Hundreds Continue To Be Hospitalized For COVID-19 As Holiday Weekend Nears

248 More People Reported Hospitalized For COVID-19 On Wednesday

COVID-19 isolation room
Dr. Amit Uppal, Director of Critical Care at Bellevue, demonstrates new equipment that makes a normal room into an isolation room at Bellevue Hospital in New York, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020. The rooms in this area have been outfitted to care for COVID-19 patients if there is a surge that overwhelms their usual critical care facilities. Hospitals in the city’s public NYC Health and Hospitals’ system have been upgrading their equipment, bracing for a potential resurgence of coronavirus patients, drawing on lessons learned in the spring when the outbreak brought the nation’s largest city to its knees. Seth Wenig/AP Photo

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

DHS reported 5,469 new cases of the disease Wednesday, bringing the average for the past seven days to 5,372 daily cases. One week ago, the average was 6,563 daily cases.

There were 63 new deaths from COVID-19 reported Wednesday. On Wednesday, 11,793 tested negative.

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DHS reported Wednesday that 248 more people were hospitalized for COVID-19.

Of the people who got tested for COVID-19 over the past week, 28.3 percent were positive for the disease, according to DHS. That rate has been on the decline over the past two weeks.

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.

On Sept. 30, DHS also introduced an alternative positivity rate, one that measures the percentage of tests that are positive, instead of the percentage of people who get a positive result. The new metric takes into account people who have been tested multiple times. The seven-day average for that number is at 13 percent.

According to the Wisconsin Hospital Association, there were 1,892 COVID-19 patients hospitalized as of Wednesday. A total of 16,457 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 369,442, according to DHS. A total of 3,178 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 65 counties had a “critically high level” of COVID-19 activity, while seven were listed as having a “very high” level of activity. Green County, which was the only county not experiencing a “critically high” activity level last week, was this week joined by Iron, Florence, Waupaca, Waushara, Marquette and Green Lake counties. Wisconsin overall had a “critically high” level of activity, according to DHS.

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 of Wisconsin’s regions were seeing either a downward trend in cases, or were holding steady, though all remained at “critically high” levels of activity. Three counties — Brown, Crawford and Douglas — had an upward trend in cases, while the remaining counties were either trending down or holding steady.

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 59,495 as of Wednesday. The number of actual people with new test results reported Wednesday was 17,262.

A total of 2,485,991 people have been tested over the course of the pandemic. Of those, 2,116,549 have tested negative.