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Wisconsin reports steep holiday drop in coronavirus cases, deaths, other metrics

The numbers show 13.27% of tests were positive, the lowest since September 23
WISCONSIN state map with CORONAVIRUS lettering, on texture, finished graphic
WISCONSIN state map with CORONAVIRUS lettering, on texture, finished graphic(Associated Press)
Published: Nov. 27, 2020 at 2:11 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 27, 2020 at 2:40 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) – Coronavirus cases, COVID-19 deaths and other key metrics in the pandemic took a nose dive in the latest state report on Friday.

1,300 NEW CASES. 13.27% POSITIVITY RATE.

The state reported 1,300 new coronavirus cases -- the fewest since September 21 (which had 1,271 cases). That’s based on 9,798 test results, which means 13.27% came back positive, which is the lowest positivity rate since September 23. Health experts want to see that number get below 5% to consider the virus is getting under control.

The 7-day average for new cases fell to 4,413 per day from 5,152 per day on Thursday. (The average had been on a decline since November 19, but that’s the sharpest one-day drop.)

Thirty-three of Wisconsin’s 72 counties did not report any new cases, which is the most in recent memory. This may be indicative of less testing over the holidays.

Fewer test results and fewer new cases were anticipated since numerous community testing sites are closed for the holiday weekend. That may result in a spike in numbers for days after the testing sites reopen and staffing returns to normal for completing test results and verifying COVID-19 deaths.

17 MORE DEATHS.

Seventeen more deaths were added to the state’s COVID-19 death toll, after 104 deaths on Tuesday and figures in the 60s on Wednesday and Thursday. That pulled the 7-day average down to 42 deaths per day, after more than a week averaging 52 to 55 per day. Wisconsin hasn’t had an average below 46 deaths per day since November 12.

It wasn’t enough to bring the death rate back down. The percentage of coronavirus cases turning fatal was 0.87% for a second day after rising from 0.84% on Tuesday. A total 3,257 people have died from the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Counties reporting deaths were Bayfield, Chippewa, Dodge, Grant, Kenosha, La Crosse, Milwaukee (2), Oconto, Pierce, Shawano, Sheboygan, Vernon (2), and Waupaca (3).

Case and death numbers by county will be updated later in this article.

Prevea president/CEO Dr. Ashok Rai said Thursday on Action 2 News This Morning: “I think sharing good news is important: Our numbers are starting to trend down, our hospitalizations are slightly trending down. Staff are coming back. We’re doing a little bit better. How our behavior this week translates into that continuing to do better will really matter.” (Watch his full interviews here.)

To date, 375,837 people have tested positive for the coronavirus. Another 2.133 million in Wisconsin have tested negative.

57 NEW HOSPITALIZATIONS.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services says 57 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized since Thursday afternoon -- another key metric that saw a sharp drop after three days above 200 patients per day. That helped bring the 7-day average down from 189 patients admitted to hospitals to 170. Since February 5, the state says 16,715 COVID-19 patients have been hospitalized.

The number of active cases fell to 70,977 on Friday. These are people who were diagnosed in the past 30 days and haven’t been medically cleared. That’s down to 18.9% of all coronavirus cases identified in Wisconsin. There are now more than 300,000 people (301,541) who are considered recovered, or 80.2%.

On Friday, the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) reported 1,843 COVID-19 patients were in hospitals, including 400 in ICU. That’s the lowest number of COVID-19 patients in ICU since November 9, when there were 396. Changes in hospitalization numbers take deaths and discharges into account.

The alternate care facility at the state fairgrounds had 9 patients on Friday, the same number as Thursday. 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

The WHA also reports there are 228 ICU beds open in the state’s 134 hospitals, indicating 84.5% of the state’s intensive care beds are occupied. Overall, 17.8% of the state’s medically licensed beds are open.

The eight-county Fox Valley region is treating 122 COVID-19 patients, 22 in ICU. The region has 14 ICU beds open among the 13 hospitals, unchanged from Thursday. WHA figures indicate 13.5% of ICU beds and 17.1% of all beds are open.

The seven-county Northeast region is treating 155 COVID-19 patients, including 42 in ICU. The region has 23 ICU beds open among 10 hospitals, or 11.1% of ICU beds, and 19.5% of the region’s hospital beds are open overall.

The need for supplies is mostly unchanged with 24 hospitals reporting less than a week’s supply of gowns instead of 25; 12 still short on paper medical masks, 9 needing goggles, and 7 in need of N95 masks.

