Bruce Murphy
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State’s COVID-19 Level Worse Than Entire Developed World?

Wisconsin worse off than 31 states and probably every developed country.

By - Jul 27th, 2020 12:52 pm
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2019 Novel Coronavirus. Image by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

2019 Novel Coronavirus. Image by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The latest analysis of COVID-19 data by the New York Times is sobering news for Wisconsin. 

For starters the state ranks 18th, higher than 31 other states and worse than every other Midwestern state, in the per capita increase in coronavirus cases. Wisconsin had 116 cases per 100,00 over the most recent seven-day period measured, compared to just eight cases for Vermont, which was lowest in the U.S. and 48 for Michigan, which was lowest in the Midwest. Florida ranked the worst, with 344 cases.

The Times did another analysis of per-capita increases showing the U.S. ranked far worse than every developed country in the world, with a level of COVID-19 cases that was about at least six times higher than the second-worst-hit developed country, Sweden, The analysis also found that “the surge in the United States is so extreme that, once adjusted for population… 10 states are recording more new cases than any country in the world.” Those states included Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Arizona, Alabama, South Carolina, Texas, Idaho and Tennessee. 

While there is no breakout for Wisconsin in that graph, given the average case level in the U.S. and Wisconsin’s ranking above 31 states, we likely rank worse than every other developed country and some of the less developed countries in the per capita increase in COVID-19 cases. 

Another indication of how poorly Wisconsin is doing was a Times analysis showing the surge in cases nationally is not caused by more testing. “The average number of tests conducted nationwide has grown by 80 percent since early June, to 780,000 per day,” the story reported. “Daily case counts have grown by 215 percent in the same period.”

“Thirty-one states show an increase in cases beyond what would be expected from expanded testing,” the report found, which included Wisconsin. Wisconsin had 465 more cases per day than would have been expected, which put it far behind worst-case Florida (8,743 more cases per day than expected), but with a higher number than all but 11 states. This ranking, however was not done an a per-capita basis, which could skew the per-state comparison. 

But all the data combined creates an alarming portrait of how Wisconsin is doing in fighting the pandemic. One obvious explanation is the lack of restrictions in Wisconsin: only one state, South Dakota, has less pandemic restrictions, a recent analysis found. The analysis by Wallet Hub updates a past report and looks at nine kinds of restrictions, including mask mandates, strictness of stay-at-home order, reopening of bars and restaurants and workplace temperature screenings, and finds Wisconsin is the second-least restrictive state. 

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3 thoughts on “Back in the News: State’s COVID-19 Level Worse Than Entire Developed World?”

  1. Thomas Sepllman says:

    It is important to point out that the Republicans are the folks who took the case to court and the folks who have refused to even meet much less undo the DAMAGE cause by the Supreme Court of Wisconsin. Now Tony could/should be calling the idiots into session weekly

    Simple 24 hour testing results that makes tracking and tracing work and makes us all feel much safer and better.

  2. Alan Bartelme says:

    Gee, the GOP demanded we do nothing, and things aren’t getting better? Who could have seen that coming?

  3. JMcD says:

    Is there any will at all from any elected Republican in our state to demand faster testing turnaround, masks, closing of indoor bars and restaurants? Just one voice? Bueller? Bueller?

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