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Coronavirus cases, COVID-19 deaths down slightly

The percentage of fatal coronavirus cases ticked upwards
Published: Nov. 26, 2020 at 2:04 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 26, 2020 at 10:39 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) – Wisconsin identified almost 5,100 new coronavirus cases (5,095) in its latest batch of test results Thursday, continuing a decline from the peak near 8,000 cases a week and a day ago. More than 1 in 3 tests came back positive. The positivity rate was about 37% (37.05%) of the 13,751 tests received. The remaining 8,653 tests were negative.

Doctors know death doesn’t take a holiday, and on Thanksgiving the Wisconsin Department of Health Services added 62 more COVID-19 related deaths, bringing the state’s death toll to 3,240. The death rate rose back to 0.87% of all known coronavirus cases, a rate we hadn’t seen since November 7. At the current pace, COVID-19 could be comparable to the third-leading cause of death in Wisconsin next week, behind only heart disease and cancer, surpassing the 3,786 accidental deaths in 2018.

The 7-day averages for new cases and deaths declined, however. Based on DHS figures, the state averaged 5,152 new cases every day since last Thursday. The last time saw a comparable average was on November 6, when the average was 5,139. It jumped to 5,394 the next day. The average number of deaths ticked down to 52 deaths per day since last Thursday after peaking at an average 55 deaths per day on Wednesday.

Prevea president/CEO Dr. Ashok Rai addressed this on Thanksgiving morning on Action 2 News This Morning: “I think sharing good news is important: Our numbers are starting to trend down, our hospitalizations are slightly trending down. Staff are coming back. We’re doing a little bit better. How our behavior this week translates into that continuing to do better will really matter.” (Watch his full interviews here.)

Deaths were reported in 29 counties, with multiple deaths in 15 of them: Barron (2), Bayfield, Brown (3), Chippewa, Clark, Dane (3), Eau Claire, Fond du Lac (4), Green Lake, Iron, Jefferson (2), Kenosha (2), Lincoln, Manitowoc, Marathon (6), Marinette, Milwaukee (5), Oconto (2), Outagamie (5), Ozaukee, Polk (2), Richland, Rock (3), Rusk, Vilas, Washington, Waukesha (5), Waupaca (2) and Winnebago (2).

Case and death numbers by county are updated later in this article.

To date, 374,537 people have tested positive for the coronavirus, or 6.4% of Wisconsin’s estimated population. Another 2.125 million have tested negative.

It’s important to note that numerous community testing sites are closed for the holiday weekend, so test results for the next several days may be lower than the state has been seeing. In addition, there may be a spike in numbers for days after the testing sites reopen.

The DHS reports 201 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized in the last 24 hours. To date, 16,658 people have been hospitalized for serious symptoms of the COVID-19 virus, or 4.4% of all known cases.

The Wisconsin Hospital Association reported 1,839 COVID-19 patients were in hospitals Thursday, which is 53 fewer than the day before, including 423 in ICU, which is 18 fewer than Wednesday.

The alternate care facility at the state fairgrounds had 9 patients on Thursday, up from 7 on Wednesday. The field hospital is meant to help free up hospital beds by taking patients who are close to being released from the hospital but not quite ready, such as those who are ambulatory but still need oxygen.

The percentage of active cases fell back below 20%. The state says there are 74,658 people who tested positive for the coronavirus in the past 30 days who haven’t been medically cleared, or 19.9% of all cases dating back to last February. There are 296,577 people who are considered recovered (79.2%).

HOSPITAL READINESS

According to the Wisconsin Hospital Association, 134 hospitals around the state had a total 205 open ICU beds on Thursday, which accounts for 14% of the ICU beds in the state. That’s 70 fewer beds open than Wednesday. Overall, 16.4% of all hospital beds in the state are open, including intermediate care, medical surgical and negative flow isolation.

In the Fox Valley region, 13 hospitals have 14 open ICU beds among them, or 13.5% of the ICU beds. Overall, 14.4% of hospital beds are open in those eight counties. Those hospitals are treating 119 COVID-19 patients with 21 of them in ICU.

