Jeramey Jannene
WI Daily

All 72 Wisconsin Counties Have “Very High” COVID-19 Case Burdens

Milwaukee County sees its case rate rise, but falls backward to 19th worst all-time outbreak.

By - Nov 4th, 2020 03:12 pm
COVID-19. Credit: U.S. Army.

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

COVID-19’s spread in Wisconsin, already at record levels, continues to accelerate.

For the second straight day the Department of Health Services reported a record number of new COVID-19 cases. A total of 5,935 were announced Wednesday, eclipsing the 5,771 reported Tuesday. Wednesday’s results from 16,268 totals, almost 5,000 fewer than the day prior.

A record 33,876 cases have been reported in the past seven days, a total that is up over 500% in two months.

The seven-day positive case rate, the percentage of tests that confirm a new case of the disease, stands at 30.52%. The 14-day average at 28.51%. The 14-day average set 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 rate figure to be sustained under five percent.

The case surge is being felt in every county. For the first time all 72 Wisconsin counties have a “very high” burden, as defined by over 350 cases per 100,000 residents in two weeks. The statewide average was 891.7 as of last Wednesday, with a new figure scheduled to be released at 4:00 p.m. “Many of our counties have a case burden of above 1,000 and even 2,000 cases,” said DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm in a press briefing Wednesday.

The case surge is overwhelming health department contact tracing efforts and leading to record hospitalization levels and daily death totals.

“An alternate care facility, our ultimate insurance policy in the case of our system being overwhelmed, continues to accept new patients transferred from hospitals across the state,” said Palm. “This means that hospitals are at or near capacity and that their options are limited when it comes to the need for more beds or admissions.”

But on Wednesday only six patients were in the facility, down from a record 13 two days ago. Palm said part of that is due to the ability of the West Allis to only accept patients nearing the end of their hospital stays and with limited care needs. State officials have previously said that patients would be accepted on a case-by-case basis.

Across the state 13% of hospital beds are available, a percentage that falls to 6% in the Fox Valley and 8% in the southeast region, including Milwaukee. Milwaukee County, via its dashboard, is reporting record COVID-19 patient hospitalization levels currently.

The Wisconsin Hospital Association reported Tuesday that a record 1,714 people are actively hospitalized with a confirmed case of the disease, an increase of 100 over the prior day’s record total. The figure is scheduled to be updated at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, after this article was published.

DHS reported a record 243 people were newly hospitalized in the past 24 hours in its daily data release. A total of 12,087 people have required hospitalization since the outbreak began, 1,277 in the past week.

DHS reported 54 deaths Wednesday. A total of 2,156 Wisconsin residents have died as a result of the virus, including 603 in Milwaukee County. Officials confirmed last week that the total includes only people where a medical examiner determined the disease was a contributing factor in the death.

An average of 25.83 deaths per day have been reported over the past 30 days. Thirty days ago the figure stood at 7.7.

Since September, Milwaukee County has gone from having the worst per-capita outbreak to the 19th worst in the state, even as its case and hospitalization load has surged to record levels.

Menominee County has recorded 8,192.6 cases per 100,000 residents (up from 8,101.3). Shawano County has recorded 6,735.3 cases per 100,000 residents (up from 6,643.2). Brown, Oconto, Kewaunee, Calumet, Forest, Winnebago, Dodge, Langlade, Waushara, Outagamie, Fond du Lac, Florence, Waupaca, Sheboygan, Marquette and Marinette counties are the remaining counties leading Milwaukee.

According to DHS data, 4,860.5 out of every 100,000 Milwaukee County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 since the outbreak began (up from 4,758.7).

