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8 people test positive, 1 dies from COVID-19 in Northwestern Wisconsin

One person in Taylor County has died, according to the state's Thursday, March 18, report.

A model of the novel coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China in late 2019. U.S. health officials have stated that COVID-19 is expected to become a significant public health concern in the United States. (Illustration courtesy of Centers for Disease Control)
Contributed / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

An additional eight Northwestern Wisconsin residents tested positive for COVID-19 , the Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported Thursday, March 18.

They were reported as follows: two in each Burnett, Douglas, Taylor and Washburn counties. No new cases were reported in Ashland, Bayfield, Iron, Price and Rusk counties.

Sawyer County had its confirmed cases reduced by one while the number of probable cases increased by one. DHS said Thursday that with the number of new cases coming down, state and local public health officials have been working to improve the quality of the data it makes available to the public, which accounts for some of the changes people are seeing in the data.

Part of that review is to look at the testing method and when a test for antibodies (probable) is incorrectly recorded as a positive test for the virus (confirmed) that will change the category a positive case appears in, DHS has said.

"We have been working to refine our data, as we do for all communicable diseases," DHS deputy secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk said during a media briefing Thursday. "As you know, we have been committed to transparency in the data that we received from our 98 local and tribal health departments of this pandemic. Part of that commitment means that we try to get the data to you as real time as possible."


Statewide, an additional 490 confirmed cases were reported Thursday, DHS said, bringing the total to 571,220.

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An additional two deaths reported statewide Thursday, bringing the total to 6,556, DHS said. Overall, 1.1% of people who have contracted the virus have died.

The seven-day average of positive COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin has been relatively stable over the last two weeks. On Thursday, the figure was 409. The seven-day average of positive cases measures the average number of new cases per day over the previous week. An overall decrease in the seven-day average of positive cases indicates the number of confirmed COVID-19 infections in the state is also going down, according to DHS.

The number of negative tests in the state was 2,677,891, an increase of 2,680 on Thursday.

An additional 52 people have been hospitalized because of the virus since Wednesday. Across the state, 222 people are currently hospitalized because of COVID-19 , and the total number of people receiving treatment in intensive care units is 62. DHS reported that 80% of the state's available hospital beds are occupied. Overall, 4.7% of Wisconsinites who contracted the virus have been hospitalized.

Thursday's report also showed that 97.7% of the people who have tested positive for the virus have recovered. That means 1.1%, or 6,390 cases, are currently active.

DHS also reports that 2,148,882 doses of vaccine have been administered by Thursday with 1,340,704 Wisconsin residents, 23% of the population, receiving at least one dose of vaccine, and 761,027 people completing the vaccine series .


Here's the breakdown in the 10-county region:

Ashland County

  • Active cases: 15
  • Deaths: 16
  • Probable deaths: 0
  • Total cases: 1,186
  • Total negative tests: 6,874
  • Vaccinations: 4,911

Bayfield County

  • Active cases: 8
  • Deaths: 19
  • Probable deaths: 0
  • Total cases: 1,063
  • Total negative tests: 6,786
  • Vaccinations: 5,545

Burnett County

  • Active cases: 18
  • Deaths: 23
  • Probable deaths: 0
  • Total cases: 1,224
  • Total negative tests: 6,087
  • Vaccinations: 3,716

Douglas County

  • Active cases: 60
  • Deaths: 29
  • Probable deaths: 16
  • Total cases: 3,688
  • Total negative tests: 18,770
  • Vaccinations: 10,846

Iron County

  • Active cases: 9
  • Deaths: 21
  • Probable deaths: 19
  • Total cases: 557
  • Total negative tests: 2,543
  • Vaccinations: 1,787

Price County

  • Active cases: 6
  • Deaths: 7
  • Probable deaths: 0
  • Total cases: 1,173
  • Total negative tests: 5,492
  • Vaccinations: 3,325

Rusk County

  • Active cases: 22
  • Deaths: 16
  • Probable deaths: 1
  • Total cases: 1,276
  • Total negative tests: 4,959
  • Vaccinations: 2,347

Sawyer County

  • Active cases: 15
  • Deaths: 22
  • Probable deaths: 0
  • Total cases: 1,546
  • Total negative tests: 8,264
  • Vaccinations: 4,597

Taylor County

  • Active cases: 17
  • Deaths: 22
  • Probable deaths: 9
  • Total cases: 1,792
  • Total negative tests: 5,827
  • Vaccinations: 2,884

Washburn County

  • Active cases: 19
  • Deaths: 18
  • Probable deaths: 2
  • Total cases: 1.325
  • Total negative tests: 6,469
  • Vaccinations: 4,769

Visit the Douglas County COVID-19 dashboard or Wisconsin Department of Health Services COVID-19 page for updates.

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