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86 people test positive, 4 die from COVID-19 in Northwestern Wisconsin Dec. 16

The people who died were residents of Burnett, Douglas and Sawyer counties.

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

Four Northwestern Wisconsin residents died of complications related to COVID-19, the state Department of Health Services reported Wednesday, Dec. 16.

Burnett and Sawyer counties each reported one death, while Douglas County reported two, DHS said. The deaths bring the totals in each county since the pandemic began to nine in Sawyer and 16 each in Burnett and Douglas counties.

The people who died were among 74 deaths reported statewide Wednesday, bringing the total number in the state to 4,196, DHS said. Overall, about 1% of people who have contracted the virus in Wisconsin have died, DHS said.

A total of 86 Northwestern Wisconsin residents tested positive for COVID-19, DHS said. The new cases were reported as follows: 14 each in Douglas and Taylor counties; 13 in Ashland County; 12 in Washburn County; nine in Price County; seven each in Rusk and Sawyer counties; five in Burnett County; four in Bayfield County; and one in Iron County.

The new cases were among 2,402 reported Wednesday, bringing the state's overall tally to 444,798, DHS said. The seven-day average of positive cases was 3,247, a figure that has been dropping.


The number of negative tests in the state was 2,266,641, an increase of 6,849 from the previous day.

An additional 146 people were hospitalized because of the virus Wednesday. Across the state, 1,461 people are currently hospitalized because of COVID-19. The total number of people receiving treatment in intensive care units is 331. DHS reported that 84% of the state's available hospital beds are occupied. Overall, 4% of Wisconsinites who contracted the virus have been hospitalized.

Wednesday's report also showed that 90% of the people who have tested positive for the virus have recovered. That means 9%, or 41,426 cases, are currently active.

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

Ashland County

  • Active cases: 97
  • Deaths: 13
  • Probable deaths: 0
  • Total cases: 906
  • Total negative tests: 5,731

Bayfield County

  • Active cases: 87
  • Deaths: 16
  • Probable deaths: 0
  • Total cases: 847
  • Total negative tests: 5,619

Burnett County

  • Active cases: 127
  • Deaths: 16
  • Probable deaths: 0
  • Total cases: 925
  • Total negative tests: 5,150

Douglas County

  • Active cases: 455
  • Deaths: 16
  • Probable deaths: 13
  • Total cases: 2,711
  • Total negative tests: 14,903

Iron County

  • Active cases: 30
  • Deaths: 10
  • Probable deaths: 7
  • Total cases: 401
  • Total negative tests: 2,192

Price County

  • Active cases: 43
  • Deaths: 4
  • Probable deaths: 0
  • Total cases: 870
  • Total negative tests: 4,635

Rusk County

  • Active cases: 91
  • Deaths: 11
  • Probable deaths: 0
  • Total cases: 1,029
  • Total negative tests: 4,130

Sawyer County

  • Active cases: 90
  • Deaths: 9
  • Probable deaths: 0
  • Total cases: 1,077
  • Total negative tests: 6,899

Taylor County

  • Active cases: 131
  • Deaths: 13
  • Probable deaths: 5
  • Total cases: 1,489
  • Total negative tests: 4,835

Washburn County

  • Active cases: 103
  • Deaths: 8
  • Probable deaths: 1
  • Total cases: 919
  • Total negative tests: 5,226

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

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