Nearly 2,800 New COVID-19 Cases Reported In Wisconsin

60 New Deaths Reported In State

A person wearing a face mask decorates a Christmas tree
Ani Sirois puts lights and decorations on the family’s Christmas tree at her home on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020 in Portland, Ore. Paula Bronstein/AP Photo

Wisconsin health officials are reporting nearly 2,800 new COVID-19 cases in the state.

The state Department of Health Services reported 2,799 newly confirmed cases on Thursday. There were 60 new deaths from COVID-19 reported Thursday, raising the overall death toll to 4,674. The mortality rate stood at 1 percent.

On Wednesday, 7,719 tested negative.

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In a bit of good news, of the people who got tested for COVID-19 over the past week, 25.1 percent were positive for the disease, according to DHS. That rate has fallen steadily from 27.9 percent on Dec. 16.

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. On Thursday, that rate was at 8.9 percent.

According to the Wisconsin Hospital Association, there were 1,150 COVID-19 patients hospitalized as of Thursday. About 20,647 people have been hospitalized because of the disease, or 4.4 percent of all positive cases.

Wisconsin has seen a total of 466,393 cases since the pandemic began in March, with 33,409 cases currently active

COVID-19 activity varies from county to county. The latest activity data from DHS, released Wednesday, showed seven counties had a “critically high” level of COVID-19 activity, while 64 were listed as having a “very high” level of activity. Marquette County is the only county with a “high” level of activity. The number of Wisconsin counties at a “critically high” level of COVID-19 activity has been on the decline. Wisconsin’s overall level is “very high” for the third week in a row.

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 seven of Wisconsin’s regions had “very high” levels of activity. All regions besides the Western part of the state are “shrinking” in activity, according to DHS.

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 59,185 as of Thursday. The number of actual people with new test results reported Wednesday was 10,518.

A total of 2,784,103 people have been tested over the course of the pandemic. Of those, 2,317,710 have tested negative.