44 more confirmed COVID-19 cases in WI; DHS estimates 22K in weeks

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- Several dozen more people in Wisconsin have tested positive for COVID-19, while hundred more tests came back negative, according to new numbers from the state Department of Public Safety.

Secretary-designee Andrea Palm said the number of confirmed cases has risen to 457. She released the new total during a news conference with Gov. Tony Evers, in which more details about the Shelter at Home order were provided.

Five deaths have been reported, so far.

The 41 more cases announced by DHS is only a few more than the 35 that DHS reported Monday. The past two days new cases broke a string of daily increases that had reached 100 new cases by Sunday.

After the state agency released its numbers, Public Health Madison Dane County reported two more cases, bringing its total to 72, while Grant Co. health officials announced the first confirmed case there, a man in his 20's.

The lower numbers don't necessarily mean the state is on the downslope, however. Palm estimated there could be 22,000 cases by April 8 and 440-1500 deaths if people do not continue with social distancing and avoid precautions.

DHS Chief Medical Office Dr. Ryan Westergaard noted that for every one person infected there are likely two to three more infected people out there.

He added that 90 percent of the people with the virus only suffer minor symptoms and, nevertheless, coronvirus remains highly transmittable.