Jeramey Jannene
WI Daily

Only One Wisconsin County Has a Shrinking COVID-19 Spread

Even counties without college dorms are seeing case surges.

By - Sep 16th, 2020 07:18 pm
COVID-19. Credit: U.S. Army.

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

Wisconsin’s COVID-19 spread continues to twist and turn. And as a result, it’s now more widespread than ever before.

Yesterday we reported that across the state cases are falling in every age group except for the 18-to-24-year-old cohort and that new cases have been driven by college campuses.

Logic would dictate that counties without four-year college campuses should be seeing a decline in cases. But that’s not actually what’s happening.

Take Forest County. The northeastern Wisconsin county has recorded 1,002 cases per 100,000 residents over the past two weeks. That’s the highest per-capita two-week rate ever recorded by a Wisconsin county and indicates one out of every 100 residents has tested positive in the past two weeks.

Florence County likewise has a case rate of 542.9 cases per 100,000 residents over the past two weeks, good for fourth highest in the latest ranking. Outagamie and La Crosse, each the site of at least one four-year campus, are sandwiched between.

In total 28 of the state’s 72 counties have a statistically-significant growing caseload according to a Department of Health Services activity level report. Many of the counties, including Burnett, Langlade and Sawyer, don’t have dorms to blame.

Only one Wisconsin county has a stastitically-significant “shrinking” case burden, Waupaca County. The county still has a rate of 272.6 cases per 100,000 residents in the past two weeks, which has dropped by 47.9 from last week.

Milwaukee County, over the past two weeks, has the 39th worst outbreak in the state. Down from 34th last week, even though its case rate actually increased from 158 to 171.6 per 100,000 residents.

The rate across the state increased from 191.9 cases per 100,000 residents to 269.6, the highest it has ever been.

DHS reported 1,408 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday afternoon from 12,196 processed tests.

The seven-day testing total jumped to 66,518 tests, the highest it has been since August 21st. But the seven-day case total went from a record rolling total of 8,8,27 cases on September 14th to a new high of 9,378 reported Wednesday. The seven-day testing total remains more than 30,000 cases below its all-time high.

The seven- and 14-day positive case rates now stand at 14.10 and 13.06 percent, the latter of which is an all-time high. The figure is a measure of the percentage of tests that indicate a new case of the disease. The 14-day figure hit a low of 2.69 percent on June 19th.

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 positive case figure to be sustained under five percent. During an appearance before the Milwaukee Press Club, last Wednesday Governor Tony Evers called the five percent figure a “golden target” and encouraged more people to get tested.

A lagging indicator of the disease’s spread, hospitalizations, is again trending upward.

A total of 370 Wisconsin residents are actively hospitalized with a confirmed case of the disease according to the Wisconsin Hospital Association COVID-19 dashboard. The figure is up 27 from Tuesday and 68 from a week ago. DHS reports that 48 people were newly hospitalized in the past 24 hours, bringing the outbreak total to 6,454.

Eight deaths were reported by DHS, bringing the statewide total to 1,228. There have been 518 deaths recorded in Milwaukee County. An average of 6.3 deaths per day have been reported across the state over the past 30 days.

According to DHS data, 2,723.3 out of every 100,000 Milwaukee County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 (up from 2,723.3) since the outbreak began. Brown County has recorded 2,493 cases per 100,000 residents (up from 2,493). Iron County, the northernmost county that borders Michigan, has 2,327.2 cases per 100,000 residents (no change).

Walworth (2,223.8), Racine (2,213.6), Kenosha (1,892), Forest (1,884.1), La Crosse (1,699.4), Trempealeau (1,673.9), Marinette (1,661), Dodge (1,655.7), Outagamie (1,619.2) and Waupaca (1,606.4) are the only other counties with more than 1,600 cases per 100,000 residents.

The statewide average of cases per 100,000 residents rose to 1,603.7 (up from 1,579.4). Wisconsin has recorded a per-capita rate of 269.6 per 100,000 in the past two weeks according to the DHS activity level report released Wednesday.

A total of 92,712 residents have tested positive for the disease.

UPDATE: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated there are no colleagues in Walworth County. UW-Whitewater is on the county’s northwest border.

Charts and Maps

Data from DHS

Percent of COVID-19 cases by hospitalization status

Hospitalization status Number of confirmed cases as of 9/16/2020 Percent of confirmed cases as of 9/16/2020
Ever hospitalized 6,454 7%
Never hospitalized 53,959 58%
Unknown 32,299 35%
Total 92,712 100%

