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COVID-19 cases, deaths on downward trend; vaccinations set new record

The state reports 213,571 people have completed their COVID-19 vaccinations
WISCONSIN state map with CORONAVIRUS lettering, on texture, finished graphic
WISCONSIN state map with CORONAVIRUS lettering, on texture, finished graphic(Associated Press)
Published: Feb. 12, 2021 at 2:07 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 12, 2021 at 4:13 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) – The latest data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) show COVID-19 virus cases and deaths continue trending down as the state set a new record for completing vaccinations.

Friday, the state received 5,545 results for people being tested or testing positive for the coronavirus for the first time. Not quite 17% of these (16.92%) were positive, the lowest positivity rate by that measure since late September. That identified 938 new cases in 68 counties. It’s the sixth time in 7 days the number of new cases was below 1,000, a streak Wisconsin hasn’t seen since September 8. The 7-day average fell to 832, which is the lowest 7-day average since September 5. The DHS is emphasizing the positivity rate for all tests -- that is, including people who’ve been tested multiple times, such as health care workers and recovering COVID-19 patients-- and by that measure, the 7-day average positivity rate has fallen to 3.4% as of Thursday, the latest data available.

For a second day, the state added the deaths of 11 more people to COVID-19′s death toll, which stands at 6,151. The deaths were in Calumet, Green, Jefferson, Kenosha, Marathon, Milwaukee, Oneida (2), Portage, Vilas and Winnebago counties. The 7-day average slipped to 19 deaths per day, a rate last seen on October 16. So, key metrics are falling to 4- and 5-month lows.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 vaccinations are reaching new highs. The DHS says 213,571 people have now received the second and final dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. That’s 16,580 more than reported Thursday, a record one-day increase. This brings us to about 3.7% of the state’s population fully vaccinated.

At this current pace, Wisconsin could reach 1 million “shots in the arm” of COVID-19 vaccines early next week, including first and second doses. The state says vaccinators have administered 901,333 total doses over the past 2 months. That’s almost 41,000 more shots than reported a day ago (40,944). These numbers may reflect shots given over the last 3 days as vaccinators’ reports continue coming in.

Action 2 News has put together a guide of vaccination clinics and health agencies distributing the COVID-19 vaccine to people age 65 and older. CLICK HERE for locations and phone numbers and websites to register.

Since the first coronavirus patient in Wisconsin on February 5, 2020, there are 554,048 people who tested positive for the COVID-19 virus:

  • 96.7% (535,627) recovered
  • 2.2% (12,111) are active cases, diagnosed or showing symptoms within the past 30 days
  • 1.11% (6,151) died

HOSPITALIZATIONS

The DHS further reports 55 people were hospitalized for COVID-19 in the past 24-hour period. That helped bring the 7-day average down to 66 new patients per day. That’s almost a 5-month low as well. A total 25,197 people have ever been hospitalized for COVID-19 treatment in the last 53 weeks, or 4.5% of all cases.

Taking deaths and discharges into account, the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) reports there are currently 461 COVID-19 patients among the state’s 134 hospitals, with 120 in intensive care Friday. That’s 9 fewer in ICU and 28 fewer COVID-19 patients in hospitals overall. Both are the fewest since the last 10 days of September.

Hospitalizations in the Fox Valley went up. The 13 hospitals are treating 28 COVID-19 patients, 4 more than Thursday, with 7 in ICU, which is 1 more than Thursday.

The situation improved slightly in the Northeast region on Friday. The 10 hospitals in the 7-county region were treating 48 COVID-19 patients, 7 fewer than Thursday, with 13 of them in ICU, down 2.

HOSPITAL READINESS

In terms of hospital readiness, the WHA reports 294 intensive care unit beds in the state are unoccupied -- that’s 1 in 5 -- and 2,102 (18.8%) of all medical beds (ICU, intermediate care, medical surgical and negative flow isolation) are open.

The Fox Valley region’s 13 hospitals reported 12 open ICU beds (11.5%) among them, and a total 102 unoccupied medical beds (12.0%) for the eight counties they serve.

Northeast region hospitals had 43 ICU beds (20.1%) open and 172 of all medical beds (18.0%) unoccupied.

These beds are for all patients, not just COVID-19. We use the terms “open” or “unoccupied” instead of “available” because whether a bed can be filled depends on hospitals having the staff for a patient in that bed, including doctors, nurses and food services.

FRIDAY’S COUNTY CASE AND DEATH TOTALS (Counties with new cases or deaths are indicated in bold) *

