Critical Condition: COVID-19 hits ‘Critical’ levels in 8 Wisconsin counties

Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 2:38 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The number of Wisconsin counties that have crossed into the state’s most serious COVID-19 category – Critical – quadrupled in the past week, while nearly every other county sits only a single level lower.

State heath officials only resurrected the Critical category last week, amid skyrocketing new case counts that have seen some of the highest single day totals of the year. On Tuesday, the seven-day rolling average spiked to 2,967 new cases per day, just seven cases per day shy of the 2021 peak set in early January.

While COVID-19 activity may be worst in those eight counties, little of the state has escaped these rising numbers. Of the other 64 Wisconsin counties, all but two – Douglas and Florence – fell into the ‘very high’ category, and those remaining two were still considered to have ‘high’ activity.

As such, the state collectively rates as having ‘very high’ activity, with 661.6 COVID-19 cases diagnosed per 100,000 residents. To reach critical status, a county needs to record 1,000 cases per 100,000 people over the preceding two weeks. Very high cases represents 350 cases per 100,000 residents.

The state’s rising levels reflect in other trackers as well. For example, as of Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention transmission map is completely red with every county now falling into its ‘high’ category. The CDC did note that more than 94% of counties in the country are at high levels of community transmission.

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