DHS Reports 35 New Deaths Due To COVID-19

New Cases On The Decline As Vaccine Rollout Continues

COVID-19 vaccine sign
Signs line the pathway to a COVID-19 vaccine site operated by PRISMA Health in Columbia, S.C., on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021. Meg Kinnard/AP Photo

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

DHS reported 821 new cases of the disease Wednesday, bringing the average for the past seven days to 919 daily cases. Daily new cases have been falling since early January, when the average was about 3,000.

There were 35 new deaths from COVID-19 reported Wednesday. On Wednesday, 4,992 tested negative.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Of the tests for COVID-19 conducted over the past week, 3.9 percent were positive for the disease, according to DHS. That rate has been declining since early January, when it was around 11 percent. The rate takes into account people who have been tested multiple times.

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.

According to DHS, 1,152,025 doses of coronavirus vaccine have been allocated to Wisconsin by the federal government as of Tuesday, an increase of 165,750 from a week ago. As of Wednesday, 822,910 doses of the vaccines have been administered and 183,758 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. Preliminary numbers from this week show fewer vaccinations given than last week.

According to the Wisconsin Hospital Association, there were 525 COVID-19 patients hospitalized as of Tuesday. A total of 25,021 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 551,871, according to DHS. A total of 6,129 people in Wisconsin have died from COVID-19.

COVID-19 activity varies from county to county. The latest activity data from DHS, released last Wednesday, showed the state had no counties with a “critically high” level of COVID-19 activity. Twenty-four counties were listed as having a “very high” level of activity and 48 counties had a “high” level of activity. The number of Wisconsin counties at a “critically high” and “very high” level of COVID-19 activity has been decreasing. Wisconsin’s overall level was downgraded to “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, three of Wisconsin’s regions — northwest, north central and western — had “very high” levels of activity and were seeing “shrinking” levels or “no significant change” of COVID-19 activity, according to DHS. The state’s four other regions had a “high” level of activity.

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 59,273 as of Wednesday. The number of actual people with new test results reported Wednesday was 5,813.

Throughout the course of the pandemic, 3,089,447 COVID-19 tests have been administered. Of those, 2,546,576 tests have been negative.