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COVID-19 surpasses accidents as 3rd leading cause of death in Wisconsin – WBAY

MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) – At the same time the United States reached a record 2,200 COVID-19 deaths in a day, the disease passed everything but heart disease and cancer as a leading cause of death in Wisconsin.

Gov. Tony Evers broke the news in a health briefing Tuesday afternoon that 3,806 people have died from the coronavirus since the first two deaths were reported by the state on March 19. That’s 68 deaths added to the toll in the last 24 hours.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 3,786 people died in 2018 from all types of accidents — vehicle, household, etc. That’s the most recent ranked data available. This chart shows where COVID-19 ranks by comparison against the flu and pneumonia, suicide, stroke and other causes of death:

Rank Leading causes of death in Wisconsin (2018) Deaths
1 Heart disease 12,061
2 Cancer 11,457
COVID-19 3,806
3 Accidents 3,786
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

Deaths were reported in 28 counties, with multiple deaths in 13 of them: Calumet, Chippewa (2), Dane (3), Dodge, Douglas, Dunn, Fond du Lac (3), Grant (2), Green Lake, Jackson, Jefferson, Kenosha (3), La Crosse (2), Marathon, Milwaukee (12), Outagamie (2), Ozaukee (3), Pepin, Polk, Racine (4), Rock, Rusk, Shawano (2), Trempealeau, Walworth, Washington (3), Waukesha (14) and Winnebago. Death counts were revised in Adams and Wood counties.

Despite reporting almost 70 deaths, the 7-day average fell from 61 to 55 deaths per day because the record 107 deaths on December 1 is no longer counted in the 7-day average. However, the death rate went up again to 0.91%, a figure we haven’t seen since late October.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reports 9,591 test results were received in the past 24-hour period and 4,114 of them were positive — almost 43% (42.89%). The remaining 5,477 tests were negative.

Health Secretary-designee Andrea Palm says the positivity rate shows not enough people are being tested for the coronavirus. “The average daily number of tests is about 29,500. Two weeks ago, that average was over 39,000,” she said. Palm said the health department isn’t sure why fewer people are seeking tests, especially when the infection rate remains so high in the community.

New coronavirus cases were identified in 71 counties. The case count was revised in Marquette County. County case numbers are listed later in this article.

To date, 418,446 people in Wisconsin have tested positive for the coronavirus since the first case on February 5, which is more than 7% (7.19%) of the state’s population. Another 2.2 million people (2,207,950) tested negative. That’s 45% (45.11%) of the state’s population.

The DHS says more than 350,000 people (356,752) diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus since February are considered recovered — meaning 30 days has passed since their diagnosis or they were medically cleared. There are 57,813 people who are considered active cases, or 13.8% of all cases ever diagnosed.

New state guidelines for quarantine took effect Monday where people who have close contact with someone with COVID-19 only need to quarantine for 10 days if they don’t exhibit any symptoms. They can shorten that to 7 days if they get tested and receive a negative test result within 48 hours of the end of quarantine. Previously, people were asked to quarantine for 14 days from a positive test or the onset of symptoms. The DHS hopes people are more likely to abide by quarantine if it’s a shorter duration. People should still monitor themselves for symptoms for a full 14 days and immediately isolate themselves if they develop any symptoms.

HOSPITALIZATIONS

Hospitalizations took a huge jump. There were 214 COVID-19 patients hospitalized since Monday, the most since a record 277 on December 1, following two days with fewer than 100 hospitalizations.

In total, 18,500 people have been hospitalized for serious symptoms of COVID-19 since that first patient in Madison. The percentage seems to have stagnated at 4.4% of all coronavirus cases.

On Tuesday, the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) reported 1,566 COVID-19 patients being treated in hospitals, which includes 325 people in intensive care. The number of patients in hospitals across the state due to COVID-19 remained the same from Monday, however the amount of patients in the ICU for the virus decreased by one. There were 96 COVID-19 patients in the Fox Valley region’s 13 hospitals, with 17 in intensive care. There are 121 in the Northeast region’s 10 hospitals, with 27 in intensive care.

