Wisconsin crosses 100,000 cases in 2022; but that number may be low

The second week of 2022 is barely half over, and already Wisconsin health officials have confirmed more than 100,000 new COVID-19 cases across the state.
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 10:37 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 14, 2022 at 6:51 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The second week of 2022 is barely half over, and already Wisconsin health officials have confirmed more than 100,000 new COVID-19 cases across the state. The less than two weeks it took to hit that point this year is the quickest six-digit jump yet recorded.

Another record-breaking report from the Dept. of Health Services saw the single-day case count top 13,000 new cases for the first time, and the seven-day rolling average, which smooths out day-to-day volatility, near the 10,000-case per day mark.

However, the 13,004 new cases tallied Thursday as well as the 9,915 case per day rolling average may still be far lower than the total number of people actually testing positive. In recent days, the state agency has reported numbers for Dane Co. that are at least 1,000 per day lower than what county health officials are reporting.

For example, PHMDC has reported more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases on its dashboard every day since Jan. 3, and preliminary data put the two most recent days at over 2,000 cases each day. Yet, in that time, DHS has never recorded a 1,000-case day for the county, topping out in the most recent report with 941 new cases. If state data were to align with the county information, that could drive DHS’ numbers 10 percent higher.

Dane Co. New COVID-19 casesDept. of Health Services
(Confirmed only)
Public Health Madison
& Dane Co.
Jan. 12467
Jan. 2145546
Jan. 35951,063
Jan. 47491,178
Jan. 56391,589
Jan. 67181,715
Jan. 75941,907
Jan. 8911,168
Jan. 93451,065
Jan. 106171,823*
Jan. 116282,458*
Jan. 129412,237*
Cases counts as of Jan. 13, and are subject to change*-preliminary
  • Dept. of Health Services data set (note: Report Date references previous day’s total)
  • PHMDC data set

PHMDC has explained that the discrepancy arises because the state does not record new cases until they have been manually processed by local health departments, until then the records are left in a so-called “staging” area. Dane Co. health officials, however, have started including the staging area cases in an effort to reflect the actual number of cases being diagnosed at this time.

NBC15 News has reached out to DHS multiple times to see how many cases statewide might be caught in this staging area and if its current counts should be considered lower than the number actually being found, however state officials have yet to respond.

New confirmed cases in Wisconsin, on Jan. 13, 2022.
New confirmed cases in Wisconsin, on Jan. 13, 2022.(Dept. of Health Services)


For the second day straight day, Public Health Madison and Dane Co. recorded more than 2,000 new cases in its preliminary report, although the 2,237 cases tallied did dip slightly from Wednesday’s record-breaking report.

Thursday’s case count drove the preliminary seven-day rolling average for the county to 1,767 cases per day, higher than any single day prior to this year, PHMDC figures show. The agency notes preliminary figures can shift as cases added.

During Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway’s news conference Thursday morning, PHMDC Director Janel Heinrich cited the lower 1,384 average cases per day reported Monday, the most recent day outside the three-day preliminary window.

No new deaths were recorded in the county, while COVID-19-related hospitalizations retreated under 200, dropping by five over the previous day.


Thursday’s record number of new confirmed cases pushed the total to 1,116,843 since the pandemic began.

Nineteen more deaths were reported Thursday, dropping the seven-day rolling average for deaths from complications related to COVID-19 to 21 per day over the past week, DHS reports. The rolling average has remained in the 20′s since early December rising as high as 28 per day on the 20th of that month.

DHS’ dashboard also found the number people hospitalized because of the virus rose by 276, bringing the total to 2,278 people who are currently admitted to Wisconsin hospitals due to COVID-19 to 2,278. The agency’s latest hospitalization update found 95 percent of all ICU beds in the state are filled.

More than 1.7 million booster shots have been delivered across the state, DHS officials reported in Thursday’s news conference. That is approximately half the 3.42 million Wisconsinites (or 58.6% of the total population) who have completed their original vaccination series.

DHS responded to NBC15s requests on Friday, linking to this response.

Dept. of Health Services vaccination data for Jan. 13, 2022.
Dept. of Health Services vaccination data for Jan. 13, 2022.(Dept. of Health Services)

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