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COVID-19 in Wisconsin is high... barely

(NBC15)
Published: Mar. 16, 2022 at 3:03 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 16, 2022 at 7:59 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Pretty soon, Wisconsin’s COVID-19 case burden may no longer be high. Just two months ago, the state was two categories beyond ‘high’ It not only reached the most severe ‘critically high’ status, but exceeded it several times over.

That trend began to change in mid-January, when the fever broke on rising case counts, and then took a sharp, nearly uninterrupted downturn. By February, the bright red that colored the COVID-19 Disease Activity map and indicated ‘critically high’ case burdens gave way to the orange ‘very high’ status. Two weeks ago, the dark blue that meant the state was seeing ‘high’ activity took over. While it remained at that level this week, the case burden sits right on the cusp of ‘medium.’

For the state to switch to the brighter blue that means ‘medium,’ it would need to fall below 100 cases per day per 100,000 residents on average over the previous two weeks. As of Wednesday, that number sat at 104.7.

The declines are reflected at the county level too. Like the state, every county was bright red in January. Gradually, counties started changing colors and, last week, there was only one orange one left: Buffalo Co. This week, that county moved into the ‘high’ column, leaving the state with only ‘high’ and ‘medium’ case activities.

Ten other counties picked up the lighter blue tint that means ‘medium, bringing the total to eleven. None of them in southern Wisconsin, outside of the Milwaukee area, have reached ‘medium’ at this time. There are still no counties with low activity.

COVID-19 Disease Activity, on March 16, 2022.
COVID-19 Disease Activity, on March 16, 2022.(Dept. of Health Services)

Not only have cases been declining in Wisconsin recently, but the number of people admitted into the state’s hospitals is also falling. Every one of the regions DHS tracks has seen shrinking numbers of patients since mid-February. South-central Wisconsin and five other regions maintained that trend in Wednesday’s report, however the trajectory leveled off in western Wisconsin.

Overall, the seven-day rolling-average for COVID-19 patients statewide fell to 292 in the weekly report. At its height, nearly 2,000 more people than that were in Wisconsin hospitals.

COVID-19Hospitalizations and Hospital Capacity, on March 16, 2022.
COVID-19Hospitalizations and Hospital Capacity, on March 16, 2022.(Dept. of Health Services)

Tuesday saw Wisconsin’s 54-day streak of decline seven-day rolling-averages for new confirmed cases snapped, the downward trend picked right up again Wednesday. With health officials tallying 433 new cases Wednesday, the rolling average dropped to 347 cases per day.

With the latest cases counted, DHS has now confirmed 1,387,933 cases since the pandemic began.

New confirmed COVID-19 cases by date confirmed, and 7-day average, on March 16, 2022.
New confirmed COVID-19 cases by date confirmed, and 7-day average, on March 16, 2022.(Dept. of Health Services)

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