DHS: 16,974 Confirmed COVID-19 Cases In Wisconsin

550 People Have Died From Coronavirus In Wisconsin So Far

A little girl is tested for COVID-19
A little girl is tested for COVID-19 at Annandale High School, in Annandale, Va., Saturday, May 23, 2020. Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo

There are 16,974 positive cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin as of Thursday, according to the state Department of Health Services. That’s an increase of 512 cases from the day before.

According to health officials, 550 people in Wisconsin have died from COVID-19 as of Thursday afternoon.

DHS reported 220,719 negative tests for the new coronavirus, an increase of 10,114 from Wednesday to Thursday.

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As of Thursday, 61 percent of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered, according to DHS.

Wisconsin’s daily testing capacity has grown from 120 available lab tests in early March to 14,753 as of Thursday. The surge in new tests is one reason for the increase in positive cases. The percentage of positive tests was 4.8 percent Thursday, falling from 5.8 percent Wednesday. It was 3.6 percent Tuesday.

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.

On Wednesday, 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.

And on Thursday, 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.

Evers’ “Badger Bounce Back” plan no longer has the force of law following a state Supreme Court ruling, but the state’s dashboard for the reopening plan shows Wisconsin has met key gating criteria, including 95 percent of hospitals being able to treat all patients without crisis standards of care and 95 percent of hospitals claiming they have arranged to test all symptomatic staff treating patients. The state has also seen a downward trajectory of COVID-like illnesses reported within a 14-day period.

However, the percentage of positive tests is no longer on a downward trajectory over a 14-day period. There also is no 14-day downward trajectory in flu-like illnesses, nor is there a downward trend of COVID-19 cases among health care workers, calculated weekly.

Wisconsin’s criteria for reopening were largely based on federal recommendations.

According to DHS, 2,452 people have been hospitalized because of the virus as of Thursday. 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 5,156 people, or 30 percent.

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