7-Day Average Of New COVID-19 Cases Surpasses 1.2K Per Day

Average Of New Infections Highest In Wisconsin Since Jan. 30

A COVID-19 vaccine information sign is seen outside of Walgreens
A COVID-19 vaccine information sign is seen outside of Walgreens store in Skokie, Ill., Saturday, May 22, 2021. Illinois public health officials on Saturday reported 59,314 tested in the previous 24 hours, and the seven-day statewide positivity rate as a percent of total test is 2.3 percent. Nam Y. Huh/AP Photo

The seven-day average of new COVID-19 infections in Wisconsin is the highest it’s been since the end of January, according to state data.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported 1,206 new daily cases Friday, bringing the seven-day average of new cases to 1,021. That’s the highest that number has been since Jan. 30.

DHS reported one new death from COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the total deaths from the disease in Wisconsin to 7,448.

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All Wisconsin counties are experiencing high coronavirus case activity according to DHS. Between July 21 and Aug. 3, seven counties reported COVID-19 positive rates above 10 percent of those tested. Chippewa County had the highest rate in that timeframe, at 13 percent.

Dr. Nasia Safdar, director of infection control at UW Hospital and Clinics in Madison, told WPR the number of cases in the local community have “climbed pretty astronomically.”

That is getting reflected in the number of positives that we’re seeing in our ambulatory population,” said Safdar. “It’s reflected in the number of infections we’re seeing in health care workers, I would say a bit of an uptick in the hospitalizations, but not at a level where … we have seen it before by any means.”

As of Tuesday, DHS reported 263 hospitalizations, with 7 percent of those patients being placed on a ventilator. The number of hospitalizations is the highest it’s been since May 24, but much lower than it was at its peak on Nov. 20, 2020, when the agency reported 2,155 COVID-19 patients.

Safdar said she and colleagues are waiting to see whether there will be a surge of new COVID-19-related hospitalizations in the Madison area. She said she’s hopeful they won’t due to the high vaccination rates in Dane County.

DHS reports 2,890,511 people — or 49.6 percent of Wisconsin’s population — have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. Dane County has the highest vaccination rate at 67.8 percent. Taylor County in north central Wisconsin has the lowest vaccination rate at 27.3 percent.

Safdar said people, including some health care workers, who have been vaccinated are experiencing what are known as breakthrough infections. She credits that to the more transmissible delta variant of the disease. But she said symptoms among vaccinated individuals experiencing breakthrough infections “are relatively mild.”

And people who are not vaccinated should not think that the vaccine doesn’t work because people are getting infections,” said Safdar. “It’s a very different syndrome.”