7-Day Average Of New COVID-19 Cases Reaches Lowest Point In A Month

DHS Reports 2,543 New Cases, 6 New Deaths

Patients wait inside an urgent care pharmacy
Patients wait inside an urgent care pharmacy while wearing personal protective equipment, Wednesday, March 25, 2020, in the Queens borough of New York. Gov. John Minchillo/AP Photo

New reports of COVID-19 cases are on the decline, although still fairly high in Wisconsin, based on the latest data published by the state Department of Health Services.

DHS reported 2,534 new cases of the disease Monday, bringing the average for the past seven days to 4,209 daily cases. It’s the lowest the seven-day average has been since Oct. 29, when it was 4,128 cases per day. It’s typical for DHS to report fewer confirmed COVID-19 cases on Mondays, with labs usually posting fewer test results the day before.

There were six new deaths from COVID-19 reported Monday. On Monday, 6,206 tested negative.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Of the people who got tested for COVID-19 over the past week, 28.7 percent were positive for the disease, according to DHS. That rate had fallen over the past two weeks, but began to rise again over the weekend.

The positivity rate is often read by public health officials as a measure of overall testing levels. A high rate could indicate that testing in the state is limited, and skewed toward those already flagged as potentially having COVID-19. A lower rate could indicate testing is more widespread. Changes in the test positivity rate can also speak to COVID-19’s spread, if the size and makeup of the testing pool stays consistent.

On Sept. 30, DHS also introduced an alternative positivity rate, one that measures the percentage of tests that are positive, instead of the percentage of people who get a positive result. The new metric takes into account people who have been tested multiple times. The seven-day average for that number is at 12.3 percent.

According to the Wisconsin Hospital Association, there were 1,824 COVID-19 patients hospitalized as of Sunday. A total of 17,095 people have been hospitalized because of the disease, or 4.4 percent of all known positive cases.

The latest figures bring the overall total of positive cases in Wisconsin to 387,235, according to DHS. A total of 3,313 people in Wisconsin have died from COVID-19.

COVID-19 activity varies from county to county. The latest activity data from DHS, released last Wednesday, showed 65 counties at a “critically high level” of COVID-19 activity and seven at a “very high” level. The counties with very high activity levels were Green, Iron, Florence, Waupaca, Waushara, Marquette and Green Lake. Wisconsin overall had a “critically high” level of activity, according to DHS.

COVID-19 activity designations are based on the number of new cases per a county’s population over a 14-day period, as well as whether there’s an upward or downward trend in new cases.

As of Wednesday, all of Wisconsin’s regions were seeing either a downward trend in cases, or were holding steady, though all remained at “critically high” levels of activity. Three counties — Brown, Crawford and Douglas — had an upward trend in cases, while the remaining counties were either trending down or holding steady.

Wisconsin’s daily testing capacity — based on the availability of test supplies and adequate staffing — has grown from 120 available lab tests in early March to 59,595 as of Monday. The number of actual people with new test results reported Monday was 8,740.

A total of 2,537,231 people have been tested over the course of the pandemic. Of those, 2,149,996 have tested negative.