DHS: 7,660 Confirmed COVID-19 Cases In Wisconsin

334 People Have Died From New Coronavirus In Wisconsin So Far

People walking in park
People wearing a protective face coverings hike at Shark River Park in Wall Township, N.J., Saturday, May 2, 2020. Parks and golf courses reopened Saturday after being closed to to the coronavirus pandemic. Matt Rourke/AP Photo

There are 7,660 positive cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin as of Saturday, according to the state Department of Health Services. That’s an increase of 346 cases from the day before.

This follows a growth in the number of confirmed cases in the state. Friday saw 460 new cases from the day before — the largest single-day increase in positive cases that Wisconsin has seen since the outbreak began in March.

The state has increased its testing capacity.

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On Saturday, DHS reported 75,570 negative cases, an increase of 3,004 from Friday to Saturday.

According to figures from DHS, 334 people in Wisconsin have died from COVID-19 as of Saturday afternoon.

DHS reports 1,591 people have been hospitalized because of the virus. That means at least 21 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 1,631 cases, or 21 percent.

Brown County has seen a surge in positive tests after health officials traced hundreds of cases to meatpacking facilities there. As of Saturday afternoon, Brown County had 1,272 positive cases of the new coronavirus — an increase of 97 cases from Friday.

According to the Brown County Health Department, as of Wednesday, there were 262 confirmed cases among employees at JBS Packerland in Green Bay, with 86 linked cases. American Foods Group in Green Bay has 170 confirmed cases among employees, with 27 linked cases.

In Milwaukee County, the Cudahy Health Department reported 22 new positive cases among employees at the Smithfield Foods plant in a press release on Friday. A total of 85 employees have now tested at the facility, which employs around 1,000 people. The department said in the release that 503 employees were tested between April 24 and April 28. Thirty-one test results are still pending.

A key metric outlined in Gov. Tony Evers’ “Badger Bounce Back” plan is for the percentage of positive cases to be in decline over a 14-day period. According to state data, 12.7 percent of tests were positive on Friday and 10.3 percent were positive on Saturday.

A graph showing the percent of people tested for COVID-19 who had positive results by day in the last
A screenshot of a graph from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services on Friday, May 1, 2020, that shows the percent of people tested for COVID-19 who had positive results by day in the last 14 days.

Health Officials Are Expanding Testing

With the recent increases in testing capacity, health officials have loosened restrictions on who can get tested, subject to the availability of testing supplies.

As of Saturday afternoon, Wisconsin has 51 labs performing COVID-19 tests, up from eight labs in March. According to DHS, they’re able to process 11,347 samples per day. The state has a goal of completing about 12,000 tests per day, DHS Secretary Andrea Palm said Monday.

According to a press release, the State Emergency Operations Center, DHS, Wisconsin Emergency Management and Wisconsin National Guard are working with local health departments to hold community testing events in places with a known lack of access to testing or where additional testing is needed. The Wisconsin National Guard tested almost 200 people at a drive-thru testing site at the Buffalo County Highway stop in Alma. More testing sites will be announced in the coming days.

There are confirmed cases in 67 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties.

The following counties have no confirmed cases as of Friday afternoon: Burnett, Forest, Langlade, Pepin and Taylor.