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New Wisconsin stats offer clearer view of COVID-19 increase

New cases increased 50% in the past week
(NBC15)
Published: Apr. 15, 2022 at 1:58 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The latest Dept. of Health Services snapshot of COVID-19 in Wisconsin is offering the first clear look at how much new cases have risen over the past week or so. The seven-day rolling average, which smooths out day-to-day volatilities, has been inflated since late last week after state health officials cleared a backlog of cases.

That spike in new cases, many of which occurred earlier this year but were not included in previous counts, cast a shadow on the rolling average ever since. The backlog was emptied last Friday, meaning this latest report will be the first one since that effort began not affected by the artificial surge.

Since bottoming out on March 27 at 321 cases per day, the seven-day rolling average had been rising consistently for approximately two weeks before DHS officials moved forward with adding in the old cases. Last Thursday, the average had topped 400 per day before being disrupted by the over 1,500 cases added the next day. That influx sent the average 150 cases higher, offering a glimpse of the distortion. However, it has also been rising ever since that day, indicating that once backlogged cases aged out of the seven-day rolling average, the number would still be higher than before.

This newest report verified that. It put the rolling average at 626 cases per day over the past week, more than 200 cases higher than the last report prior to the last Friday’s surge. That change would indicate that new COVID-19 cases jumped 50% in the past eight days. This latest figure, however, is just over 100 cases lower than it was in Thursday’s backlog-inflated report.

New confirmed COVID-19 cases by date confirmed, and 7-day average, on April 15, 2022.
New confirmed COVID-19 cases by date confirmed, and 7-day average, on April 15, 2022.(Dept. of Health Services)

As far as the day-to-day numbers, DHS tallied 804 new, confirmed cases in the past day. That means the past three days hold the 1, 2, and 3 spots for most cases since late February, during the decline from the record numbers set while the state was gripped by the Omicron variant.

Experts nationwide are warning that many cases caused by this new version of Omicron spreading through the U.S. While hospitalizations and death rates cannot be hidden, cases could be undercounted, they say, because people may find our they are sick through a home test and never report it, or they might not get tested at all.

All of these new cases still have not translated into an increase in deaths from COVID-19 or complications related to the virus, though. That figure, which does tend to be a lagging indicator still sits at its lowest level since last summer, at three cases per day over the past week.

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