DHS Reports 1,328 New COVID-19 Cases, 34 New Deaths

Almost 75,000 People In Wisconsin Have Received Both Vaccine Shots

Nurse fills syringe with COVID vaccine
Jefferson County public health nurse Mary Bender draws up a COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, at Jefferson County Fair Park. Angela Major/WPR

New reports of COVID-19 cases are averaging around 1,500 cases in Wisconsin, based on the latest data published by the state Department of Health Services.

DHS reported 1,328 new cases of the disease Wednesday, bringing the average for the past seven days to 1,517 daily cases. One week ago, the average was 1,807 daily cases.

There were 34 new deaths from COVID-19 reported Wednesday. On Wednesday, 5,225 tested negative.

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Of the people tested for COVID-19 over the past week, 20.1 percent were positive for the disease, according to DHS. That rate has been on the decline over the last month.

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, 846,300 doses of coronavirus vaccine have been allocated across Wisconsin as of Tuesday, an increase of 66,500 from a week before. Currently, 389,240 doses of the vaccines have been administered, and 74,629 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 administered dip on weekends. Tuesday’s 21,223 doses is ahead of the daily total on the same day last week. Preliminary data since Dec. 15 shows the number of vaccinations mostly increasing.

According to the Wisconsin Hospital Association, there were 746 COVID-19 patients hospitalized as of Tuesday. A total of 23,976 people have been hospitalized because of the disease, or 4.5 percent of all positive cases.

The latest figures bring the overall total of positive cases in Wisconsin to 536,546, according to DHS. A total of 5,787 people in Wisconsin have died from COVID-19.

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 Wednesday. The number of actual people with new test results reported Wednesday was 6,553.

A total of 3,023,506 people have been tested over the course of the pandemic. Of those, 2,489,960 have tested negative.