COVID-19 Cases Surpass 20K As Positive Case Rate Continues To Drop

State Reports A 14-Day Downward Trajectory Of COVID-Like Illnesses

A graduate accepts a bag of gifts during graduation ceremonies.
A graduate accepts a bag of gifts during graduation ceremonies for Oak Park High School, Thursday, June 4, 2020, in the Oak Park section of Ventura County, Calif. Mark J. Terrill/AP Photo

There have been 20,249 positive cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin as of Friday, according to the state Department of Health Services. That’s an increase of 357 cases from the day before.

According to health officials, 633 people in Wisconsin have died from COVID-19 as of Friday afternoon.

DHS reported 303,332 negative tests for the new coronavirus, an increase of 11,965 from Thursday to Friday.

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As of Friday, 66 percent of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered, according to DHS. Three percent who have tested positive have died from the virus.

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 15,418 as of Thursday. An increase in testing is one reason for the increase in the number of positive cases. The percentage of positive tests was 2.9 percent Friday. It was 4.1 percent Thursday and hit its lowest point Sunday at 2.3 percent.

Wisconsin has seen a 14-day downward trajectory in the percentage of positive tests and in number of reported COVID-like illnesses — key metrics signifying COVID-19 is under control.

State Officials Outline Response Plans

Gov. Tony Evers plans to spend $1 billion in federal funds to combat COVID-19 in Wisconsin. The money will be used to pay for contact tracing, ongoing efforts to test people for the virus and preparing for a potential surge.

Last week, Evers announced the $200 million “Routes to Recovery” grant program funded by the federal coronavirus relief bill and aimed at helping local governments address urgent needs. Evers said $10 million of that will go to Wisconsin’s tribal nations, with the remainder distributed among county, city, village and town governments.

Last week, DHS Secretary Andrea Palm announced $10 million will be used to reimburse health clinics providing coronavirus-related care to underserved populations. The funding is from the federal coronavirus relief bill. Rural and tribal health clinics, community health centers, and free and low-cost clinics are eligible for the funding.

Testing Efforts Continue To Ramp Up

Last Friday was the first time the state met the plan’s goal of testing 12,000 people per day for COVID-19, with DHS reporting a total of 12,869 tests. Testing totals dipped over the weekend, with DHS reporting 9,320 tests Saturday, and 7,195 Sunday. On Friday, 11,965 tests were reported.

According to DHS, 2,791 people have been hospitalized because of the virus as of Friday. That means at least 14 percent of people who have tested positive for the new coronavirus in the state have been hospitalized. DHS officials have said they don’t know the hospitalization history of 6,135 people, or 30 percent.

There are confirmed cases in all 72 of Wisconsin’s counties.