 7,221 1 195.2 1%
Marathon 293 8,436 1 216.6 0%
Marinette 100 4,945 3 246.7 3%
Marquette 53 1,364 1 348.5 2%
Menominee 9 1,349 0 196.5 0%
Milwaukee 14,098 127,119 398 1477.5 3%
Monroe 137 5,468 1 301.1 1%
Oconto 88 4,154 0 234.3 0%
Oneida 28 2,971 0 79.2 0%
Outagamie 665 18,059 9 359.9 1%
Ozaukee 315 7,338 16 356.8 5%
Pepin 15 671 0 206.6 0%
Pierce 103 3,235 0 247.6 0%
Polk 69 4,299 2 159.2 3%
Portage 254 6,651 0 359.8 0%
Price 8 1,149 0 59.3 0%
Racine 2,349 30,795 65 1202.2 3%
Richland 17 1,819 4 96.9 24%
Rock 1,041 17,584 24 643.5 2%
Rusk 11 907 1 77.6 9%
Sauk 169 7,763 3 265.7 2%
Sawyer 15 2,007 0 91.6 0%
Shawano 95 4,682 0 231.7 0%
Sheboygan 293 10,518 4 254.3 1%
St. Croix 288 7,667 2 327.6 1%
Taylor 21 1,246 0 103.2 0%
Trempealeau 184 3,848 0 625.0 0%
Vernon 40 3,053 0 131.1 0%
Vilas 17 1,439 0 78.7 0%
Walworth 791 10,918 18 767.9 2%
Washburn 6 1,284 0 38.2 0%
Washington 489 9,780 19 363.5 4%
Waukesha 1,725 31,931 40 432.5 2%
Waupaca 182 5,469 13 353.8 7%
Waushara 45 4,003 0 186.6 0%
Winnebago 777 20,396 13 457.3 2%
Wood 109 6,216 1 148.8 1%
Total 36,942 659,479 820 639.3 2%

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.

One thought on “WI Daily: COVID-19 Early Indicators Are “Very Troubling””

  1. Mark Nicolini says:

    I think it’s clear that bars and nightclubs are a significant source of the behavior that leads to infections. Goodness knows over the years I’ve enjoyed too much time in these establishments, and I understand why their hospitality is attractive. But given the circumstances I believe we need to pull back the permission for them to remain open.

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us