The number of people testing positive for COVID-19 remains high but is slowly declining, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported Wednesday, Oct. 13.

The seven-day average of new cases was down to 2,318 on Wednesday, a drop from 2,584 on Oct. 6. The figure measures the average number of new cases per day over the previous week. An decrease indicates the number of confirmed COVID-19 infections in the state is going down, according to DHS.

Hospitalizations as a result of COVID-19 grew to 1,147 people, up from 1,122 the previous week based on a rolling seven-day average, DHS reported Wednesday.

Among the people hospitalized, 308 are being treated in intensive care units, down from 317 on Oct. 6, DHS reported.

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The number of counties with critically high rates of COVID-19 dropped slightly to 16 for the two-week period that ended Tuesday, Oct. 12. Burnett and Rusk counties in Northwestern Wisconsin fall into the category, while 56 counties have very high rates of infection.

From Sept. 29 to Oct. 12, the state recorded 686.5 new cases per 100,000 people, according to DHS. Critically high rates of infection are greater than 1,000 new cases per 100,000 people. The very high category means more than 350 but less than 1,000 new cases per 100,000 people were recorded.

Closer to home, an additional 566 Northwestern Wisconsin residents tested positive for COVID-19 over the past week, according to DHS.

They were reported as follows: 94 in Burnett County; 82 each in Douglas and Taylor counties; 72 in Price County; 67 in Sawyer County; 58 in Rusk County; 52 in Washburn County; 26 in Bayfield County; 20 in Ashland County; and 13 in Iron County.

Statewide, an additional 16,455 new cases were reported since Oct. 6, DHS said, bringing the total to 759,278 Wednesday.

An additional 61 deaths were reported statewide since Oct. 6, DHS said, including two people in Rusk County and one person each in Taylor and Washburn counties. Since the start of the pandemic, 8,217 Wisconsinites have died from COVID-19.

The number of negative tests in the state was 3,447,187 Wednesday, an increase of 45,288 since Oct. 6.

DHS also reports that 6,434,086 doses of vaccine have been administered as of Wednesday. A total of 3,331,977 Wisconsin residents have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 3,172,673 people, or 54.5% of the population, have completed the vaccine series.

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

Ashland County

  • Total cases: 1,503
  • Total negative tests: 8,974
  • Deaths: 15

  • Probable deaths: 1
  • Vaccinations: 9,787

Bayfield County

  • Total cases: 1,355

  • Total negative tests: 8,736
  • Deaths: 21

  • Probable deaths: 3
  • Vaccinations: 10,152

Burnett County

  • Total cases: 1,915

  • Total negative tests: 7,947
  • Deaths: 29

  • Probable deaths: 0
  • Vaccinations: 7,911

Douglas County

  • Total cases: 4,682

  • Total negative tests: 23,942
  • Deaths: 44

  • Probable deaths: 22
  • Vaccinations: 26,043

Iron County

  • Total cases: 700

  • Total negative tests: 3,182
  • Deaths: 21

  • Probable deaths: 21
  • Vaccinations: 3,385

Price County

  • Total cases: 1,586

  • Total negative tests: 6,938
  • Deaths: 9

  • Probable deaths: 0
  • Vaccinations: 7,102

Rusk County

  • Total cases: 2,013

  • Total negative tests: 6,406
  • Deaths: 33

  • Probable deaths: 0
  • Vaccinations: 5,388

Sawyer County

  • Total cases: 2,203

  • Total negative tests: 10,686
  • Deaths: 29

  • Probable deaths: 2
  • Vaccinations: 8,769

Taylor County

  • Total cases: 2,568

  • Total negative tests: 7,736
  • Deaths: 30

  • Probable deaths: 13
  • Vaccinations: 6,550

Washburn County

  • Total cases: 1,980

  • Total negative tests: 8,742
  • Deaths: 24

  • Probable deaths: 2
  • Vaccinations: 9,411

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