Jeramey Jannene
WI Daily

State Sees Record Percentage of Positive COVID-19 Tests

Testing continues to fall, but now positive cases are rising.

By - Sep 6th, 2020 04:45 pm
COVID-19. Credit: U.S. Army.

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

For the past couple of weeks this daily column has covered how COVID-19 testing totals in Wisconsin are falling back to levels not seen since early May and at a rate faster than new cases are falling. Now the number of new cases is rising as testing continues to trend lower.

As a result, Wisconsin set a one-day positive case rate record on Sunday when the Department of Health Services reported 16.21 percent of processed tests registered a new case of the disease. That’s up from a high of 12.8 percent set Friday when officials warned the percentage, and record 1,498 case total, was boosted by a reporting error being fixed. Sunday’s data release shows 893 new cases from 5,509 tests.

“Remember to look at 7 day trends to get the full picture of how the state is doing,” said the department in a Friday afternoon tweet, urging caution on the one-day surge.

The seven-day trend shows an average of 9.48 percent of tests coming back positive. The rolling percentage was last higher on May 6th. The 14-day average stands at 8.81 percent. Officials have looked for the positive case rate to trend downward to indicate a slowing spread of disease and sufficient testing. Multiple public health benchmarks call for the figure to be sustained under five percent.

DHS reports that 5,856 people have tested positive in the past seven days, up from a low of 4,658 reported August 24th. A total of 58,448 Wisconsin residents have been tested for the first time (or tested again with a new result) in the past seven days, on August 24th the rolling total was 58,240.

Milwaukee is one of the places where testing is falling, but the positive case rate is below the state average, a reversal from much of the outbreak. “Unfortunately our testing numbers continue to decline each week, I want to stress that we don’t like to see that. Please get tested,” said Mayor Tom Barrett in a press briefing on Thursday.

So where’s the surge? For starters, the University of Wisconsin. Dane County reported a record case total Saturday with 147 new cases. Half of them were individuals connected to the university, primarily students. Brown County is seeing a surge in cases again, and a number of counties across the state are seeing record case totals.

A total of 286 Wisconsin residents are currently hospitalized with a confirmed case of the disease according to the Wisconsin Hospital Association COVID-19 dashboard. The figure is up 11 from yesterday, but down one from a week ago. DHS reports that 22 people were newly hospitalized in the past 24 hours, bringing the outbreak total to 6,048.

No new deaths were reported by DHS, holding the statewide total at 1,168. There have been 496 deaths recorded in Milwaukee County. An average of 5.97 deaths per day have been reported across the state over the past 30 days.

According to DHS data, 2,625.8 out of every 100,000 Milwaukee County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 (up from 2,615.8) since the outbreak began. Brown County has recorded 2,245.2 cases per 100,000 residents (up from 2,223). Iron County, the northern-most county that borders Michigan, has 2,241.6 cases per 100,000 residents (up from 2,224.5). Racine County has recorded 2,128 cases per 100,000 residents (up from 2,124.5).

Kenosha (1,814.2), Walworth (1,763.9), Marinette (1,546.2), Trempealeau (1,506.9), Waupaca (1,473), Waukesha (1,459.7), Dodge (1,405.8) and Washington (1,319.8) are the only other counties with more than 1,300 cases per 100,000 residents.

The statewide average of cases per 100,000 residents rose to 1,404.5 (up from 1,389). Wisconsin has recorded a per-capita rate of 170 per 100,000 in the past two weeks according to the DHS activity level report released Wednesday.

A total of 81,193 residents have tested positive for the disease.

Charts and Maps

Data from DHS.

Percent of COVID-19 cases by hospitalization status

Hospitalization status Number of confirmed cases as of 9/6/2020 Percent of confirmed cases as of 9/6/2020
Ever hospitalized 6,070 7%
Never hospitalized 47,574 59%
Unknown 27,549 34%
Total 81,193 100%

