New COVID-19 Cases, Variants On The Rise In Wisconsin

DHS Reports 943 New Cases, 3 New Deaths

A nurse in a blue vest peers through plexiglass as she speaks to people about to receive the vaccine
Alison Hernandez, right, a nursing student at Maranatha Baptist University, provides educational information about the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, at Jefferson County Fair Park. Angela Major/WPR

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

DHS reported 943 new cases of the disease Thursday, bringing the average for the past seven days to 808 daily cases. One week ago, the average was 733 daily cases.

Since the pandemic began, officials in Wisconsin have identified 299 cases of the more-contagious B.1.1.7 variant, which was first identified in England. They have also identified 259 cases of the virus strain first detected in California, as well as several cases of strains discovered in South Africa and Brazil.

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There were 4,948 negative tests reported Thursday.

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

A total of 3,693,199 doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered in Wisconsin as of Thursday, with 71.2 percent of Wisconsinites age 65 and up fully vaccinated.

As of Thursday, 1,504,167 people in Wisconsin, or 25.8 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 6,698 people in Wisconsin. There were three new deaths from COVID-19 reported Thursday.

Other DHS data from Thursday include:

  • 588,504 total cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
  • 3,377,182 total tests administered, 2,788,678 of which have been negative since the pandemic began.
  • 28,393 people have been hospitalized because of the disease, or 4.8 percent of all positive cases, since the pandemic began.
  • Daily testing capacity remains at 59,273, though only 5,891 new test results were reported Thursday.

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 “critically high,” “very high,” “high,” “medium,” to “low.”

As of Wednesday, DHS data showed the state had no counties with a “critically high” level of COVID-19 activity. One county — St. Croix — has a “very high” level, and the majority of Wisconsin counties have “high” levels of activity. There were growing case trajectories in 15 counties, and shrinking trajectories in two. Wisconsin’s overall COVID-19 activity level is “high.”

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