DHS: Only 2 Wisconsin counties still have high COVID-19 activity

Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 1:39 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Just two Wisconsin counties are still reporting high COVID-19 Community Levels, the latest Department of Health Services report shows. Meanwhile, as more and more counties recede into the Low category, Dane Co. remains locked between those two tiers.

The agency’s weekly update found only Barron and Rusk counties, in the northwestern portion of the state, recording the case counts and hospitalization rates that put them in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most serious classification.

Three other counties ranked as High in last Friday’s report dropped into the Medium category. Despite the addition of those three north-central counties, the overall number of ones that fall into the middle tier dropped as well. The new map shows just 18 of them remain – down from 24 last week.

Among those are four south-central Wisconsin counties. For weeks, Dane Co. has remained yellow, indicating Medium levels. In that time, surrounding counties were moving up and down the scale. In latest report, Columbia, Marquette, and Sauk counties joined Dane Co. as the yellow ones. All of the rest in the region were the green that signified low levels.

In fact, green counties once again dominate the map. Friday’s report saw that number grow by ten, pushing the total number of counties rated as Low to 52 (out of a total of 72) counties.

CDC COVID-19 Community Levels, on July 1, 2022.
CDC COVID-19 Community Levels, on July 1, 2022.(Dept. of Health Services)

The decrease in counties in the high and medium categories corresponds with the decrease in new confirmed cases, although the latter decline is happening much, much slower.

Since the most recent surge topped out in mid-May, the seven-day rolling-average for new cases have fallen more than 28 percent, from 2,200 to 1,377 cases per day over the preceding week. However, that downward trend has slowed to a crawl over the past two weeks, with the average having only dropped by roughly 50 cases over that span.

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