The Northeast region is treating 159 COVID-19 patients -- 43 in ICU. There are 21 ICU beds open, or 10.1% of ICU beds among the 10 hospitals in that 7-county region. Overall, 16.3% of all hospital beds in the region are open.

The daily changes in hospital beds available take into account new admissions, deaths and discharges of patients being treated for all conditions, not just COVID-19. An open bed doesn’t necessarily mean it’s available for a patient if the hospital doesn’t have the staff -- doctors, nurses, even food workers -- to support it.

The need for supplies remains unchanged with 25 hospitals reporting less than a week’s supply of gowns, 12 still short on paper medical masks, 9 needing goggles, and 7 in need of N95 masks.

THURSDAY’S COUNTY CASE NUMBERS (Counties with new cases or deaths are indicated in bold.)*

Wisconsin*

  • Adams – 1,013 cases (+8) (6 deaths)
  • Ashland – 638 cases (+12) (9 deaths)
  • Barron – 3,465 cases (+58) (41 deaths) (+2)
  • Bayfield - 643 cases (+8) (10 deaths) (+1)
  • Brown – 22,258 cases (+204) (133 deaths) (+3)
  • Buffalo – 768 cases (+12) (4 deaths)
  • Burnett – 745 cases (+10) (11 deaths)
  • Calumet - 3,989 cases (+24) (25 deaths)
  • Chippewa – 4,530 cases (+75) (49 deaths) (+1)
  • Clark – 2,080 cases (+24) (37 deaths) (+1)
  • Columbia – 3,327 cases (+101) (10 deaths)
  • Crawford – 1,150 cases (+9) (7 deaths)
  • Dane – 26,367 cases (+377) (80 deaths) (+3)
  • Dodge – 8,149 cases (+80) (70 deaths)
  • Door - 1,565 cases (+16) (11 deaths)
  • Douglas – 1,913 cases (+47) (1 death)
  • Dunn – 2,720 cases (+69) (12 deaths)
  • Eau Claire – 7,563 cases (+84) (57 deaths) (+1)
  • Florence - 305 cases (+4) (11 deaths)
  • Fond du Lac – 8,154 cases (+44) (50 deaths) (+4)
  • Forest - 715 cases (+9) (17 deaths)
  • Grant – 3,361 cases (+62) (61 deaths)
  • Green – 1,615 cases (+15) (5 deaths)
  • Green Lake - 1,161 cases (+6) (6 deaths) (+1)
  • Iowa - 1,256 cases (+14) (5 deaths)
  • Iron - 341 cases (+4) (10 deaths) (+1)
  • Jackson - 1,634 cases (+28) (4 deaths)
  • Jefferson – 5,142 cases (+80) (37 deaths) (+2)
  • Juneau - 1,845 cases (+15) (7 deaths)
  • Kenosha – 9,074 cases (+149) (141 deaths) (+2)
  • Kewaunee - 1,648 cases (+34) (16 deaths)
  • La Crosse – 7,761 cases (+110) (34 deaths)
  • Lafayette - 1,052 cases (+10) (3 deaths)
  • Langlade - 1,504 cases (+19) (25 deaths)
  • Lincoln – 1,870 cases (+18) (27 deaths) (+1)
  • Manitowoc – 4,728 cases (+32) (36 deaths) (+1)
  • Marathon – 9,389 cases (+120) (123 deaths) (+6)
  • Marinette - 2,865 cases (+42) (27 deaths) (+1)
  • Marquette – 1,013 cases (+7) (15 deaths)
  • Menominee - 551 cases (+5) (8 deaths)
  • Milwaukee – 65,523 (+1,006) (728 deaths) (+35)
  • Monroe - 2,442 cases (+39) (12 deaths)
  • Oconto – 3,057 cases (+20) (26 deaths) (+2)
  • Oneida - 2,198 cases (+13) (29 deaths)
  • Outagamie – 13,460 cases (+130) (122 deaths) (+5)
  • Ozaukee - 4,587 cases (+55) (36 deaths) (+1)
  • Pepin – 457 cases (+5) (2 deaths)
  • Pierce – 2,059 cases (+86) (16 deaths)
  • Polk – 2,022 cases (+19) (8 deaths) (+2)
  • Portage – 4,561 cases (+70) (36 deaths)
  • Price - 700 cases (+16) (4 deaths)
  • Racine – 13,768 cases (+173) (163 deaths)
  • Richland - 858 cases (+6) (13 deaths) (+1)
  • Rock – 8,993 cases (+130) (77 deaths) (+3)
  • Rusk - 830 cases (+22) (7 deaths) (+1)
  • Sauk – 3,418 cases (+72) (17 deaths)
  • Sawyer - 861 cases (+19) (7 deaths)
  • Shawano – 3,597 cases (+19) (46 deaths)
  • Sheboygan - 8,819 cases (+85) (52 deaths)
  • St. Croix – 4,170 cases (+40) (20 deaths)
  • Taylor - 1,157 cases (+36) (10 deaths)
  • Trempealeau – 2,306 cases (+30) (15 deaths)
  • Vernon – 1,057 cases (+14) (7 deaths)
  • Vilas - 1,202 cases (+32) (13 deaths) (+1)
  • Walworth – 5,766 cases (+61) (48 deaths)
  • Washburn – 632 cases (+8) (2 deaths)
  • Washington – 8,531 cases (+128) (69 deaths) (+1)
  • Waukesha – 25,397 cases (+500) (192 deaths)(+5)
  • Waupaca – 3,569 cases (+12) (82 deaths) (+2)
  • Waushara – 1,724 cases (+6) (8 deaths)
  • Winnebago – 12,857 cases (+99) (106 deaths) (+2)
  • Wood – 4,092 cases (+99) (26 deaths)