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 9/16/2020 174 3,539 13 3 849 1.70%
Ashland 9/16/2020 46 2,270 6 2 290 4.30%
Barron 9/16/2020 403 8,206 21 4 878.4 1.00%
Bayfield 9/16/2020 71 2,662 8 1 467 1.40%
Brown 9/16/2020 6,817 64,936 174 59 2,618.60 0.90%
Buffalo 9/16/2020 114 2,219 5 2 843.9 1.80%
Burnett 9/16/2020 90 2,444 3 2 582.6 2.20%
Calumet 9/16/2020 737 8,892 37 2 1,431.70 0.30%
Chippewa 9/16/2020 434 13,161 24 0 675.8 0.00%
Clark 9/16/2020 306 5,020 25 8 880.8 2.60%
Columbia 9/16/2020 455 13,066 43 2 796.5 0.40%
Crawford 9/16/2020 131 4,170 4 0 791.3 0.00%
Dane 9/16/2020 7,984 176,565 448 41 1,510.70 0.50%
Dodge 9/16/2020 1,477 20,973 23 9 1,655.70 0.60%
Door 9/16/2020 204 6,296 11 3 727.2 1.50%
Douglas 9/16/2020 342 6,935 8 0 779.5 0.00%
Dunn 9/16/2020 265 7,484 19 0 591.8 0.00%
Eau Claire 9/16/2020 1,336 20,533 20 6 1,298.40 0.40%
Florence 9/16/2020 51 789 0 0 1,153.60 0.00%
Fond du Lac 9/16/2020 1,521 21,120 46 12 1,471.40 0.80%
Forest 9/16/2020 173 1,382 2 4 1,884.10 2.30%
Grant 9/16/2020 637 11,967 37 19 1,216.30 3.00%
Green 9/16/2020 371 7,094 20 2 1,006.40 0.50%
Green Lake 9/16/2020 150 3,389 37 0 785.8 0.00%
Iowa 9/16/2020 138 4,939 26 0 579.9 0.00%
Iron 9/16/2020 136 1,428 7 1 2,327.20 0.70%
Jackson 9/16/2020 94 6,115 3 1 455.3 1.10%
Jefferson 9/16/2020 1,113 17,567 70 7 1,314.40 0.60%
Juneau 9/16/2020 285 7,840 4 1 1,059.20 0.40%
Kenosha 9/16/2020 3,183 35,549 370 65 1,892.00 2.00%
Kewaunee 9/16/2020 295 3,349 4 2 1,429.00 0.70%
La Crosse 9/16/2020 2,011 23,463 131 2 1,699.40 0.10%
Lafayette 9/16/2020 199 3,095 5 0 1,178.70 0.00%
Langlade 9/16/2020 115 3,016 1 2 581.5 1.70%
Lincoln 9/16/2020 120 4,311 7 1 421.9 0.80%
Manitowoc 9/16/2020 742 13,445 35 2 924.6 0.30%
Marathon 9/16/2020 925 19,241 81 14 686.5 1.50%
Marinette 9/16/2020 680 9,022 18 7 1,661.00 1.00%
Marquette 9/16/2020 152 2,781 9 1 988.4 0.70%
Menominee 9/16/2020 34 2,112 0 1 775.9 2.90%
Milwaukee 9/16/2020 25,884 242,480 1,582 518 2,740.60 2.00%
Monroe 9/16/2020 336 9,364 10 2 730.5 0.60%
Oconto 9/16/2020 580 7,991 36 4 1,527.80 0.70%
Oneida 9/16/2020 293 7,324 6 2 815.9 0.70%
Outagamie 9/16/2020 2,976 36,491 196 24 1,619.20 0.80%
Ozaukee 9/16/2020 1,124 17,220 90 19 1,272.10 1.70%
Pepin 9/16/2020 52 1,293 2 0 707.6 0.00%
Pierce 9/16/2020 348 6,763 109 6 835.8 1.70%
Polk 9/16/2020 214 8,104 7 2 487.5 0.90%
Portage 9/16/2020 1,004 12,015 33 3 1,419.70 0.30%
Price 9/16/2020 40 2,367 2 0 289.7 0.00%
Racine 9/16/2020 4,321 60,328 397 94 2,213.60 2.20%
Richland 9/16/2020 76 3,948 11 4 429.1 5.30%
Rock 9/16/2020 2,091 32,958 180 32 1,304.70 1.50%
Rusk 9/16/2020 40 2,050 5 1 275.2 2.50%
Sauk 9/16/2020 730 18,333 57 3 1,164.50 0.40%
Sawyer 9/16/2020 186 4,267 0 1 1,122.60 0.50%
Shawano 9/16/2020 421 8,435 5 0 1,020.40 0.00%
Sheboygan 9/16/2020 1,294 20,835 51 13 1,130.00 1.00%
St. Croix 9/16/2020 742 14,294 60 7 841.6 0.90%
Taylor 9/16/2020 139 2,551 3 3 675.4 2.20%
Trempealeau 9/16/2020 491 6,095 16 2 1,673.90 0.40%
Vernon 9/16/2020 148 5,220 5 0 488.7 0.00%
Vilas 9/16/2020 154 3,933 4 1 711.1 0.60%
Walworth 9/16/2020 2,282 21,895 141 34 2,223.80 1.50%
Washburn 9/16/2020 84 2,623 2 1 529.9 1.20%
Washington 9/16/2020 2,051 22,936 67 32 1,525.10 1.60%
Waukesha 9/16/2020 6,240 74,808 601 85 1,565.30 1.40%
Waupaca 9/16/2020 831 9,857 98 20 1,606.40 2.40%
Waushara 9/16/2020 245 6,245 5 2 1,008.30 0.80%
Winnebago 9/16/2020 2,168 36,726 111 22 1,280.20 1.00%
Wood 9/16/2020 616 13,179 31 3 832.1 0.50%

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One thought on “WI Daily: Only One Wisconsin County Has a Shrinking COVID-19 Spread”

  1. egranum says:

    UW-Whitewater is in Walworth County – most dorms and college housing are in Walworth, with the rest in Jefferson County.

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