DHS: 2,791 New Cases Of COVID-19, 17 New Deaths On Sunday

7 Of The State's New Deaths Reported In Barron County

Cars wait in line at a CVS pharmacy offering drive-thru COVID-19 nasal swab tests
Cars wait in line at a CVS pharmacy offering drive-thru COVID-19 nasal swab tests in Dallas, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. LM Otero/AP Photo

New reports of COVID-19 cases are holding steady in Wisconsin, based on the latest data published by the state Department of Health Services.

DHS reported 2,791 new cases of the disease Sunday, bringing the average for the past seven days to 3,925 daily cases. One week ago, the average was 4,289 daily cases.

There were 17 new deaths from COVID-19 reported Sunday. On Sunday, 7,773 tested negative.

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Of the people who got tested for COVID-19 over the past week, 31.1 percent were positive for the disease, according to DHS. That rate has risen back above 30 percent since Nov. 30. It was on a decline for the last half of November.

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 Sept. 30, 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 13.5 percent.

According to the Wisconsin Hospital Association, there were 1,504 COVID-19 patients hospitalized as of Sunday. A total of 18,216 people have been hospitalized because of the disease, or 4.4 percent of all positive cases.

The latest figures bring the overall total of positive cases in Wisconsin to 412,177, according to DHS. A total of 3,719 people in Wisconsin have died from COVID-19.

COVID-19 activity varies from county to county. The latest activity data from DHS, released Wednesday, showed 41 counties had a “critically high level” of COVID-19 activity, while 31 were listed as having a “very high” level of activity. That’s a notable change from the previous week when 65 counties were listed as “critically high”. Wisconsin overall had a “critically 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 Dec. 2, all of Wisconsin’s regions were seeing a downward trend in cases and three — the northeast, Fox Valley and south central regions — moved from “critically high” levels of activity to “very high.”

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 59,695 as of Sunday. The number of actual people with new test results reported Sunday was 10,564.

A total of 2,608,899 people have been tested over the course of the pandemic. Of those, 2,196,722 have tested negative.