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DHS reports 33 new deaths Tuesday, 2nd highest ever on record

DHS confirmed that over 4,500 cases were confirmed positive for COVID-19 Tuesday, shattering the previous daily high.
Published: Oct. 20, 2020 at 2:47 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Thirty-three new deaths among confirmed COVID-19 tests were reported on Tuesday, which is the second highest number that has been recorded since the pandemic began. This brings the total number of deaths to 1,663 in Wisconsin.

According to the Department of Health Services’ daily report, the current highest number of deaths is 34 and was reported Oct. 13, exactly one week ago.

DHS confirmed that over 4,500 cases were confirmed positive for COVID-19 Tuesday, shattering the previous daily high of being just shy of 4,000 on Sunday.

The seven-day rolling average of cases has also reached a new record high at 3,287. This number is just under double that of the rolling average one month ago on Sept. 20, at 1,720 cases, and more than four times the rolling seven-day average of two months ago on Aug. 20, at 718.

The confirmed positive cases reported in the past month make up just over 43% of the total cases ever reported, and the cases in the past two months make up 62% of the total.

“I know it’s tiring, but we’re in a crisis and this is what we have to do,” said DHS Secretary-Designee Andrea Palm. “Our case numbers are rising, this virus is claiming the lives of more of our friends and our neighbors, and our hospitals are stretched too thin. This isn’t sustainable, and it’s going to get worse. Our case count has climbed far higher and more rapidly in recent weeks, and we know that means there will be even more Wisconsinites needing hospital care as a result. It’s up to us to make this better.”

In a briefing on Tuesday, Governor Tony Evers said two major things need to happen in order for Wisconsin to bounce back - additional federal support, and doubling down on public health measures.

Evers said without additional federal support, Wisconsin would be left with difficult decisions for the next budget.

“People in Wisconsin will see a dramatic decrease in the services the state provides and resources that directly go to individuals and schools and municipalities," he said. "We have to take care of COVID-19 first, and if the federal government isn’t going to do their job, we will have to make the hard choices in Wisconsin.”

Evers also addressed a reason he thinks coronavirus is surging in Wisconsin.

“As compared to other states, those governors haven’t been prevented from doing what they think is the right thing, whether it’s mask orders or other mitigating factors," he said. “The ability to mitigate was made very difficult with the supreme court decision last May.”

DHS’s COVID-19 dashboard went through a system upgrade over the weekend and the department explained the break in reporting during the update would likely cause a brief spike in the numbers reported, skewing some figures. The department wanted to remind people tracking these numbers they should pay closer attention to the seven-day rolling averages it provides, as the longer time-frame will reflect larger trends and iron out day-to-day swings.

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