Coronavirus falling back from record highs in Wisconsin – WBAY

MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) – Wisconsin’s daily coronavirus report set no new records Friday. Most key metrics were down, although still higher than average. The exception was the state’s death rate, which is back up to 0.86%, back to where it was on Saturday.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported 19,138 new coronavirus test results in the past 24-hour period, with 6,473 tests positive — a positivity rate of 33.82%. This marks a second day of decline for both new cases and the positivity rate, which was a record 7,989 cases and a near-record 39.69% positivity rate on Wednesday. The 7-day average for new cases also fell for a second-straight day to 6,254. There were 12,665 negative tests in the latest batch of results.

Wisconsin reported 78 more deaths. This is down from Thursday’s 83 deaths and Tuesday’s record 92 deaths, but at the current pace the death toll will pass 3,000 Saturday or Sunday. It now stands at 2,954, comparable to the 4th leading cause of death in Wisconsin (see chart below). The state is averaging 54 deaths per day over the last 7 days, up from the 7-day average of 52 on Thursday.

Deaths were reported in 30 counties, with multiple deaths in 18 of them: Ashland, Brown, Calumet 93), Chippewa, Clark, Dane (3), Dunn (3), Eau Claire (2), Fond du Lac (3), Grant, Kenosha, Kewaunee, Manitowoc (4), Marquette (4), Milwaukee (9), Oneida (3), Outagamie, Pierce (4), Polk, Portage, Racine (2), Rock (6), Sauk (2), Sawyer, Shawano (2), Walworth, Washington (2), Waukesha (8), Winnebago (3) and Wood (3) counties. Winnebago joins Brown, Fond du Lac, Outagamie and four other counties that have more than 100 deaths.

Case and death numbers by county are listed later in this article.

Gov. Tony Evers issued a new face coverings order Friday, as he announced he would earlier this week. Under the order, anyone age 5 or older has to wear a face covering whenever they’re indoors or in an enclosed space with someone from outside their household. The governor cited the rising number of hospitalizations putting a strain on hospitals in issuing the new public health order. He noted that it’s not just affecting patients with COVID-19; there are fewer beds, less staffing and fewer resources available for people who need to be hospitalized for other reasons, like heart attacks, strokes and accidents.

Health Secretary-designee Andrea Palm issued a statement, “We know hospitalizations are a lagging indicator, which means we will need even more capacity for our hospitals in the coming weeks with our current cases. We need every Wisconsinite to take this seriously to stay home. That is why it is imperative we take action to curb transmission now.”

The DHS says 190 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized in the last 24 hours, falling below 200 for the first time in four days. Friday’s report from the Wisconsin Hospital Association says there are currently 2,076 COVID-19 in hospitals. Of those, 441 are in intensive care, the third-most of any day in this pandemic. The alternate care facility — the field hospital at the state fairgrounds — is treating 23 patients, up from 17 on Thursday.

The state says 15,526 people have been hospitalized for COVID-19 treatment since the first coronavirus case was confirmed in Madison less than 10 months ago.

A total 344,945 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Wisconsin, which is almost 6% (5.92%) of the state’s population. The state says 21.9% of all of these cases are active, or 75,649 people diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus in the past 30 days and haven’t been medically cleared. That’s down from 22.3% on Thursday, another metric that’s declined. There are 266,280 people diagnosed with the virus who are considered recovered.

Pointing out these declines is not to suggest Wisconsin is turning a corner. In October, Wisconsin reached 5,000 new cases a day three times but never reached 5,300. The state averaged between 2,405 and 4,404 cases per day throughout the month. No more than 64 deaths were reported on a given day, and the 7-day average started at 12 deaths and never got higher than 37.

LEADING CAUSES OF DEATH

This year, COVID-19 has killed more people in Wisconsin than the flu and pneumonia, suicide and kidney disease in 2018 combined. The virus now compares to the 4th leading cause of death in Wisconsin, behind heart disease, cancer and accidents, based on the CDC’s 2018 mortality report, the latest ranked mortality figures available.

The CDC mortality figures are based on 12 months. Wisconsin’s first COVID-19 deaths were reported 8 months ago.

Rank Leading causes of death in Wisconsin (2018) Deaths
1 Heart disease 12,061
2 Cancer 11,457
3 Accidents 3,786
COVID-19 2,954
4 Chronic lower respiratory diseases 2,866
5 Stroke 2,549
6 Alzheimer disease 2,515
7 Diabetes 1,508
8 Influenza/pneumonia 1,075
9 Kidney disease 914
10 Suicide 888

HOSPITAL READINESS

According to the Wisconsin Hospital Association, the state’s 134 hospitals have 154 open ICU beds, or 10.6% of the state’s ICU beds. It further indicates 13.1% of all hospital beds are open for intensive care, intermediate care, medical surgical and negative flow isolation.