Wisconsin

  • Adams – 1,542 cases (+1) (11 deaths)
  • Ashland – 1,168 cases (+1) (16 deaths)
  • Barron – 5,225 cases (+8) (74 deaths)
  • Bayfield - 1,059 cases (+2) (18 deaths)
  • Brown – 29,850 cases (+58) (202 deaths)
  • Buffalo – 1,304 cases (+2) (7 deaths)
  • Burnett – 1,141 cases (+6) (23 deaths)
  • Calumet – 5,380 cases (+10) (41 deaths) (+1)
  • Chippewa – 6,954 cases (+10) (87 deaths)
  • Clark – 3,136 cases (+5) (56 deaths)
  • Columbia – 4,945 cases (+11) (47 deaths)
  • Crawford – 1,652 cases (+2) (17 deaths)
  • Dane – 39,124 (+85) (264 deaths)
  • Dodge – 11,301 cases (+4) (154 deaths)
  • Door – 2,390 cases (19 deaths) (cases revised -1 by state)
  • Douglas – 3,630 cases (+1) (23 deaths)
  • Dunn – 4,168 cases (+12) (26 deaths)
  • Eau Claire – 10,826 cases (+11) (104 deaths)
  • Florence - 430 cases (12 deaths)
  • Fond du Lac – 11,781 cases (+21) (88 deaths)
  • Forest - 917 cases (+1) (23 deaths)
  • Grant – 4,587 cases (+11) (79 deaths)
  • Green – 2,942 cases (+26) (16 deaths) (+1)
  • Green Lake - 1,515 cases (+2) (18 deaths)
  • Iowa - 1,828 cases (+1) (9 deaths)
  • Iron - 514 cases (+5) (19 deaths)
  • Jackson - 2,567 cases (+7) (23 deaths)
  • Jefferson – 7,744 cases (+17) (75 deaths) (+1)
  • Juneau - 2,950 cases (+9) (18 deaths)
  • Kenosha – 14,567 cases (+21) (287 deaths) (+1)
  • Kewaunee – 2,398 cases (+2) (27 deaths)
  • La Crosse – 12,008 cases (+12) (75 deaths)
  • Lafayette - 1,405 cases (+4) (7 deaths)
  • Langlade - 1,916 cases (+1) (31 deaths)
  • Lincoln – 2,863 cases (+3) (56 deaths)
  • Manitowoc – 7,136 cases (+11) (61 deaths)
  • Marathon – 13,460 cases (+11) (171 deaths) (+1)
  • Marinette - 3,949 cases (+6) (61 deaths)
  • Marquette – 1,291 cases (+1) (21 deaths)
  • Menominee - 792 cases (11 deaths)
  • Milwaukee – 96,811 (+146) (1,186 deaths) (+1)
  • Monroe – 4,204 cases (+11) (30 deaths)
  • Oconto – 4,211 cases (+8) (47 deaths)
  • Oneida - 3,292 cases (+7) (64 deaths) (+2)
  • Outagamie – 18,859 cases (+29) (186 deaths)
  • Ozaukee – 7,510 cases (+7) (73 deaths)
  • Pepin – 791 cases (+2) (7 deaths)
  • Pierce – 3,405 cases (+5) (33 deaths)
  • Polk – 3,751 cases (+19) (43 deaths)
  • Portage – 6,337 cases (+16) (63 deaths) (+1)
  • Price – 1,129 cases (+2) (7 deaths)
  • Racine – 20,094 cases (+17) (314 deaths)
  • Richland - 1,255 cases (+3) (13 deaths)
  • Rock – 14,119 cases (+33) (148 deaths)
  • Rusk - 1,240 cases (16 deaths)
  • Sauk – 5,168 cases (+4) (38 deaths)
  • Sawyer - 1,455 cases (+3) (19 deaths)
  • Shawano – 4,548 cases (+5) (69 deaths)
  • Sheboygan – 12,644 cases (+23) (125 deaths)
  • St. Croix – 6,244 cases (+4) (42 deaths)
  • Taylor - 1,781 cases (+3) (20 deaths)
  • Trempealeau – 3,344 cases (+5) (36 deaths)
  • Vernon – 1,791 cases (+3) (36 deaths)
  • Vilas - 2,053 cases (+8) (36 deaths) (+1)
  • Walworth – 8,733 cases (+14) (124 deaths)
  • Washburn – 1,266 cases (+6) (18 deaths)
  • Washington – 13,555 cases (+14) (128 deaths)
  • Waukesha – 39,920 cases (+88) (466 deaths)
  • Waupaca – 4,709 cases (+7) (110 deaths)
  • Waushara – 2,082 cases (+4) (28 deaths)
  • Winnebago – 16,792 cases (+25) (177 deaths) (+1)
  • Wood – 6,600 cases (+17) (72 deaths)

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula **

  • Alger - 275 cases (1 death)
  • Baraga - 499 cases (+2) (31 deaths)
  • Chippewa - 707 cases (20 deaths)
  • Delta – 2,631 cases (+1) (65 deaths)
  • Dickinson - 2,118 cases (+2) (55 deaths)
  • Gogebic - 897 cases (+5) (18 deaths)
  • Houghton – 2,035 cases (+7) (32 deaths)
  • Iron – 863 cases (+1) (39 deaths)
  • Keweenaw – 110 cases (1 death) (cases revised -2 by state)
  • Luce – 132 cases
  • Mackinac - 279 cases (3 deaths)
  • Marquette - 3,437 cases (+5) (54 deaths)
  • Menominee - 1,606 cases (35 deaths)
  • Ontonagon – 353 cases (+1) (18 deaths)
  • Schoolcraft - 229 cases (4 deaths)

* Cases and deaths are from the daily DHS COVID-19 reports, which may differ from local health department numbers. 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. They 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.

COVID-19 Tracing App

Wisconsin’s COVID-19 tracing app, “Wisconsin Exposure Notification,” is available for iOS and Android smartphones. No download is required for iPhones. The Android app is available on Google Play. When two phones with the app (and presumably their owners) are close enough, for long enough, they’ll anonymously share a random string of numbers via Bluetooth. If someone tests positive for the coronavirus, they’ll receive a code to type into the app. If your phones “pinged” each other in the last 14 days, you’ll receive a push notification that you are at risk of exposure. The app doesn’t collect personal information or location information, so you won’t know from whom or where, but you will be told what day the exposure might have occurred so that you can quarantine for the appropriate amount of time.

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

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