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Wisconsin nears 4,000 COVID-19 deaths; death rate up for 3rd day – WBAY

MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) – Wisconsin’s death rate climbed again… for a third straight day and for the fourth time in a week.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) has 57 more COVID-19 deaths in Thursday’s report, which is very close to the 7-day average of 55 deaths a day. In total, 3,944 people have died in Wisconsin from the disease caused by the coronavirus. That’s 0.93% of all known coronavirus cases since the virus reached our state in February. The death rate fell below 0.93% on October 19 and was on a downward trend for a month, reaching a low of 0.84% on November 18; it’s been gradually climbing since then.

Deaths were reported in 25 counties: Adams, Ashland (2), Chippewa, Columbia (2), Dane, Douglas, Eau Claire, Forest, Kenosha (5), Milwaukee (6), Monroe, Pepin (2), Pierce, Racine (4), Rock, Sauk (2), Shawano, Sheboygan (3), Taylor, Vilas (4), Walworth (4), Washburn, Washington (2), Waukesha (6) and Winnebago (3).

The DHS received 12,555 coronavirus test results — the most since Dec. 10. Nearly 1 in 3 results came back positive. The 4,034 new cases is higher than the 7-day average of 3,770 cases per day. The positivity rate of 32.13% fits right in with the 7-day average of 32.48%. New coronavirus cases were found in all 72 counties.

County-by-county case totals and death totals are listed later in this article.

So far, 426,099 people have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus while 2,224,578 have tested negative.

The number and percentage of active cases — those diagnosed in the last 30 days or medically cleared — both continued their decline. Now, 52,259 people who tested positive are still active cases (12.3%) while 369,821 are considered recovered (86.8%). The DHS notes that some of the people still feel lingering effects from their COVID-19 illness even though they fall into the broad “recovered” category.

State health officials say the state should receive 49,725 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine this month to be given first to health care workers and nursing home residents. The state will receive another 49,725 doses for their second shot to complete the inoculation.

Prevea Health president/CEO Dr. Ashok Rai talks about distribution plans in Northeast Wisconsin Thursday afternoon on Action 2 News at 4:30. Article continues below the video.

HOSPITALIZATIONS

Another 160 people were hospitalized for serious COVID-19 symptoms in the last 24 hours. That’s very close to the 7-day average of 160 cases per day after two straight days reporting more than 200 hospitalizations. The state says 18,875 people diagnosed with COVID-19 have been hospitalized since early February, or 4.4% of all known cases.

The Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) reported there were 1,484 COVID-19 patients in the state’s 134 hospitals Thursday afternoon, with 332 of them in intensive care. The number in ICU has grown since Wednesday, but current hospitalizations for COVID-19 are under 1,500 for the first time since October 29.

The Fox Valley’s 13 hospitals are treating 84 COVID-19 patients, 14 in intensive care. The Northeast region’s 10 hospitals have 111 COVID-19 patients, 28 in ICU.

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

The alternate care facility at the state fairgrounds was treating 11 patients Thursday, a gain of two since Wednesday. The field hospital takes patients who are close to being released from the hospital but not quite ready, such as those who are ambulatory but still need oxygen, to ease the caseload at overwhelmed hospitals.

HOSPITAL READINESS

The WHA reports 162 ICU beds are open, or 11.1% of all the state’s ICU beds, which is less than Wednesday, while 15.7% of all hospital beds are open, which is a very slight improvement over Wednesday.

The Fox Valley region, which serves 8 counties, has 18 ICU beds (17.3%) and 14.7% of all beds open. The Northeast region, serving 7 counties, has 16 ICU beds (7.7%) and 16.6% of all beds open.

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 latest report on personal protective equipment (PPE) shows 18 of the state’s 134 hospitals have less than a week’s supply of gowns, 13 are short on paper medical masks, 10 have less than 7 days’ worth of goggles, and 9 are in need of N95 masks.

