DHS: 946 New COVID-19 Cases, 8 New Deaths

7-Day Average Has Declined More Than 10 Percent Since Jan. 5

Home health care workers and their patients start receiving Moderna COVID-19 vaccines
Home health care workers and their patients start receiving Moderna COVID-19 vaccines at a drive-thru vaccination clinic in Portland, Ore., Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021. The clinic is a partnership between the Service Employees International Union and Oregon Health & Science University, aiming to vaccinate Oregon’s 32,000 home health care workers and their patients. Kristyna Wentz-Graff/AP Photos

New reports of COVID-19 cases continue to decline, according to the latest data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

DHS reported 946 new cases of the disease Monday. Aside from a dip in testing over the Christmas holiday season, that’s the lowest weekday total since Sept. 14 when DHS reported 771 confirmed cases.

Monday’s seven-day average was 1,577 daily cases. That’s the lowest the seven-day average has been since Sept. 17.

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There were eight new deaths from COVID-19 reported Monday. On Monday, 3,253 people tested negative.

Of the people tested for COVID-19 over the past week, 20.6 percent were positive for the disease, according to DHS. That rate has been declining since Jan. 6.

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.

DHS also tracks the percentage of tests that are positive, instead of the percentage of people who get a positive result. The metric takes into account people who have been tested multiple times. The seven-day average for that number is 6.1 percent.

According to DHS, 779,800 doses of the vaccine have been allocated across Wisconsin as of Thursday. Currently, 345,017 doses of the vaccines have been administered, and 64,364 people have received both shots, completing the vaccination series.

A graph showing the daily number of vaccinations across the state has seen a steady increase in doses administered since the beginning of 2021 — although doses given dip on weekends.

According to the Wisconsin Hospital Association, there were 771 COVID-19 patients hospitalized as of Sunday. A total of 23,748 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 533,917, according to DHS. A total of 5,699 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 Buffalo County with a “critically high” level of COVID-19 activity, while 60 counties were listed as having a “very high” level of activity and 11 counties had a “high” level of activity. The number of Wisconsin counties at a “critically high” level of COVID-19 activity has been decreasing. Wisconsin’s overall level is “very high.”

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, all seven of Wisconsin’s regions had “very high” levels of activity and were seeing “shrinking” levels of COVID-19 activity, according to DHS.

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 59,275 as of Monday. The number of actual people with new test results reported Monday was 4,199.

A total of 3,011,505 have been tested over the course of the pandemic. Of those, 2,477,588 have tested negative.