Jeramey Jannene
WI Daily

“This Is Going To Get Worse Before It Gets Better” Says Top Health Official

New records for actively hospitalized and newly admitted.

By - Oct 7th, 2020 03:46 pm
COVID-19. Credit: U.S. Army.

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

State officials see Wisconsin continuing to remain a COVID-19 hotspot for the foreseeable future.

“To be clear, this is going to get worse before it gets better,” said Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm during a press briefing on Wednesday afternoon.

“We have a pandemic that is out of control in the state of Wisconsin,” said Governor Tony Evers.

The state’s active caseload has nearly tripled in the past 40 days. Now the number of people actively hospitalized is surging to record highs. The daily death total is trending that way.

According to a DHS activity level report, 55 of the state’s 72 counties have passed the “very high” threshold for two-week case burdens. “The rest of the counties in the state of Wisconsin are at a high level of disease,” said Palm.

“We obviously hoped this day would never come,” said Evers. The state is activating an alternative care facility at Wisconsin State Fair Park in West Allis.

The facility will serve people that have already been hospitalized 24 to 48 hours and need hospitalization, but not intensive care.

“I think the easiest way to understand the Alternative Care Facility is that it’s exactly what it says, it’s an alternative to a hospital,” said facility CEO Debra Standridge.

The facility includes 530 beds in the exposition center, with barrier walls between beds, showers, expanded bathrooms and oxygen lines to the beds.

The patients using the facility are expected to come from overwhelmed hospitals in the Fox Valley and other northeastern Wisconsin counties. They will arrive via ground transportation in ambulances run by Flight for Life.

“The strain on our system is not only measured in hospital beds, we must also think of the people working in these hospitals,” said Palm.

The number of people hospitalized in Wisconsin with a positive case of COVID-19 continues to hit new highs. The Wisconsin Hospital Association reported 873 active hospitalizations on Wednesday afternoon, the highest total since the pandemic began. The total is up 20 from Tuesday and 190 from a week ago.

DHS reports that a record 151 people were newly hospitalized in the past 24 hours, bringing the outbreak total to 7,962.

New cases meanwhile are hovering at record levels.

Wisconsin recorded 2,319 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours according to the state Department of Health Services. Wednesday’s results come from 13,507 tests.

A total of 16,424 Wisconsin residents have tested positive in the past seven days, while 86,481 tests were processed. The seven-day case high before September, and now October, brought a surge of cases with it was 6,512 for the week of July 26th. A high of 99,920 tests was recorded for the week ending August 6th.

The seven and 14-day positive case rates now stand at 18.99% and 19.75%, the latter of which is an all-time high. The figure measures the percentage of tests that indicate a new case of COVID-19. The 14-day figure hit a low of 2.69% 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.

DHS reported 16 new deaths, bringing the statewide total to 1,415. There have been 548 deaths recorded in Milwaukee County. An average of 8.23 deaths per day have been reported across the state over the past 30 days.

Brown County has recorded 4,169.3 cases per 100,000 residents (up from 4,075.2). Forest County has record 3,768.2 cases per 100,000 residents. Kewaunee County has recorded 3,594.3 cases per 100,000 residents (up from 3,565.2). Oconto County has recorded 3,366.5 cases per 100,000 residents (up from 3,305.9). Shawano County has recorded 3,291.3 cases per 100,000 residents (up from 3,228.3). According to DHS data, 3,274.3 out of every 100,000 Milwaukee County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 (up from 3,244) since the outbreak began.

Winnebago (3,252.6), Calumet (3,228.7) and Outagamie (3,206.2)  are the only other counties with more than 3,000 cases per 100,000 residents.

The statewide average of cases per 100,000 residents rose to 2,399.2 (up from 2,359.1). Wisconsin has recorded a per-capita rate of 511.4 per 100,000 in the past two weeks according to the DHS activity level report released last Wednesday.