Daily changes in hospitalization numbers take deaths and discharges into account.

There were 6 patients at the alternate care facility at the state fairgrounds Tuesday. The field hospital is meant to help free up hospital beds by taking patients who are close to being released from the hospital but not quite ready, such as those who are ambulatory but still need oxygen.

HOSPITAL READINESS

Tuesday, the WHA reported 175 of the state’s 1,466 ICU beds are open (11.93%). The state’s 134 hospitals have a total 1,700 ICU, intermediate care, medical surgical and negative flow isolation beds unoccupied (15.21%). These beds are for all patients, not just COVID-19, and whether a bed can be filled depends on whether the hospital has the necessary medical and support staff.

The Fox Valley region hospitals, which serves 8 counties, have 16 ICU beds (15.38%) open and 106 medical beds (12.42%) open overall.

The Northeast region hospitals, serving 7 counties, have 20 ICU beds (9.66%) open and 164 of all types of medical beds (17.15%) open overall.

The need for personal protective equipment (PPE) continues at some of the state’s 134 hospitals: 18 report less than a 7-day supply of gowns, 13 have less than a week’s worth of paper medical masks, 9 need goggles and 9 are low on N95 masks.

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

Wisconsin*

  • Adams – 1,147 cases (+14) (8 deaths)(State revised, decrease of 1)
  • Ashland – 806 cases (+6) (10 deaths)
  • Barron – 3,870 cases (+16) (47 deaths)
  • Bayfield – 766 cases (+13) (16 deaths)
  • Brown – 23,731 cases (+221) (149 deaths)
  • Buffalo – 874 cases (+8) (5 deaths)
  • Burnett – 857 cases (+9) (15 deaths)
  • Calumet – 4,264 cases (+31) (29 deaths)(+1)
  • Chippewa – 5,249 cases (+31) (57 deaths)(+2)
  • Clark – 2,368 cases (+24) (44 deaths)
  • Columbia – 3,674 cases (+15) (13 deaths)
  • Crawford – 1,404 cases (+9) (9 deaths)
  • Dane – 29,450 cases (+147) (107 deaths)(+3)
  • Dodge – 9,169 cases (+93) (84 deaths)(+1)
  • Door – 1,697 cases (+21) (11 deaths)
  • Douglas – 2,419 cases (+46) (8 deaths)(+1)
  • Dunn – 3,012 cases (+24) (16 deaths)(+1)
  • Eau Claire – 8,207 cases (+29) (63 deaths)
  • Florence – 364 cases (+6) (12 deaths)
  • Fond du Lac – 9,250 cases (+129) (56 deaths)(+3)
  • Forest – 764 cases (+2) (19 deaths)
  • Grant – 3,677 cases (+15) (67 deaths)(+2)
  • Green – 1,876 cases (+12) (6 deaths)
  • Green Lake – 1,237 cases (+5) (8 deaths)(+1)
  • Iowa – 1,391 cases (+11) (5 deaths)
  • Iron – 381 cases (+5) (10 deaths)
  • Jackson – 1,977 cases (+18) (6 deaths)(+1)
  • Jefferson – 5,796 cases (+71) (43 deaths) (+1)
  • Juneau – 2,069 cases (+18) (7 deaths)
  • Kenosha – 10,282 cases (+186) (162 deaths)(+3)
  • Kewaunee – 1,759 cases (+17) (22 deaths)
  • La Crosse – 8,833 cases (+127) (42 deaths)(+2)
  • Lafayette – 1,121 cases (+4) (4 deaths)
  • Langlade – 1,598 cases (+2) (28 deaths)
  • Lincoln – 2,087 cases (+13) (35 deaths)
