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DHS data: COVID-19 infection rates remain high, start to level off across Wisconsin

A total of 1,136 people in Northwestern Wisconsin tested positive for COVID-19 since Sept. 22, DHS data shows.

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

The number of people testing positive for COVID-19 remains high but has been leveling off across the state over the last two weeks, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported Wednesday, Oct. 6.

The seven-day average of new cases was down to 2,584 on Wednesday, a drop from 2,857 on Sept. 22. 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 1,122 people, up from 1,079 two weeks ago based on a rolling seven-day average, DHS reported Wednesday.

Among the people hospitalized, 317 are being treated in intensive care units, down from 328 on Sept. 22, DHS reported.

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Despite the numbers seeming to level off, an increasing number of counties are listed as having critically high rates of COVID-19 infection for the two-week period that ended Tuesday, Oct. 5. Seventeen counties, including Burnett and Rusk counties in Northwestern Wisconsin, fall into the category, while 55 counties have very high rates of infection.

From Sept. 22 to Oct. 5, the state recorded 715.5 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 586 Northwestern Wisconsin residents tested positive for COVID-19 between Sept. 22 and Sept. 29, with an additional 550 infections by Wednesday, according to DHS.

Over the last two weeks, they were reported as follows: 202 in Rusk County; 160 in Douglas County; 152 in Burnett County; 144 in Taylor County; 141 in Washburn County; 104 in Sawyer County; 83 in Ashland County; 82 in Price County; 42 in Bayfield County; and 26 in Iron County. The number of new cases in Ashland, Bayfield, Rusk and Washburn counties last week was lower than the previous week.

Statewide, an additional 18,142 new cases were reported since Sept. 29, DHS said, bringing the total to 742,823 Wednesday.

An additional 46 deaths were reported statewide since Sept. 29, DHS said, including one person each in Price and Rusk counties. Since the start of the pandemic, 8,073 Wisconsinites have died from COVID-19.

The number of negative tests in the state was 3,401,899 Wednesday, an increase of 49,490 since Sept. 29.

DHS also reports that 6,390,814 doses of vaccine have been administered as of Wednesday. A total of 3,314,894 Wisconsin residents have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 3,146,992 people, or 54% of the population, have completed the vaccine series.


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

Ashland County

  • Total cases: 1,483
  • Total negative tests: 8,896
  • Deaths: 15
  • Probable deaths: 1
  • Hospitalizations: 67
  • Vaccinations: 9,736

Bayfield County

  • Total cases: 1,329
  • Total negative tests: 8,662
  • Deaths: 21
  • Probable deaths: 3
  • Hospitalizations: 73
  • Vaccinations: 10,073

Burnett County

  • Total cases: 1,821
  • Total negative tests: 7,834
  • Deaths: 29
  • Probable deaths: 0
  • Hospitalizations: 168
  • Vaccinations: 7,834

Douglas County

  • Total cases: 4,600
  • Total negative tests: 23,658
  • Deaths: 44
  • Probable deaths: 22
  • Hospitalizations: 228
  • Vaccinations: 25,809

Iron County

  • Total cases: 687
  • Total negative tests: 3,069
  • Deaths: 21
  • Probable deaths: 21
  • Hospitalizations: 57
  • Vaccinations: 3,350

Price County

  • Total cases: 1,514
  • Total negative tests: 6,862
  • Deaths: 9
  • Probable deaths: 0
  • Hospitalizations: 122
  • Vaccinations: 7,053

Rusk County

  • Total cases: 1,955
  • Total negative tests: 6,339
  • Deaths: 31
  • Probable deaths: 0
  • Hospitalizations: 157
  • Vaccinations: 5,367

Sawyer County

  • Total cases: 2,136
  • Total negative tests: 10,571
  • Deaths: 29
  • Probable deaths: 2
  • Hospitalizations: 124
  • Vaccinations: 8,729

Taylor County

  • Total cases: 2,486
  • Total negative tests: 7,628
  • Deaths: 30
  • Probable deaths: 13
  • Hospitalizations: 161
  • Vaccinations: 6,524

Washburn County

  • Total cases: 1,928
  • Total negative tests: 8,642
  • Deaths: 23
  • Probable deaths: 2
  • Hospitalizations: 145
  • Vaccinations: 9,350

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

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