Wisconsin Sees 3,777 New Coronavirus Cases Monday As DHS Resumes Reporting Data

26 Additional Deaths Recorded Since The Site Was Last Updated Friday

A line of cars next to orange barricades. A man in a blue gown and face shield stands next to one of them.
A COVID-19 test technician holds a swab as he approaches a vehicle Monday, Oct. 12, 2020, in Janesville. Angela Major/WPR

New reports of COVID-19 cases remain high in Wisconsin, as the state Department of Health Services resumed reporting coronavirus data Monday. That’s after the agency’s online dashboard went offline for upgrades over the weekend.

Since the last update Friday, DHS has recorded 7,705 new COVID-19 cases and 26 new deaths. Here’s the daily breakdown from the agency:

  • On Saturday, health officials recorded no new cases or deaths.
  • On Sunday, DHS recorded 3,928 new cases and 14 deaths. That’s a single-day record for new cases, though the high number is likely linked to site maintenance.
  • On Monday, DHS added 3,777 new cases and 12 additional deaths related to the virus.

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The seven-day average for new cases is now 3,099, the highest it’s been since the start of the pandemic. One week ago, it was 2,547.

DHS reported 43,131 new tests Monday. Of those, 38,354 were negative.

As of Sunday, the seven-day average for positivity by person was 21 percent. That number has been steadily rising since a dip in August.

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. As of Sunday, the seven-day average for that number was 11.7 percent.

According to DHS, there were 1,090 COVID-19 patients hospitalized as of Sunday. Nearly 300 are in intensive care, and 455 are receiving mechanical ventilation, according to DHS. A total of 9,319 people have been hospitalized because of the disease, or 5.4 percent of all positive cases.

The latest figures bring the overall total of positive cases in Wisconsin to 173,891, according to DHS. A total of 1,600 people in Wisconsin have died from COVID-19.

COVID-19 activity varies heavily from county to county. The latest county and regional activity data from DHS, released last Wednesday, showed 57 counties had a “very high level” of COVID-19 activity, two higher than in the previous week’s report. The rest had a “high” level of activity. Wisconsin overall had a “very 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.

On Oct. 14, the state’s Fox Valley region had the most new cases per capita over the previous two weeks, while Wisconsin’s South Central region had seen cases rise most rapidly.

Despite the growing number of cases in the South Central region, President Donald Trump held a large rally in Janesville on Saturday.

On Monday, Rock County officials announced the start of free, weekly testing at Blackhawk Technical College’s Central Campus. It’ll take place on Wednesdays and Thursdays through Dec. 10.

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 42,451 as of Monday. The number of actual people with new test results reported Monday exceeded that number, likely as a result of delayed reporting due to site maintenance.

A total of 1,877,704 people have been tested over the course of the pandemic. Of those, 1,703,813 have tested negative.