DHS: 18,230 Confirmed COVID-19 Cases In Wisconsin

588 People Have Died From Coronavirus In Wisconsin So Far

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Family walking in mall.
Claudia Maldonado and her granddaughter, Victoria Pacheco, 3, wear face masks while shopping at Arden Fair Mall in Sacramento, Calif., Friday, May 29, 2020. Arden Fair reopened Friday for the since closing in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. Rich Pedroncelli/AP Photo

There are 18,230 positive cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin as of Saturday, according to the state Department of Health Services. That’s an increase of 523 cases from the day before.

According to health officials, 588 people in Wisconsin have died from COVID-19 as of Saturday afternoon.

DHS reported 242,908 negative tests for the new coronavirus, an increase of 9,320 from Friday to Saturday.

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As of Saturday, 62 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 the number of positive cases. The percentage of positive tests was 5.3 percent Saturday, roughly even with the 5.4 percent positive rate Friday.

Kenosha County officials reported Saturday that 45 residents of a long-term care facility in Kenosha have tested positive for the virus and three people have died. Kenosha County Health Officer Jen Freiheit said the Kenosha Estates Living and Care Center has tested all residents and staff, adding that the facility has isolated all of the residents with coronavirus in one area.

State Officials Outline New Response Plans

Gov. Tony Evers said this week that he 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.

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.

Testing Efforts Continue To Ramp Up

Friday was the first time the state met the plan’s goal of testing 12,000 people per day for COVID-19. DHS reported a total of 12,869 tests, an increase of 2,755 from Thursday.

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, 2,563 people have been hospitalized because of the virus as of Saturday. 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 5,706 people, or 31 percent.

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

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