Dane Co. flips back to high COVID-19 community levels

(NBC15)
Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 9:51 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Dane Co. returned to high COVID-19 community levels in the latest weekly update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Four other counties in the area – Columbia, Grant, Richland, and Sauk – also moved into the high column this week, while Rock Co. still remains at that level.

While most of the southwestern counties that now fall into the high category had been in the medium category in last week’s report, Grant Co. had been considered low last Friday. Conversely, just across its northern border, Crawford Co. fell from high to low.

Over the past five weeks, Dane Co. has alternated between the medium and high categories nearly every week. Public Health Madison and Dane Co. offered a couple of explanations Friday morning for the volatility.

Health officials explained that the county’s case count consistently puts it in high territory, but the other factor the CDC uses to determine community levels – hospitalizations – has repeatedly crossed and fallen below its threshold for a region to be considered high. Alternately, PHMDC points out, even if cases did drop significantly, a big enough spike in hospitalizations could push it back into high levels.

In all, the CDC ranks 27 counties in Wisconsin as having high levels. That’s an increase of six over the previous week. The number of low counties also rose from 15 to 18 counties.

CDC COVID-19 Community Levels in Wisconsin, on Aug. 12, 2022.
CDC COVID-19 Community Levels in Wisconsin, on Aug. 12, 2022.(Dept. of Health Services)

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