Jeramey Jannene
WI Daily

Wisconsin Has Higher COVID-19 Positive Case Rate Than Milwaukee

Long the state leader, Milwaukee County appears to be suppressing disease spread.

By - Aug 25th, 2020 05:59 pm
COVID-19. Credit: U.S. Army.

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

For months Milwaukee County has been the epicenter of Wisconsin’s COVID-19 pandemic. But that’s shifting.

“We’re seeing a statistically positive decrease in our percent positive number,” said Milwaukee County medical services director Dr. Ben Weston during a media briefing Tuesday. “This is a key metric to watch.”

The positive case rate measures the percentage of tests that indicate a positive case of the disease.

As testing has fallen, the statewide percentage has climbed to levels not seen since early May when testing was limited to those with symptoms. But Milwaukee County’s positive case rate is falling and the seven-day average stands near five percent. The statewide figure, including Milwaukee data, is eight percent.

That’s a reversal from what was seen for much of the pandemic. Milwaukee’s figure long exceeded that of the state’s.

That doesn’t mean COVID-19 is a non-issue in Milwaukee. Far from it. On a per-capita basis, the county still has the 10th greatest spread over the past two weeks according to a state reported last updated August 19th. On an absolute number basis, it remains the leader over the past two weeks

In fact, if you add every case in the nine counties ahead of Milwaukee in the per capita rankings, Milwaukee has a greater two-week case total than the nine leading counties combined.

The state Department of Health Services (DHS) is scheduled to update its activity level report Wednesday.

On Tuesday afternoon, DHS released its 24-hour report that showed 638 new cases from 9,987 tests.

DHS reports 71,492 Wisconsin residents have tested positive for the disease since the outbreak began, with 4,662 in the past week and 9,707 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 58,239 tests have been processed in the past seven days.

A two-day streak of no deaths was snapped as 13 deaths were reported, bringing the statewide total 1,094. Three were in Milwaukee County, bringing the county’s total to 479.

The Wisconsin Hospital Association reports that 354 people are actively hospitalized with a confirmed case of the disease, an increase of 17. DHS reports that 37 people were newly hospitalized in the past 24 hours.

According to DHS data, 2,451.9 out of every 100,000 Milwaukee County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 (up from 2,439.8) since the outbreak began. Racine County has recorded 1,979 cases per 100,000 residents (up from 1,965.2). Brown County has record 1953.1 cases per 100,000 residents (up from 1.912.7). Iron County, the northern-most county that borders Michigan, has 1,942.3 cases per 100,000 residents (up from 1,924.8), but only 110 total cases.

Kenosha (1,719.2), Walworth (1,575.5), Marinette (1,406.1), Trempealeau (1,358.8), Waukesha (1,325.2), Dodge (1,191.7), Waupaca (1,164.4), Washington (1,101.6), Lafayette (1,099.5) and Oconto (1,001.2) 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 1,237.2 (up from 1,226.2 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

Data from DHS.

Percent of COVID-19 cases by hospitalization status

Hospitalization status Number of confirmed cases as of 8/25/2020 Percent of confirmed cases as of 8/25/2020
Ever hospitalized 5,610 8%
Never hospitalized 41,823 59%
Unknown 24,059 34%
Total 71,492 100%

Percent of COVID-19 cases resulting in hospitalization within 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 8/25/2020 Negative as of 8/25/2020 Deaths as of 8/25/2020 Rate (positive cases per 100,000 people) as of 8/25/2020 Case fatality percentage (percent of cases who died) as of 8/25/2020
Adams 101 3,030 3 503.2 3%
Ashland 33 1,972 1 210.0 3%
Barron 359 6,867 3 793.3 1%
Bayfield 42 2,399 1 280.1 2%
Brown 5,074 56,852 57 1953.1 1%
Buffalo 56 1,897 2 425.3 4%
Burnett 33 1,979 1 216.3 3%
Calumet 452 7,541 2 907.5 0%
Chippewa 304 11,638 0 477.7 0%
Clark 230 4,191 8 666.8 3%
Columbia 329 11,328 2 577.7 1%
Crawford 98 3,847 0 601.7 0%
Dane 5,161 155,774 39 974.1 1%
Dodge 1,046 18,602 5 1191.7 0%
Door 127 5,073 3 462.8 2%
Douglas 242 5,936 0 557.6 0%
Dunn 155 6,407 0 348.3 0%
Eau Claire 737 17,374 6 715.6 1%
Florence 22 703 0 507.3 0%
Fond du Lac 969 17,461 9 947.1 1%
Forest 66 1,131 4 731.9 6%
Grant 423 10,469 16 816.2 4%
Green 255 5,888 1 691.7 0%
Green Lake 87 2,913 0 463.8 0%
Iowa 111 4,297 0 469.9 0%
Iron 111 1,317 1 1942.3 1%
Jackson 71 5,819 1 346.2 1%
Jefferson 829 15,217 6 979.3 1%
Juneau 177 6,719 1 670.0 1%
Kenosha 2,894 32,041 61 1719.2 2%
Kewaunee 155 2,913 2 761.3 1%
La Crosse 1,060 20,145 1 899.4 0%
Lafayette 184 2,709 0 1099.5 0%
Langlade 77 2,629 2 401.8 3%
Lincoln 76 3,853 1 272.9 1%
Manitowoc 468 11,991 1 589.4 0%
Marathon 738 16,825 13 545.6 2%
Marinette 570 8,205 6 1406.1 1%
Marquette 83 2,441 1 545.8 1%
Menominee 28 1,901 0 611.5 0%
Milwaukee 23,396 212,574 482 2451.9 2%
Monroe 267 8,450 2 586.8 1%
Oconto 376 6,985 1 1001.2 0%
Oneida 198 6,129 0 560.2 0%
Outagamie 1,606 30,350 19 869.3 1%
Ozaukee 866 14,813 18 980.9 2%
Pepin 47 1,130 0 647.2 0%
Pierce 276 5,699 5 663.4 2%
Polk 159 7,008 2 366.8 1%
Portage 524 10,413 1 742.2 0%
Price 34 2,082 0 252.0 0%
Racine 3,867 52,300 86 1979.0 2%
Richland 42 3,320 4 239.5 10%
Rock 1,582 28,346 26 977.9 2%
Rusk 24 1,581 1 169.2 4%
Sauk 598 15,874 3 940.3 1%
Sawyer 147 3,796 0 898.0 0%
Shawano 239 7,305 0 582.8 0%
Sheboygan 962 18,381 8 835.0 1%
St. Croix 598 12,478 7 680.2 1%
Taylor 85 2,192 3 417.6 4%
Trempealeau 400 5,429 2 1358.8 1%
Vernon 86 4,494 0 281.8 0%
Vilas 95 3,313 0 440.0 0%
Walworth 1,623 19,130 26 1575.5 2%
Washburn 56 2,320 0 356.9 0%
Washington 1,482 19,453 26 1101.6 2%
Waukesha 5,286 65,418 71 1325.2 1%
Waupaca 599 8,817 17 1164.4 3%
Waushara 135 5,725 1 559.8 1%
Winnebago 1,383 32,098 21 813.9 2%
Wood 421 11,274 2 574.6 0%
Total 71,492 1,128,971 1,094 1237.2 2%

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