  • Manitowoc – 5,295 cases (+51) (38 deaths)
  • Marathon – 10,434 cases (+73) (139 deaths) (+1)
  • Marinette – 3,175 cases (+30) (36 deaths)
  • Marquette – 1,074 cases (State revised, decrease of 1) (15 deaths)
  • Menominee – 599 cases (+8) (8 deaths)
  • Milwaukee – 73,750 (+740) (787 deaths)(+12)
  • Monroe – 2,884 cases (+20) (15 deaths)
  • Oconto – 3,336 cases (+30) (32 deaths)
  • Oneida – 2,492 cases (+7) (39 deaths)
  • Outagamie – 14,489 cases (+101) (138 deaths)(+2)
  • Ozaukee – 5,229 cases (+104) (42 deaths)(+3)
  • Pepin – 519 cases (+1) (3 deaths)(+1)
  • Pierce – 2,445 cases (+33) (19 deaths)
  • Polk – 2,496 cases (+55) (19 deaths)(+1)
  • Portage – 4,954 cases (+25) (43 deaths)
  • Price – 816 cases (+14) (4 deaths)
  • Racine – 15,029 cases (+170) (201 deaths)(+4)
  • Richland – 927 cases (+3) (13 deaths)
  • Rock – 10,173 cases (+54) (99 deaths)(+1)
  • Rusk – 972 cases (+14) (10 deaths)(+1)
  • Sauk – 3,878 cases (+63) (19 deaths)
  • Sawyer – 981 cases (+4) (8 deaths)
  • Shawano – 3,809 cases (+66) (51 deaths)(+2)
  • Sheboygan – 9,823 cases (+177) (66 deaths)
  • St. Croix – 4,691 cases (+45) (22 deaths)
  • Taylor – 1,382 cases (+54) (11 deaths)
  • Trempealeau – 2,621 cases (+19) (22 deaths)(+1)
  • Vernon – 1,263 cases (+15) (15 deaths)
  • Vilas – 1,366 cases (+7) (15 deaths)
  • Walworth – 6,558 cases (+76) (58 deaths)(+1)
  • Washburn – 817 cases (+15) (5 deaths)
  • Washington – 9,751 cases (+139) (80 deaths)(+3)
  • Waukesha – 28,853 cases (+399) (249 deaths) (+14)
  • Waupaca – 3,818 cases (+12) (91 deaths)
  • Waushara – 1,795 cases (+9) (12 deaths)
  • Winnebago – 13,806 cases (+62) (129 deaths)(+2)
  • Wood – 4,720 cases (+22) (30 deaths)(State revised, decrease of 2)

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula **

  • Alger – 170 cases (+1) (1 death)
  • Baraga – 436 cases (+9) (24 deaths)
  • Chippewa – 416 cases (+8) (6 deaths)
  • Delta – 2,324 cases (+5) (53 deaths)
  • Dickinson – 1,799 cases (+13) (49 deaths) (+3)
  • Gogebic – 633 cases (+6) (11 deaths)
  • Houghton – 1,407 cases (+18) (13 deaths)
  • Iron – 719 cases (+1) (31 deaths)
  • Keweenaw – 64 cases (1 death)
  • Luce – 121 cases
  • Mackinac – 237 cases (+2) (1 death)
  • Marquette – 2,841 cases (+4) (37 deaths) (+2)
  • Menominee – 1,285 cases (+12) (20 deaths) (+1)
  • Ontonagon – 269 cases (+3) (14 deaths)
  • Schoolcraft – 184 cases (+2) (2 deaths) (+1)

Earlier this week, the DHS published a new, interactive map online that shows COVID-19 virus cases and deaths by county, municipality, ZIP Code or school district (CLICK HERE). You can view cases and deaths by total numbers or per capita or deaths as a percentage of total cases. Health Secretary-designee Andrea Palm says it “offers new ways for people to understand COVID-19 activity within their communities.”

* 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.

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