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (Michigan did not update figures Thursday) **

  • Alger - 146 cases (1 death)
  • Baraga - 378 cases (10 deaths)
  • Chippewa - 315 cases (5 deaths)
  • Delta – 2,103 cases (48 deaths)
  • Dickinson - 1,548 cases (32 deaths)
  • Gogebic - 546 cases (11 deaths)
  • Houghton – 1,218 cases (11 deaths)
  • Iron – 661 cases (29 deaths)
  • Keweenaw – 55 cases (1 death)
  • Luce – 114 cases
  • Mackinac - 201 cases
  • Marquette - 2,406 cases (28 deaths)
  • Menominee - 1,113 cases (13 deaths)
  • Ontonagon – 245 cases (12 deaths)
  • Schoolcraft - 157 cases (1 death)

* Viewers have asked us why the state has different numbers than what’s reported on some county health department websites. The DHS reports cases from all health departments within a county’s boundaries, including tribal, municipal and county health departments; county websites may not. Also, public health departments update their data at various times whereas the DHS freezes the numbers it receives by the same time every day to compile the afternoon report.

The DHS reports deaths attributed to COVID-19 or in which COVID-19 contributed to their death. Most of the people severely affected by the coronavirus have underlying illnesses or conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease or obesity, which raises a person’s risk of dying from COVID-19 but would’ve lived longer if not for their infection. The state may revise case and death numbers after further review, such as the victim’s residence, duplicated records, or a correction in lab results. Details can be found on the DHS website and Frequently Asked Questions.

**The state of Michigan does not update numbers on Sundays. Monday’s numbers include updates since Saturday’s reporting deadline.

Symptoms

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified these as possible symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Fever of 100.4 or higher
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

Prevention

  • The coronavirus is a new, or “novel,” virus. Nobody has a natural immunity to it. Children and teens seem to recover best from the virus. Older people and those with underlying health conditions (heart disease, diabetes, lung disease) are considered at high risk, according to the CDC. Precautions are also needed around people with developing or weakened immune systems.
  • To help prevent the spread of the virus:
  • Stay at least six feet away from other people
  • Avoid close contact with people who are or appear sick
  • Stay at home as much as possible
  • Cancel events and avoid groups, gatherings, play dates and nonessential appointments
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care
  • Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a mask. At a minimum, use a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.

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