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.
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.
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 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
Confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths by gender
Confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths by race
Confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths by ethnicity
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 ††|
|Fond du Lac||5,566||30,674||171||23||0||5,384.40||22.2||0.40%|
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