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

Wisconsin*

  • Adams – 1,166 cases (+14) (9 deaths) (+1)
  • Ashland – 829 cases (+16) (12 deaths) (+2)
  • Barron – 3,931 cases (+26) (46 deaths)
  • Bayfield – 787 cases (+16) (16 deaths)
  • Brown – 24,021 cases (+137) (149 deaths)
  • Buffalo – 893 cases (+8) (5 deaths)
  • Burnett – 876 cases (+12) (15 deaths)
  • Calumet – 4,293 cases (+17) (29 deaths)
  • Chippewa – 5,314 cases (+37) (58 deaths) (+1)
  • Clark – 2,443 cases (+49) (44 deaths)
  • Columbia – 3,760 cases (+38) (15 deaths) (+2)
  • Crawford – 1,441 cases (+18) (10 deaths)
  • Dane – 29,864 cases (+248) (109 deaths) (+1)
  • Dodge – 9,383 cases (+161) (87 deaths)
  • Door – 1,751 cases (+24) (11 deaths)
  • Douglas – 2,495 cases (+29) (8 deaths) (+1)
  • Dunn – 3,063 cases (+24) (16 deaths)
  • Eau Claire – 8,326 cases (+56) (65 deaths) (+1)
  • Florence – 372 cases (+5) (12 deaths)
  • Fond du Lac – 9,357 cases (+74) (56 deaths)
  • Forest – 771 cases (+5) (20 deaths) (+1)
  • Grant – 3,765 cases (+58) (68 deaths)
  • Green – 1,928 cases (+13) (7 deaths)
  • Green Lake – 1,249 cases (+9) (8 deaths)
  • Iowa – 1,434 cases (+21) (5 deaths)
  • Iron – 383 cases (+3) (10 deaths)
  • Jackson – 2,012 cases (+12) (6 deaths)
  • Jefferson – 5,872 cases (+43) (45 deaths)
  • Juneau – 2,111 cases (+35) (7 deaths)
  • Kenosha – 10,592 cases (+51) (172 deaths) (+5)
  • Kewaunee – 1,795 cases (+23) (22 deaths)
  • La Crosse – 8,948 cases (+40) (42 deaths)
  • Lafayette – 1,130 cases (+6) (4 deaths)
  • Langlade – 1,630 cases (+18) (29 deaths)
  • Lincoln – 2,123 cases (+19) (36 deaths)
  • Manitowoc – 5,374 cases (+44) (38 deaths)
  • Marathon – 10,677 cases (+95) (139 deaths)
  • Marinette – 3,230 cases (+31) (36 deaths)
  • Marquette – 1,085 cases (+2) (15 deaths)
  • Menominee – 613 cases (+13) (8 deaths)
  • Milwaukee – 75,203 (+706) (806 deaths) (+6)
  • Monroe – 2,950 cases (+35) (19 deaths) (+1)
  • Oconto – 3,419 cases (+50) (33 deaths)
  • Oneida – 2,534 cases (+26) (44 deaths)
  • Outagamie – 14,661 cases (+112) (138 deaths)
  • Ozaukee – 5,373 cases (+66) (43 deaths)
  • Pepin – 538 cases (+12) (5 deaths) (+2)
  • Pierce – 2,515 cases (+55) (20 deaths) (+1)
  • Polk – 2,562 cases (+41) (19 deaths)
  • Portage – 5,037 cases (+54) (43 deaths)
  • Price – 830 cases (+6) (4 deaths)
  • Racine – 15,346 cases (+194) (214 deaths) (+4)
  • Richland – 955 cases (+21) (13 deaths)
  • Rock – 10,338 cases (+85) (100 deaths) (+1)
  • Rusk – 993 cases (+12) (11 deaths)
  • Sauk – 3,939 cases (+42) (21 deaths) (+2)
  • Sawyer – 1,007 cases (+16) (8 deaths)
  • Shawano – 3,846 cases (+28) (53 deaths) (+1)
  • Sheboygan – 9,943 cases (+76) (75 deaths) (+3)
  • St. Croix – 4,759 cases (+44) (22 deaths)
  • Taylor – 1,423 cases (+18) (12 deaths) (+1)
  • Trempealeau – 2,669 cases (+24) (23 deaths)
  • Vernon – 1,301 cases (+18) (15 deaths)
  • Vilas – 1,399 cases (+21) (19 deaths) (+4)
  • Walworth – 6,687 cases (+57) (63 deaths) (+4)
  • Washburn – 843 cases (+13) (7 deaths) (+1)
  • Washington – 9,986 cases (+108) (84 deaths) (+2)
  • Waukesha – 29,499 cases (+366) (270 deaths) (+6)
  • Waupaca – 3,847 cases (+19) (91 deaths)
  • Waushara – 1,803 cases (+6) (13 deaths)
  • Winnebago – 13,956 cases (+80) (136 deaths) (+3)
  • Wood – 4,851 cases (+82) (31 deaths)

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula **

  • Alger – 171 cases (1 death)
  • Baraga – 443 cases (+3) (25 deaths) (+1)
  • Chippewa – 440 cases (+14) (7 deaths) (+1)
  • Delta – 2,359 cases (+8) (53 deaths)
  • Dickinson – 1,827 cases (+9) (50 deaths) (+1)
  • Gogebic – 657 cases (+4) (11 deaths)
  • Houghton – 1,446 cases (+24) (13 deaths)
  • Iron – 727 cases (+2) (31 deaths)
  • Keweenaw – 66 cases (+1) (1 death)
  • Luce – 122 cases
  • Mackinac – 241 cases (+2) (1 death)
  • Marquette – 2,892 cases (+38) (40 deaths) (+2)
  • Menominee – 1,311 cases (+9) (21 deaths) (+1)
  • Ontonagon – 269 cases (15 deaths) (+1)
  • Schoolcraft – 187 cases (2 deaths)

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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