The Fox Valley region’s 13 hospitals have a total 6 ICU beds open, or 5.8%, and one intermediate care bed. Overall, 9.1% of all hospital beds are open in that region serving eight counties. The hospitals are treating 137 COVID-19 patients, including 19 in ICU.

The Northeast region’s 10 hospitals have 16 ICU beds open, which is 7.7% of the seven-county region’s ICU beds, and 14.4% of all beds are available overall. Those hospitals are caring for 185 COVID-19 patients, 54 in ICU.

Hospital bed availability can fluctuate widely from day to day with new admissions, deaths, discharges for patients being treated for all conditions, not just COVID-19. An open bed doesn’t necessarily mean it’s available for a patient if the hospital doesn’t have the staff — doctors, nurses, even food workers — to support it.

The need for supplies remains largely unchanged. Twenty-three hospitals report less than a week’s supply of gowns — an improvement from 25 on Thursday — while 13 are short on paper medical masks, 9 hospitals need goggles, and 6 need N95 masks.

FRIDAY’S COUNTY CASE NUMBERS (Counties with new cases or deaths are indicated in bold.)*

Wisconsin*

  • Adams – 942 cases (+19) (6 deaths)
  • Ashland – 560 cases (+14) (8 deaths) (+1)
  • Barron – 3,138 cases (+115) (35 deaths)
  • Bayfield – 596 cases (+9) (6 deaths)
  • Brown – 20,855 cases (+292) (127 deaths) (+1)
  • Buffalo – 680 cases (+33) (4 deaths)
  • Burnett – 666 cases (+28) (9 deaths)
  • Calumet – 3,770 cases (+38) (25 deaths) (+3)
  • Chippewa – 3,969 cases (+75) (44 deaths) (+1)
  • Clark – 1,870 cases (+46) (32 deaths) (+1)
  • Columbia – 3,001 cases (+84) (10 deaths)
  • Crawford – 786 cases (+34) (4 deaths)
  • Dane – 24,317 cases (+448) (72 deaths) (+3)
  • Dodge – 7,448 cases (+71) (65 deaths)
  • Door – 1,490 cases (+26) (10 deaths)
  • Douglas – 1,567 cases (+83) (1 death)
  • Dunn – 2,275 cases (+58) (8 deaths) (+3)
  • Eau Claire – 6,930 cases (+152) (50 deaths) (+2)
  • Florence – 292 cases (11 deaths)
  • Fond du Lac – 7,762 cases (+150) (41 deaths) (+3)
  • Forest – 682 cases (+5) (15 deaths)
  • Grant – 3,130 cases (+29) (55 deaths) (+1)
  • Green – 1,495 cases (+19) (5 deaths)
  • Green Lake – 1,103 cases (+17) (5 deaths)
  • Iowa – 1,144 cases (+27) (4 deaths)
  • Iron – 318 cases (+4) (6 deaths)
  • Jackson – 1,428 cases (+48) (4 deaths)
  • Jefferson – 4,721 cases (+100) (33 deaths)
  • Juneau – 1,714 cases (+16) (7 deaths)
  • Kenosha – 8,305 cases (+217) (120 deaths) (+1)
  • Kewaunee – 1,528 cases (+18) (15 deaths) (+1)
  • La Crosse – 7,081 cases (+162) (32 deaths)
  • Lafayette – 1,000 cases (+27) (2 deaths)
  • Langlade – 1,427 cases (+10) (23 deaths)
  • Lincoln – 1,702 cases (+36) (21 deaths)
  • Manitowoc – 4,376 cases (+59) (33 deaths) (+4)
  • Marathon – 8,715 cases (+110) (111 deaths)
  • Marinette – 2,677 cases (+42) (25 deaths)
  • Marquette – 983 cases (+13) (11 deaths) (+4)
  • Menominee – 532 cases (+3) (2 deaths)
  • Milwaukee – 60,210 (+1,054) (689 deaths) (+9)
  • Monroe – 2,191 cases (+71) (11 deaths)
  • Oconto – 2,946 cases (+28) (23 deaths)
  • Oneida – 2,079 cases (+47) (28 deaths) (+3)
  • Outagamie – 12,845 cases (+151) (111 deaths) (+1)
  • Ozaukee – 4,190 cases (+88) (33 deaths)
  • Pepin – 412 cases (+9) (2 deaths)
  • Pierce – 1,776 cases (+78) (15 deaths) (+4)
  • Polk – 1,782 cases (+60) (5 deaths) (+1)
  • Portage – 4,247 cases (+38) (34 deaths) (+1)
  • Price – 640 cases (+16) (3 deaths)
  • Racine – 12,606 cases (+304) (148 deaths) (+2)
  • Richland – 767 cases (+11) (11 deaths)
  • Rock – 8,255 cases (+82) (68 deaths) (+6)
  • Rusk – 701 cases (5 deaths) (cases revised -4 by state)
  • Sauk – 3,150 cases (+70) (16 deaths) (+2)
  • Sawyer – 753 cases (+26) (7 deaths) (+1)
  • Shawano – 3,499 cases (+52) (44 deaths) (+2)
  • Sheboygan – 8,173 cases (+152) (48 deaths)
  • St. Croix – 3,807 cases (+96) (19 deaths)
  • Taylor – 1,049 cases (+30) (11 deaths)
  • Trempealeau – 2,062 cases (+69) (11 deaths)
  • Vernon – 939 cases (+21) (7 deaths)
  • Vilas – 1,074 cases (+22) (11 deaths)
  • Walworth – 5,319 cases (+117) (46 deaths) (+1)
  • Washburn – 544 cases (+20) (2 deaths)
  • Washington – 7,657 cases (+111) (64 deaths) (+2)
  • Waukesha – 23,175 cases (+639) (176 deaths) (+8)
  • Waupaca – 3,472 cases (+22) (78 deaths)
  • Waushara – 1,665 cases (+12) (7 deaths)
  • Winnebago – 12,312 cases (+83) (101 deaths) (+3)
  • Wood – 3,673 cases (+161) (23 deaths) (+3)

