Lowest New COVID-19 Case Total Since June 29th
But assessing state's progress in fighting COVID-19 remains elusive for now.
Publicly available data makes it difficult to easily assess Wisconsin’s fight against COVID-19.
Yes, fewer people are being newly diagnosed with the disease. The seven-day case total stands at 4,658, down 28.5 percent from a high of 6,512 on July 26th.
But it’s not that simple.
Testing has fallen 37.5 percent over the same time period, from a rolling seven-day total of 93,159 tests to 58,240.
The positive case rate, the percentage of tests confirming a new case of the disease, climbed to 8 percent on a seven-day rolling average basis and 6.48 percent on a 14-day basis. Officials have looked for the percentage to decline as testing expands to indicate sufficient testing is being done and the disease’s spread is slowing, instead the percentage has increased as testing has contracted.
But limited information is available on who is getting tested, and why. The testing decline could be due to a reduction in people experiencing symptoms.
Are cases being undercounted? And if so, by how many? That’s where things get complicated.
If so, individuals, as they did early in the pandemic, would begin to seek medical treatment before even being diagnosed.
The number of people actively hospitalized with a confirmed case of the disease increased from 330 to 337 on Monday according to the Wisconsin Hospital Association. Because of a change in federal requirements, there isn’t active hospitalization data from July 26th or the week surrounding it. But even if that data existed, it wouldn’t produce a clear answer. Hospitalizations are a lagging indicator of the disease’s spread.
A person with an undiagnosed case today might not need medical support for a couple of weeks.
The hospitalization data also doesn’t indicate the age of those actively hospitalized. For much of the summer, the majority of people newly diagnosed have been in individuals under the age of 40. Younger individuals have substantially lower hospitalization and death rates from COVID-19.
DHS does report the number of people newly hospitalized each day. The 30-day average has trended downward from a pandemic high of 45 in early August to an average of 40 as of Monday. But the figure is above the new hospitalizations totals recorded early in the summer (June averaged 29).
Daily death totals also trended upward in recent months, but have dipped in recent weeks.
Regardless of what the big picture data is showing, data released Monday afternoon by DHS hint at a slowing spread of the disease.
A total of 392 new cases were reported from 4,865 tests, a positive case rate of 8.01 percent. Monday’s data release is often the lowest of the week, but testing increased from a recent low of 4,814 reported Sunday while new cases dropped from 453.
Fifteen people were newly hospitalized, the second day in a row the state has reported a figure below the rolling 30-day average.
Most notably, for the second day in a row DHS reported no deaths from the disease. The last back-to-back days with no COVID-19 deaths were July 12th and 13th.
DHS reports 70,854 Wisconsin residents have tested positive for the disease since the outbreak began, with 4,658 in the past week and 9,790 in the past 14 days. DHS reports that 88 percent of individuals with a confirmed case have “recovered,” as defined by a documented abatement of symptoms or a diagnosis over 30 days ago. A total of 58,240 tests have been processed in the past seven days.
According to DHS data, 2,439.8 out of every 100,000 Milwaukee County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 (up from 2,432.3) since the outbreak began. Racine County has 1,965.2 cases per 100,000 residents (no change). Iron County, the northern-most county that borders Michigan, has 1,924.8 cases per 100,000 residents (up from 1,889.8), but only 110 total cases.
Brown (1.912.7), Kenosha (1,707.4), Walworth (1,557.1), Marinette (1,393.8), Trempealeau (1,341.8), Waukesha (1,320.5), Dodge (1,178), Waupaca (1,152.7), Lafayette (1,087.5) and Washington (1,085.2) are the only other counties with more than 1,000 cases per 100,000 residents.
The statewide average of cases per 100,000 residents rose to 1,226.2 (up from 1,219.4 yesterday). Wisconsin has recorded a per-capita rate of 182.7 per 100,000 in the past two weeks according to the DHS activity level report released Wednesday.
Charts and Maps
Percent of COVID-19 cases by hospitalization status
|Hospitalization status||Number of confirmed cases as of 8/24/2020||Percent of confirmed cases as of 8/24/2020|
Percent of COVID-19 cases resulting in hospitalization within age group
Confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths by gender
Confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths by race
Confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths by ethnicity
Number of positive cases and deaths by county
|Wisconsin County||Positive as of 8/24/2020||Negative as of 8/24/2020||Deaths as of 8/24/2020||Rate (positive cases per 100,000 people) as of 8/24/2020||Case fatality percentage (percent of cases who died) as of 8/24/2020|
|Fond du Lac||964||17,351||9||942.2||1%|
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