DHS: 1,696 New COVID-19 Cases Monday

State Officials Report 782 COVID-19 Patients Currently Hospitalized, 4 New Deaths

A social distancing sign is hung on a locker in Baldwin, N.Y.
In this Aug. 28, 2020, file photo, a sign that reads “Social Distance Maintain 6 ft” is posted on student lockers at a school in Baldwin, N.Y. Mark Lennihan/AP Photo

New reports of COVID-19 cases are averaging at around 2,400 cases per day in Wisconsin, based on the latest data published by the state Department of Health Services.

DHS reported 1,696 new cases of the disease Monday, bringing the average for the past seven days to 2,395 daily cases. One week ago, the average was 2,155 daily cases.

There were four new deaths from COVID-19 reported Monday. On Monday, 6,864 people tested negative.

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17.3 percent of people who got tested for COVID-19 over the past week were positive for the disease, according to DHS. That rate had been significantly rising throughout September and has been around 17 percent since Sept. 28.

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 Wednesday, 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 9.2 percent.

According to DHS, there were 782 COVID-19 patients hospitalized as of Sunday. A total of 7,702 people have been hospitalized because of the disease, or 5.7 percent of all positive cases.

The latest figures bring the overall total of positive cases in Wisconsin to 134,359, according to DHS. A total of 1,381 people in Wisconsin have died from COVID-19.

COVID-19 activity varies heavily from county to county. The latest activity data from DHS, released Wednesday, showed 45 counties had a “very high level” of COVID-19 activity, and the rest had a “high” level of activity. Wisconsin overall had a “very 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, the Fox Valley region of the state had the most new cases per capita over the previous two weeks, while the North Central region saw cases rise most rapidly.

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 39,234 as of Monday. The number of actual people with new test results reported Monday was 8,560, with a total of 19,071 tests done.

A total of 1,606,936 people have been tested over the course of the pandemic. Of those, 1,472,577 have tested negative.