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula **

  • Alger – 139 cases (+1) (1 death)
  • Baraga – 333 cases (+15) (5 deaths)
  • Chippewa – 282 cases (2 deaths)
  • Delta – 2,031 cases (+47) (47 deaths)
  • Dickinson – 1,405 cases (+21) (28 deaths)
  • Gogebic – 504 cases (+5) (10 deaths) (+1)
  • Houghton – 1,167 cases (+37) (9 deaths)
  • Iron – 623 cases (+6) (27 deaths)
  • Keweenaw – 50 cases (+3) (1 death)
  • Luce – 110 cases
  • Mackinac – 190 cases (+2)
  • Marquette – 2,206 cases (+64) (25 deaths) (+1)
  • Menominee – 1,041 cases (+9) (12 deaths)
  • Ontonagon – 229 cases (+4) (10 deaths) (+1)
  • Schoolcraft – 154 cases (+3) (1 death)

* Viewers have asked us why the state has different numbers than what’s reported on some county health department websites. The DHS reports cases from all health departments within a county’s boundaries, including tribal, municipal and county health departments; county websites may not. Also, public health departments update their data at various times whereas the DHS freezes the numbers it receives by the same time every day to compile the afternoon report.

The DHS reports deaths attributed to COVID-19 or in which COVID-19 contributed to their death. Most of the people severely affected by the coronavirus have underlying illnesses or conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease or obesity, which raises a person’s risk of dying from COVID-19 but would’ve lived longer if not for their infection. The state may revise case and death numbers after further review, such as the victim’s residence, duplicated records, or a correction in lab results. Details can be found on the DHS website and Frequently Asked Questions.

**The state of Michigan does not update numbers on Sundays. Monday’s numbers include updates since Saturday’s reporting deadline.

Symptoms

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified these as possible symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Fever of 100.4 or higher
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

Prevention

  • The coronavirus is a new, or “novel,” virus. Nobody has a natural immunity to it. Children and teens seem to recover best from the virus. Older people and those with underlying health conditions (heart disease, diabetes, lung disease) are considered at high risk, according to the CDC. Precautions are also needed around people with developing or weakened immune systems.
  • To help prevent the spread of the virus:
  • Stay at least six feet away from other people
  • Avoid close contact with people who are or appear sick
  • Stay at home as much as possible
  • Cancel events and avoid groups, gatherings, play dates and nonessential appointments
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care
  • Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a mask. At a minimum, use a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.

Health experts say face masks are still the most effective way the general public can slow the spread of the coronavirus, but only if the masks are worn appropriately — over the nose and chin. County and state health officials are reminding and urging people to stay home when they feel sick, avoid large gatherings, and distance yourself six feet from people who aren’t from your household.

To help people understand how their decisions affect their own health and others, the Department of Health Services has a decision tool at https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/decision.htm. The tool describes how choices matter and offers suggestions to make activities safer.

Copyright 2020 WBAY. All rights reserved.

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Coronavirus falling back from record highs in Wisconsin – WBAY

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