Even As Cases Fall And Vaccination Rises, Public Health Officials Urge Wisconsinites To ‘Stay The Course’

New Cases Of COVID-19 Averaging 604 Per Day; DHS Reports 17 New Deaths

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A sign says "COVID-19 Test Walk Up Line"
A COVID-19 testing site at American Family Field on Friday, March 19, 2021, in Milwaukee, Wis. Angela Major/WPR

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 815 new cases of the disease Tuesday, bringing the average for the past seven days to 604 daily cases. One week ago, the average was 714 daily cases.

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There were 2,617 negative tests reported Tuesday.

Even as cases decline and vaccinations increase, public health officials are cautioning Wisconsinites to stay vigilant against the virus. Local public health and tribal health organizations in Western Wisconsin released a letter this week reminding residents that Minnesota and other surrounding states have been seeing higher case numbers, which could spill over into more Wisconsin cases. The letter noted that those who are especially at risk are people who are under age 16, who aren’t yet able to get vaccinated.

“This has been an extremely difficult year for everyone, but we need to stay the course of prevention and mitigation,” said the letter, which was signed by 21 local or tribal health officials. “The strategies that schools and others have put together work together. Simply put, handwashing, physical distancing, masking, and vaccination are efforts that work best when practiced together.”

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

A total of 4,258,516 doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered in Wisconsin as of Tuesday, with 71.4 percent of Wisconsinites age 65 and up fully vaccinated.

As of Tuesday, 1,855,145 people in Wisconsin, or 31.9 percent of the population, have been fully vaccinated.

Increasing rates of vaccination have provided a sense of hope after a yearlong pandemic that has claimed the lives of 6,773 people in Wisconsin. There were 17 new deaths from COVID-19 reported Tuesday.

Other DHS data from Tuesday include:

  • 595,864 total cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
  • 3,429,533 total tests administered, 2,833,669 of which have been negative since the pandemic began.
  • 29,103 people have been hospitalized because of the disease, or 4.9 percent of all positive cases, since the pandemic began.
  • Daily testing capacity remains at 59,273, though only 3,432 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 “very high,” “high,” “medium,” to “low.”

As of Wednesday, DHS data showed the state had three counties — Burnett, Polk and St. Croix — with a “very high” level, while the majority of Wisconsin counties had “high” levels of activity. There were growing case trajectories in two counties. Wisconsin’s overall COVID-19 activity level is “high.”

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

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