COVID-19 Positive Test Rate Hits Lowest Point Since Outbreak Began

DHS: 21,308 Confirmed COVID-19 Cases In Wisconsin

Michaela Kouvelas sanitizes a styling station at the Willo Aveda Salon
Michaela Kouvelas sanitizes a styling station at the Willo Aveda Salon in Roseville, Calif., Friday, May 29, 2020. The salon closed back in March, due to the coronavirus pandemic, reopened for businesses Friday. New guidelines, are being followed including requiring six feet between patrons, sanitizing each station after every client and providing masks for workers and customers who need them. Rich Pedroncelli/AP Photo

There have been 21,308 positive cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin as of Tuesday, according to the state Department of Health Services. That’s an increase of 270 cases from the day before.

According to health officials, 661 people in Wisconsin have died from COVID-19 as of Tuesday afternoon.

DHS reported 347,210 total negative tests for the new coronavirus, an increase of 13,957 from Monday to Tuesday.

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As of Tuesday, 68 percent of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered, according to DHS. Three percent 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 15,508 as of Monday. An increase in testing is one reason for the increase in the number of positive cases. The percentage of positive tests was 1.9 percent on Tuesday, the lowest it’s been since the outbreak began.

Wisconsin has seen a 14-day downward trajectory in the percentage of positive tests — a key metric signifying COVID-19 is under control. But as of Tuesday, Wisconsin no longer met the 14-day downward trajectory for a decrease in COVID-like symptoms.

Testing Efforts Continue To Ramp Up

The state first met its goal of testing 12,000 people per day for COVID-19 at the end of last month. On Tuesday, 14,227 tests were reported — a steep increase from Monday’s 7,386 tests.

While DHS is recommending people continue to practice social distancing, protests have erupted across the state and nation calling for an end to police brutality and racial injustice. Protest organizers — including Freedom Inc. in Madison — have asked those attending the protests to get tested for COVID-19. And last Thursday, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Robert Redfield told lawmakers testing is especially important after protests in areas where there have been high transmission of the disease, like Minneapolis and Washington, D.C.

Free COVID-19 testing sites are still in operation across the state and can be found on the DHS website.

According to DHS, 2,904 people have been hospitalized because of the virus as of Tuesday. That means at least 14 percent of people who have tested positive for the new coronavirus in the state have been hospitalized. DHS officials said they don’t know the hospitalization history of 6,333 people, or 30 percent.

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