Charts and Maps

Data from DHS

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

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) Deaths per 100,000 people (counties) Case fatality percentage****
Adams 10/7/2020 281 4,342 18 4 1,371.10 19.5 1.40%
Ashland 10/7/2020 168 3,262 10 2 1,059.10 12.6 1.20%
Barron 10/7/2020 535 9,161 26 6 1,166.10 13.1 1.10%
Bayfield 10/7/2020 131 3,297 10 1 861.6 6.6 0.80%
Brown 10/7/2020 10,854 72,196 213 72 4,169.30 27.7 0.70%
Buffalo 10/7/2020 161 2,748 4 2 1,191.80 14.8 1.20%
Burnett 10/7/2020 233 2,943 12 4 1,508.40 25.9 1.70%
Calumet 10/7/2020 1,662 10,921 51 6 3,228.70 11.7 0.40%
Chippewa 10/7/2020 698 15,761 27 0 1,086.90 0 0.00%
Clark 10/7/2020 502 5,985 41 8 1,445.00 23 1.60%
Columbia 10/7/2020 947 16,463 54 3 1,657.70 5.3 0.30%
Crawford 10/7/2020 210 4,592 6 0 1,268.50 0 0.00%
Dane 10/7/2020 10,734 204,606 475 43 2,031.00 8.1 0.40%
Dodge 10/7/2020 2,268 24,519 45 19 2,542.50 21.3 0.80%
Door 10/7/2020 449 7,142 26 4 1,600.70 14.3 0.90%
Douglas 10/7/2020 566 8,611 3 0 1,290.10 0 0.00%
Dunn 10/7/2020 706 8,636 27 1 1,576.70 2.2 0.10%
Eau Claire 10/7/2020 2,211 24,159 22 8 2,148.80 7.8 0.40%
Florence 10/7/2020 120 944 0 2 2,714.30 45.2 1.70%
Fond du Lac 10/7/2020 2,600 25,030 74 14 2,515.20 13.5 0.50%
Forest 10/7/2020 346 1,920 4 7 3,768.20 76.2 2.00%
Grant 10/7/2020 1,268 13,866 52 19 2,421.00 36.3 1.50%
Green 10/7/2020 632 8,887 23 3 1,714.40 8.1 0.50%
Green Lake 10/7/2020 389 4,250 62 0 2,037.90 0 0.00%
Iowa 10/7/2020 243 6,003 25 0 1,021.10 0 0.00%
Iron 10/7/2020 149 1,561 8 1 2,549.60 17.1 0.70%
Jackson 10/7/2020 189 6,676 5 1 915.5 4.8 0.50%
Jefferson 10/7/2020 1,714 20,544 77 8 2,024.20 9.4 0.50%
Juneau 10/7/2020 473 9,502 4 2 1,757.80 7.4 0.40%
Kenosha 10/7/2020 3,818 40,142 438 68 2,269.50 40.4 1.80%
Kewaunee 10/7/2020 742 4,403 16 2 3,594.30 9.7 0.30%
La Crosse 10/7/2020 3,399 27,309 145 8 2,872.40 6.8 0.20%
Lafayette 10/7/2020 363 3,805 7 0 2,150.10 0 0.00%
Langlade 10/7/2020 346 3,772 1 2 1,749.50 10.1 0.60%
Lincoln 10/7/2020 371 5,547 11 2 1,304.40 7 0.50%
Manitowoc 10/7/2020 1,505 15,669 150 5 1,875.30 6.2 0.30%
Marathon 10/7/2020 2,096 21,948 118 23 1,555.60 17.1 1.10%
Marinette 10/7/2020 1,167 10,613 43 9 2,850.70 22 0.80%
Marquette 10/7/2020 360 3,614 12 1 2,341.00 6.5 0.30%
Menominee 10/7/2020 130 2,793 0 0 2,966.70 0 0.00%
Milwaukee 10/7/2020 30,925 265,025 1,924 548 3,274.30 58 1.80%
Monroe 10/7/2020 705 11,033 13 3 1,532.70 6.5 0.40%
Oconto 10/7/2020 1,278 9,694 67 4 3,366.50 10.5 0.30%
Oneida 10/7/2020 648 9,324 8 4 1,804.40 11.1 0.60%
Outagamie 10/7/2020 5,893 42,552 273 34 3,206.20 18.5 0.60%
Ozaukee 10/7/2020 1,528 19,009 110 20 1,729.30 22.6 1.30%
Pepin 10/7/2020 73 1,573 2 0 993.3 0 0.00%
Pierce 10/7/2020 492 8,426 249 7 1,181.70 16.8 1.40%
Polk 10/7/2020 298 9,601 11 2 678.8 4.6 0.70%
Portage 10/7/2020 1,751 14,007 44 12 2,476.00 17 0.70%
Price 10/7/2020 200 3,003 3 0 1,448.40 0 0.00%
Racine 10/7/2020 5,349 69,935 527 98 2,740.20 50.2 1.80%
Richland 10/7/2020 243 5,659 13 4 1,372.00 22.6 1.60%
Rock 10/7/2020 2,939 38,270 199 34 1,833.80 21.2 1.20%
Rusk 10/7/2020 78 2,400 8 1 536.7 6.9 1.30%
Sauk 10/7/2020 1,099 20,128 62 4 1,753.20 6.4 0.40%
Sawyer 10/7/2020 263 4,782 0 1 1,587.30 6 0.40%
Shawano 10/7/2020 1,358 10,325 9 5 3,291.30 12.1 0.40%
Sheboygan 10/7/2020 2,321 24,879 81 19 2,026.80 16.6 0.80%
St. Croix 10/7/2020 1,099 17,529 68 9 1,246.50 10.2 0.80%
Taylor 10/7/2020 254 3,124 3 4 1,234.20 19.4 1.60%
Trempealeau 10/7/2020 748 6,924 20 2 2,550.10 6.8 0.30%
Vernon 10/7/2020 310 6,906 5 1 1,023.50 3.3 0.30%
Vilas 10/7/2020 307 4,825 10 1 1,417.60 4.6 0.30%
Walworth 10/7/2020 2,797 24,735 206 35 2,725.70 34.1 1.30%
Washburn 10/7/2020 144 3,132 7 2 908.3 12.6 1.40%
Washington 10/7/2020 3,028 25,424 95 37 2,251.50 27.5 1.20%
Waukesha 10/7/2020 8,410 85,855 768 94 2,109.70 23.6 1.10%
Waupaca 10/7/2020 1,430 10,864 132 22 2,764.30 42.5 1.50%
Waushara 10/7/2020 499 7,199 7 3 2,053.70 12.3 0.60%
Winnebago 10/7/2020 5,508 43,034 173 38 3,252.60 22.4 0.70%
Wood 10/7/2020 987 15,986 53 7 1,333.30 9.5 0.70%

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