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

Number of confirmed cases Number of negatives* Number of probable cases Number of deaths** Cases per 100,000 people (counties) Case fatality percentage***
Adams 9/6/2020 146 3,365 11 3 712.4 2.10%
Ashland 9/6/2020 37 2,123 6 1 233.2 2.70%
Barron 9/6/2020 388 7,695 19 3 845.7 0.80%
Bayfield 9/6/2020 55 2,535 9 1 361.7 1.80%
Brown 9/6/2020 5,845 61,859 164 58 2,245.20 1.00%
Buffalo 9/6/2020 89 2,080 3 2 658.8 2.20%
Burnett 9/6/2020 52 2,248 3 2 336.6 3.80%
Calumet 9/6/2020 587 8,244 28 2 1,140.30 0.30%
Chippewa 9/6/2020 378 12,547 22 0 588.6 0.00%
Clark 9/6/2020 259 4,705 14 8 745.5 3.10%
Columbia 9/6/2020 385 12,209 41 2 673.9 0.50%
Crawford 9/6/2020 120 4,014 5 0 724.9 0.00%
Dane 9/6/2020 6,118 169,345 386 40 1,157.60 0.70%
Dodge 9/6/2020 1,254 19,866 21 6 1,405.80 0.50%
Door 9/6/2020 147 5,746 12 3 524 2.00%
Douglas 9/6/2020 285 6,477 4 0 649.6 0.00%
Dunn 9/6/2020 195 6,935 16 0 435.5 0.00%
Eau Claire 9/6/2020 941 18,958 21 6 914.5 0.60%
Florence 9/6/2020 29 745 0 0 656 0.00%
Fond du Lac 9/6/2020 1,277 19,692 41 12 1,235.30 0.90%
Forest 9/6/2020 105 1,234 2 4 1,143.50 3.80%
Grant 9/6/2020 474 11,225 37 18 905 3.80%
Green 9/6/2020 290 6,391 20 2 786.7 0.70%
Green Lake 9/6/2020 108 3,157 27 0 565.8 0.00%
Iowa 9/6/2020 123 4,642 25 0 516.8 0.00%
Iron 9/6/2020 131 1,383 6 1 2,241.60 0.80%
Jackson 9/6/2020 77 5,949 3 1 373 1.30%
Jefferson 9/6/2020 990 16,469 68 7 1,169.20 0.70%
Juneau 9/6/2020 249 7,372 3 1 925.4 0.40%
Kenosha 9/6/2020 3,052 33,761 350 65 1,814.20 2.10%
Kewaunee 9/6/2020 207 3,119 2 2 1,002.70 1.00%
La Crosse 9/6/2020 1,326 21,490 50 2 1,120.60 0.20%
Lafayette 9/6/2020 187 2,942 5 0 1,107.60 0.00%
Langlade 9/6/2020 87 2,829 1 2 439.9 2.30%
Lincoln 9/6/2020 89 4,092 5 1 312.9 1.10%
Manitowoc 9/6/2020 606 12,759 22 2 755.1 0.30%
Marathon 9/6/2020 820 18,161 70 14 608.6 1.70%
Marinette 9/6/2020 633 8,634 18 7 1,546.20 1.10%
Marquette 9/6/2020 107 2,604 8 1 695.8 0.90%
Menominee 9/6/2020 29 1,995 0 0 661.8 0.00%
Milwaukee 9/6/2020 24,799 230,209 1,489 502 2,625.70 2.00%
Monroe 9/6/2020 303 8,976 11 2 658.7 0.70%
Oconto 9/6/2020 480 7,476 18 3 1,264.40 0.60%
Oneida 9/6/2020 229 6,736 5 1 637.7 0.40%
Outagamie 9/6/2020 2,264 32,971 156 21 1,231.80 0.90%
Ozaukee 9/6/2020 1,001 16,116 88 18 1,132.90 1.80%
Pepin 9/6/2020 48 1,206 2 0 653.2 0.00%
Pierce 9/6/2020 310 6,208 76 6 744.6 1.90%
Polk 9/6/2020 183 7,636 6 2 416.9 1.10%
Portage 9/6/2020 735 11,273 24 2 1,039.30 0.30%
Price 9/6/2020 36 2,239 2 0 260.7 0.00%
Racine 9/6/2020 4,154 56,796 382 91 2,128.00 2.20%
Richland 9/6/2020 61 3,684 12 4 344.4 6.60%
Rock 9/6/2020 1,822 30,418 166 28 1,136.90 1.50%
Rusk 9/6/2020 30 1,742 4 1 206.4 3.30%
Sauk 9/6/2020 678 17,426 58 3 1,081.60 0.40%
Sawyer 9/6/2020 166 4,093 0 0 1,001.90 0.00%
Shawano 9/6/2020 317 7,928 5 0 768.3 0.00%
Sheboygan 9/6/2020 1,167 19,738 47 9 1,019.10 0.80%
St. Croix 9/6/2020 675 13,458 59 7 765.6 1.00%
Taylor 9/6/2020 121 2,381 3 3 587.9 2.50%
Trempealeau 9/6/2020 442 5,774 16 2 1,506.90 0.50%
Vernon 9/6/2020 117 4,856 3 0 386.3 0.00%
Vilas 9/6/2020 128 3,581 3 0 591.1 0.00%
Walworth 9/6/2020 1,810 20,700 137 32 1,763.90 1.80%
Washburn 9/6/2020 76 2,478 2 0 479.4 0.00%
Washington 9/6/2020 1,775 21,500 55 29 1,319.80 1.60%
Waukesha 9/6/2020 5,819 70,531 554 78 1,459.70 1.30%
Waupaca 9/6/2020 762 9,321 96 19 1,473.00 2.50%
Waushara 9/6/2020 188 5,979 4 2 773.7 1.10%
Winnebago 9/6/2020 1,695 34,529 102 21 1,000.90 1.20%
Wood 9/6/2020 525 12,339 27 3 709.2 0.60%

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