MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) – Officials with Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services (DHS) report Sunday the cumulative number of people who have tested positive for the coronavirus and are considered active cases in the state has fallen below 15%.
The percentage of active cases has fallen to 14.4%. That means there are 59,388 people who were diagnosed in the past 30 days and haven’t been medically cleared. The number of recovered people is up to 348,995, which is 84.7% of all cases. It should be noted that some of the people who fall under the definition of recovered still suffer lasting effects of their infection.
State health officials say fewer than 3,000 coronavirus test results came back positive in the past 24 hours, the first time that has happened in more than a week. The last time fewer than 3,000 new cases were added in a single day was November 30, which was the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Many testing sites were closed during that weekend, which caused a temporary dip in the numbers.
Out of the 10,564 new test results released Sunday, 26.42% of them were positive – a total of 2,791. Wisconsin has now seen 412,177 positive coronavirus test results since February 5.
The 7-day average dropped for a second day from 4,074 to 3,925. That average had a one day increase on Friday after dropping for four consecutive days.
It took Wisconsin seven-and-a-half months to reach the first 100,000 cases. It took three weeks to add the last 100,000, and that included a holiday period when many test centers were closed.
State health officials say 17 people died within the past 24 hours from COVID-19. Although it brought the seven day death average down from 60 to 59 deaths a day, it wasn’t enough to change the death rate. That percentage has held steady at 0.90% since Friday.
As of Sunday, the Wisconsin DHS says the state’s cumulative death toll is 3,719.
The next number to watch on the death toll will be 3,786, when it would tie accidents (vehicle, household, etc.) as the third-leading cause of death in Wisconsin, based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures from 2018. With the current daily average of 59, that milestone could be reached early this week.
County-by-county case numbers and deaths are listed later in this report. New cases were added in all counties except for Forest, Iron, Menominee, Rusk, Vilas, and Waushara counties. The state revised the numbers from Saturday for Waushara County, and put a decrease of seven cases.
Meanwhile, out of the 17 new deaths, seven of them were reported in Barron County. The rest of the deaths were reported in Dunn, Eau Claire, La Crosse, Manitowoc, Milwaukee, Vernon, Waukesha and Winnebago counties.
The DHS announced new guidelines for quarantining, and will be in effect starting Monday. Following new CDC recommendations, people who had close contact with someone with COVID-19 only need to quarantine for 10 days if they don’t exhibit any symptoms. They can shorten that to 7 days if they get tested and receive a negative test result within 48 hours of the end of quarantine. The DHS hopes people will be more likely to quarantine if it’s a shorter duration. “While a shorter quarantine carries additional risk of spreading COVID-19, when done responsibly, it can make quarantining easier for more Wisconsinites,” Health Secretary-designee Andrea Palm wrote in a statement. People should still monitor themselves for symptoms for a full 14 days and should immediately isolate themselves if they develop any symptoms.
The state reported 90 patients were hospitalized for COVID-19 since Saturday. The 7-day average is more than 173 patients hospitalized per day, according to our calculations. Since that first patient 10 months ago, more than 18,000 people (18,216) have been hospitalized for COVID-19 treatment, which is 4.4% of all cases.
Sunday’s figures from the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) show 1,504 COVID-19 patients are being treated in hospitals. There are currently 326 in ICU. In the Fox Valley region, where 13 hospitals serve eight counties, there are 92 COVID-19 patients, with 20 in ICU. The Northeast region, which has 10 hospitals serving 7 counties, has 117 COVID-19 patients, 33 of whom are in intensive care. All of those numbers decreased from Saturday, except the amount of people in the ICU in the Northeast region, which held steady from Sunday.
Daily changes in hospitalization numbers take deaths and discharges into account.
There were 6 patients at the alternate care facility at the state fairgrounds Sunday, a decrease of four from Saturday. 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.