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

Wisconsin*

  • Adams – 1,013 cases (6 deaths)
  • Ashland – 638 cases (9 deaths)
  • Barron – 3,465 cases (41 deaths)
  • Bayfield - 643 cases (11 deaths) (+1)
  • Brown – 22,261 cases (+3) (133 deaths)
  • Buffalo – 774 cases (+6) (4 deaths)
  • Burnett – 745 cases (11 deaths)
  • Calumet - 3,990 cases (+1) (25 deaths)
  • Chippewa – 4,531 cases (+1) (50 deaths) (+1)
  • Clark – 2,103 cases (+23) (37 deaths)
  • Columbia – 3,355 cases (+28) (10 deaths)
  • Crawford – 1,165 cases (+15) (7 deaths)
  • Dane – 26,412 cases (+45) (80 deaths)
  • Dodge – 8,211 cases (+62) (71 deaths) (+1)
  • Door - 1,565 cases (11 deaths)
  • Douglas – 1,950 cases (+37) (1 death)
  • Dunn – 2,720 cases (12 deaths)
  • Eau Claire – 7,563 cases (57 deaths)
  • Florence - 306 cases (+1) (11 deaths)
  • Fond du Lac – 8,154 cases (50 deaths)
  • Forest - 715 cases (+9) (17 deaths)
  • Grant – 3,377 cases (+16) (62 deaths) (+1)
  • Green – 1,647 cases (+32) (5 deaths)
  • Green Lake - 1,161 cases (6 deaths)
  • Iowa - 1,256 cases (5 deaths)
  • Iron - 341 cases (10 deaths)
  • Jackson - 1,634 cases (4 deaths)
  • Jefferson – 5,142 cases (37 deaths)
  • Juneau - 1,874 cases (+29) (7 deaths)
  • Kenosha – 9,089 cases (+15) (142 deaths) (+1)
  • Kewaunee - 1,648 cases (16 deaths)
  • La Crosse – 7,813 cases (+52) (35 deaths) (+1)
  • Lafayette - 1,059 cases (+7) (3 deaths)
  • Langlade - 1,505 cases (+1) (25 deaths)
  • Lincoln – 1,871 cases (+1) (27 deaths)
  • Manitowoc – 4,728 cases (36 deaths)
  • Marathon – 9,486 cases (+97) (123 deaths)
  • Marinette - 2,880 cases (+15) (27 deaths)
  • Marquette – 1,016 cases (+3) (15 deaths)
  • Menominee - 556 cases (+5) (8 deaths)
  • Milwaukee – 66,035 (+512) (730 deaths) (+2)
  • Monroe - 2,461 cases (+19) (12 deaths)
  • Oconto – 3,057 cases (27 deaths) (+1)
  • Oneida - 2,198 cases (29 deaths)
  • Outagamie – 13,460 cases (122 deaths)
  • Ozaukee - 4,629 cases (+42) (36 deaths)
  • Pepin – 457 cases (2 deaths)
  • Pierce – 2,077 cases (+18) (17 deaths) (+1)
  • Polk – 2,042 cases (+20) (8 deaths)
  • Portage – 4,579 cases (+18) (36 deaths)
  • Price - 700 cases (4 deaths)
  • Racine – 13,769 cases (+1) (163 deaths)
  • Richland - 858 cases (13 deaths)
  • Rock – 8,992 cases (77 deaths) (cases revised -1 by state)
  • Rusk - 830 cases (7 deaths)
  • Sauk – 3,418 cases (17 deaths)
  • Sawyer - 861 cases (7 deaths)
  • Shawano – 3,620 cases (+23) (47 deaths) (+1)
  • Sheboygan - 8,819 cases (53 deaths) (+1)
  • St. Croix – 4,171 cases (+1) (20 deaths)
  • Taylor - 1,157 cases (10 deaths)
  • Trempealeau – 2,307 cases (+1) (15 deaths)
  • Vernon – 1,096 cases (+39) (9 deaths) (+2)
  • Vilas - 1,216 cases (+14) (13 deaths)
  • Walworth – 5,766 cases (48 deaths)
  • Washburn – 648 cases (+16) (2 deaths)
  • Washington – 8,607 cases (+76) (69 deaths)
  • Waukesha – 25,399 cases (+2) (192 deaths)
  • Waupaca – 3,569 cases (85 deaths) (+3)
  • Waushara – 1,724 cases (8 deaths)
  • Winnebago – 12,861 cases (+4) (106 deaths)
  • Wood – 4,092 cases (26 deaths)

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula **

  • Alger - 148 cases (+2) (1 death)
  • Baraga - 416 cases (+38) (12 deaths) (+2)
  • Chippewa - 333 cases (+18) (5 deaths)
  • Delta – 2,165 cases (+62) (48 deaths)
  • Dickinson - 1,585 cases (+37) (39 deaths) (+7)
  • Gogebic - 561 cases (+15) (11 deaths)
  • Houghton – 1,241 cases (+23) (11 deaths)
  • Iron – 674 cases (+13) (29 deaths)
  • Keweenaw – 56 cases (+1) (1 death)
  • Luce – 117 cases (+3)
  • Mackinac - 206 cases (+5)
  • Marquette - 2,507 cases (+101) (29 deaths) (+1)
  • Menominee - 1,158 cases (+45) (16 deaths) (+3)
  • Ontonagon – 249 cases (+4) (12 deaths)
  • Schoolcraft - 161 cases (+4) (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.

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