State Sees Record Percentage of Positive COVID-19 Tests
Testing continues to fall, but now positive cases are rising.
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.
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
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|
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
|Number of confirmed cases||Number of negatives*||Number of probable cases||Number of deaths**||Cases per 100,000 people (counties)||Case fatality percentage***|
|Fond du Lac||9/6/2020||1,277||19,692||41||12||1,235.30||0.90%|
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