The statewide average of cases per 100,000 residents rose to 4,220.7 (up from 4,118.1). Wisconsin has recorded a per-capita rate of 891.7 cases per 100,000 residents 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 † Number of probable deaths ‡ Cases per 100,000 people (counties) Deaths per 100,000 people (counties) Case fatality percentage ††
Adams 663 5,304 46 6 0 3,234.90 29.3 0.90%
Ashland 338 4,305 11 3 0 2,130.70 18.9 0.90%
Barron 1,494 12,789 33 8 0 3,256.30 17.4 0.50%
Bayfield 335 4,182 15 2 0 2,203.40 13.2 0.60%
Brown 16,966 95,581 410 104 3 6,517.10 39.9 0.60%
Buffalo 373 3,326 7 3 0 2,761.10 22.2 0.80%
Burnett 359 3,855 15 6 0 2,324.10 38.8 1.70%
Calumet 2,997 14,018 75 18 0 5,822.10 35 0.60%
Chippewa 2,260 19,647 38 24 2 3,519.20 37.4 1.10%
Clark 1,107 7,242 85 19 3 3,186.40 54.7 1.70%
Columbia 2,045 19,945 153 7 1 3,579.70 12.3 0.30%
Crawford 429 5,300 7 1 0 2,591.40 6 0.20%
Dane 16,963 246,093 600 51 2 3,209.70 9.7 0.30%
Dodge 5,131 29,453 223 36 3 5,751.90 40.4 0.70%
Door 1,036 9,580 77 9 0 3,693.30 32.1 0.90%
Douglas 933 10,606 6 1 0 2,126.50 2.3 0.10%
Dunn 1,376 11,879 46 1 0 3,073.00 2.2 0.10%
Eau Claire 4,316 31,442 47 28 1 4,194.60 27.2 0.60%
Florence 234 1,182 13 8 0 5,292.90 181 3.40%
Fond du Lac 5,566 30,674 171 23 0 5,384.40 22.2 0.40%
Forest 532 2,696 29 11 0 5,793.90 119.8 2.10%
Grant 2,199 17,244 83 38 1 4,198.60 72.6 1.70%
Green 1,095 10,873 20 5 0 2,970.40 13.6 0.50%
Green Lake 854 5,388 122 4 0 4,474.00 21 0.50%
Iowa 639 7,456 28 2 0 2,685.00 8.4 0.30%
Iron 232 1,835 48 5 0 3,969.90 85.6 2.20%
Jackson 720 7,733 9 2 0 3,487.70 9.7 0.30%
Jefferson 3,246 25,450 135 20 0 3,833.50 23.6 0.60%
Juneau 918 11,063 6 5 0 3,411.60 18.6 0.50%
Kenosha 5,892 50,524 604 94 2 3,502.30 55.9 1.60%
Kewaunee 1,240 5,268 33 9 0 6,006.60 43.6 0.70%
La Crosse 4,910 34,026 170 23 0 4,149.30 19.4 0.50%
Lafayette 622 4,563 10 1 0 3,684.20 5.9 0.20%
Langlade 1,131 4,963 44 12 2 5,718.80 60.7 1.10%
Lincoln 1,081 7,219 45 13 2 3,800.70 45.7 1.20%
Manitowoc 3,250 20,286 393 18 3 4,049.60 22.4 0.60%
Marathon 5,932 33,073 451 67 8 4,402.50 49.7 1.10%
Marinette 2,015 12,631 148 18 0 4,922.10 44 0.90%
Marquette 757 4,310 91 5 0 4,922.60 32.5 0.70%
Menominee 359 3,285 0 1 0 8,192.60 22.8 0.30%
Milwaukee 45,906 326,441 2,933 603 5 4,860.50 63.8 1.30%
Monroe 1,373 12,975 24 8 0 2,984.90 17.4 0.60%
Oconto 2,377 11,998 111 18 3 6,261.50 47.4 0.80%
Oneida 1,458 11,946 25 14 0 4,059.80 39 1.00%
Outagamie 10,307 56,715 411 83 0 5,607.70 45.2 0.80%
Ozaukee 2,810 26,166 274 25 3 3,180.20 28.3 0.90%
Pepin 200 1,956 3 0 0 2,721.50 0 0.00%
Pierce 915 10,375 248 7 1 2,197.70 16.8 0.80%
Polk 729 12,026 16 3 0 1,660.60 6.8 0.40%
Portage 3,208 18,287 101 22 1 4,536.30 31.1 0.70%
Price 435 3,793 22 3 0 3,150.30 21.7 0.70%
Racine 8,736 80,054 905 121 2 4,475.30 62 1.40%
Richland 542 7,049 16 9 0 3,060.10 50.8 1.70%
Rock 5,977 50,458 264 47 2 3,729.40 29.3 0.80%
Rusk 303 3,155 14 1 0 2,084.80 6.9 0.30%
Sauk 2,159 25,866 70 8 0 3,444.20 12.8 0.40%
Sawyer 446 5,639 5 4 0 2,691.80 24.1 0.90%
Shawano 2,779 12,395 32 36 1 6,735.30 87.3 1.30%
Sheboygan 5,680 31,223 206 31 1 4,960.00 27.1 0.50%
St. Croix 2,335 22,417 103 12 0 2,648.30 13.6 0.50%
Taylor 614 3,905 38 7 0 2,983.50 34 1.10%
Trempealeau 1,236 8,342 25 5 0 4,213.80 17 0.40%
Vernon 582 8,899 5 2 0 1,921.60 6.6 0.30%
Vilas 722 6,022 22 7 0 3,333.90 32.3 1.00%
Walworth 3,717 29,417 348 39 2 3,622.30 38 1.00%
Washburn 292 3,981 7 2 0 1,841.90 12.6 0.70%
Washington 5,283 34,923 407 48 3 3,928.30 35.7 0.90%
Waukesha 14,237 110,440 1,155 133 3 3,571.40 33.4 0.90%
Waupaca 2,726 14,196 296 53 9 5,269.60 102.5 1.90%
Waushara 1,385 8,349 15 5 0 5,700.10 20.6 0.40%
Winnebago 9,800 56,899 511 74 2 5,787.00 43.7 0.80%
Wood 2,188 19,699 126 15 2 2,955.70 20.3 0.70%

If you think stories like this are important, become a member of Urban Milwaukee and help support real, independent journalism. Plus you get some cool added benefits, all detailed here.

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us