DHS: COVID-19 Cases Increasing Slightly in Wisconsin

588 New Cases Identified Tuesday, Seven Day Average Up From March 17

A certified medical assistant administers a coronavirus rapid test
A certified medical assistant administers a coronavirus rapid test in the student health center at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, N.C., Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. Gerry Broome/AP Photo

New reports of COVID-19 cases are slowly ticking upward in Wisconsin averaging 501 cases per day, based on the latest data published by the state Department of Health Services.

DHS reported 588 new cases of the disease Tuesday, bringing the average for the past seven days to 501 daily cases. One week ago, the average was 387 daily cases. Daily new cases have been rising slightly since March 17, when the average was 386.

During a Tuesday media briefing, DHS Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk told reporters that while an uptick in the daily number of positive cases is a warning sign for a potential surge, they aren’t anywhere close to the spike of new cases the state saw around November 2020.

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“We don’t see any significant trends like we did in the fall of a significant increase in any given age population,” said Van Dijk. “Right now, we continue to monitor disease spread across the state and in different geographies. And I think one of the things we can take some solace in right now is that our death rate remains low, although, remember, death is a lagging indicator.”

There were 3,163 negative tests reported Tuesday.

As COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin continue to decline, more of the state’s residents are being vaccinated against the disease.

A total of 2,753,146 doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered in Wisconsin as of Tuesday, with 57.3 percent of Wisconsinites age 65 and up fully vaccinated.

As of Tuesday, 1,013,613 people in Wisconsin, or 17.4 percent of the population, have been fully vaccinated.

Also on Tuesday, Gov. Tony Evers announced that all Wisconsin residents ages 16 and up will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine starting April 5.

Increasing rates of vaccination have provided a sense of hope after a yearlong pandemic that has claimed the lives of 6,612 people in Wisconsin. There were 11 new deaths from COVID-19 reported Tuesday.

Other DHS data from Tuesday include:

  • 576,632 total cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
  • 3,292,030 total tests administered, 2,715,398 of which have been negative since the pandemic began.
  • 27,531 people have been hospitalized because of the disease, or 4.8 percent of all positive cases, since the pandemic began.
  • Daily testing capacity remains at 59,273, though only 3,751 new test results were reported Tuesday.

Coronavirus rates vary from county to county. In order to track COVID-19 activity levels, DHS looks at the number of new cases per a county’s population over a 14-day period — and whether there’s an upward or downward trend in new cases. Activity levels range from “critically high,” “very high,” “high,” “medium,” to “low.”

As of Wednesday, DHS data showed the state had no counties with “critically high” or “very high” levels of COVID-19 activity. The majority of Wisconsin counties have “high” levels of activity. There were growing case trajectories in Jefferson, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Rock, Waupaca and Washington counties. Wisconsin’s overall COVID-19 activity level is “high.”

For more about COVID-19, visit Coronavirus in Wisconsin.