Wisconsin Averaging Just Above 600 COVID-19 Cases Per Day

676 New Cases Of The Disease, 17 New Deaths Reported

Ashland Nurse Receives COVID-19 Vaccine
Nurse practitioner Rebecca Fleming with NorthLakes Community Clinic in Ashland received the COVID-19 vaccine as part of the 1a phase of vaccination in Wisconsin on Jan. 14, 2021. Jeremy Oswald/NorthLakes Community Clinic

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

DHS reported 676 new cases of the disease Saturday, bringing the average for the past seven days to 624 daily cases. One week ago, the average was 806 daily cases.

There were 17 new deaths from COVID-19 reported Saturday. On Saturday, 4,126 tested negative.

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Of the tests for COVID-19 conducted over the past week, 2.8 percent were positive for the disease, according to DHS. The rate takes into account people who have been tested multiple times and has been on the decline since early January.

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.

According to DHS, 1,410,300 doses of coronavirus vaccine have been allocated to Wisconsin by the federal government as of Tuesday, an increase of 258,275 from a week ago. A total of 1,159,390 doses have been administered in Wisconsin as of Saturday, with 45.9 percent of Wisconsinites age 65 and up receiving at least one dose of the vaccine so far. DHS reported that 798,275 Wisconsin residents had received at least one dose, representing 13.7 percent of the state population. As of Saturday, 332,511 people have received both shots in Wisconsin, completing the vaccination series.

According to the Wisconsin Hospital Association, there were 370 COVID-19 patients hospitalized as of Friday. A total of 25,716 people have been hospitalized because of the disease, or 4.6 percent of all positive cases.

The latest figures bring the overall total of positive cases in Wisconsin to 559,172, according to DHS. A total of 6,284 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 the state had no counties with a “critically high” level of COVID-19 activity. Four counties were listed as having a “very high” level of activity, 67 counties had a “high” level of activity, and one, Rusk County, had a “medium” level. The number of Wisconsin counties at a “very high” level of COVID-19 activity has been decreasing. Wisconsin’s overall level is “high.”

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 seven regions were listed as “high,” and were seeing “no significant change” or “shrinking” levels of COVID-19 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 59,273 as of Saturday. The number of actual people with new test results reported Saturday was 4,802.

Throughout the course of the pandemic, 3,147,673 COVID-19 tests have been administered. Of those, 2,588,501 tests have been negative.