Saturday COVID-19 Cases Up To 5,033, After Low Of 1,300 Friday

Wisconsin's 7-Day Average Of Daily Cases Continues To Decrease

A healthcare worker helps a colleague adjust her personal protective equipment
A healthcare worker helps a colleague adjust her personal protective equipment at the Bellin Health COVID Medical Unit in Green Bay. Photo courtesy of Bellin Health Systems

New reports of COVID-19 cases have risen by almost 4,000 from Friday to Saturday, according to the latest data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

DHS reported 5,033 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, a steep increase from Friday’s low of 1,300. Health officials voiced concern over the spread of the virus over Thanksgiving weekend and how that will affect positive cases in the coming weeks.

The average of for the past seven days is 4,243 daily cases. One week ago, the average was 6,408 daily cases.

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There were 28 new deaths from COVID-19 reported Saturday. On Saturday, 4,410 tested negative.

Of the people who got tested for COVID-19 over the past week, 27.6 percent were positive for the disease, according to DHS. That rate has been on the decline since Nov. 12 when the test positivity rate was 36.7 percent.

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 12.5 percent.

According to the Wisconsin Hospital Association, there were 1,843 COVID-19 patients hospitalized as of Saturday. A total of 16,882 people have been hospitalized because of the disease, or 4.4 percent of all positive cases.

The latest figures bring the overall total of positive cases in Wisconsin to 380,870, according to DHS. A total of 3,285 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 Saturday. The number of actual people with new test results reported Saturday was 9,443.

A total of 5,518,980 people have been tested over the course of the pandemic. Of those, 2,138,110 have tested negative.