Health officials urge caution as COVID-19 cases rise in Wisconsin

The state Department of Health Services urges people to stay informed, test and stay home when sick.

A model of the novel coronavirus.
Contributed / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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SUPERIOR — New cases of COVID-19 continue to climb across the state, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported Wednesday, May 18.

DHS is recommending people take precautions by knowing the COVID-19 Community Level , staying up to date on vaccines and boosters, getting tested and staying home when sick or after a positive COVID-19 test.

"Although the virus continues to change, we have the tools to fight it thanks to effective vaccines, accessible testing and new treatments," said Karen Timberlake, DHS secretary-designee. "As cases rise statewide, all Wisconsinites have an essential role to play in keeping ourselves and our communities healthy."

The $164K grant will continue the long-standing relationship between the city and the veterans historical center if approved by the city council July 5.

Statewide, an additional 14,552 new cases were reported since May 11. The total number of cases across the state was 1,450,536 Wednesday.

The seven-day average of new cases in Wisconsin was 2,088 on Wednesday, up from 1,963 on May 11. The figure measures the average number of new cases per day over the previous week. An increase indicates the number of confirmed COVID-19 infections in the state is going up, according to DHS.


Hospitalizations as a result of COVID-19 increased to 414 people, DHS reported Wednesday, up from 319 on May 11 based on a rolling seven-day average.

Among the people hospitalized, 40 were being treated in intensive care units, up from 39 the previous week. For the two-week period ending May 17, 9.1% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 were being treated in Wisconsin ICUs, DHS said.

An additional 16 people died from complications related to COVID-19 statewide since May 11, the data showed, bringing the total to 12,959.

Closer to home, an additional 357 people in Northwestern Wisconsin tested positive for COVID-19 since May 11, DHS said.

They were reported as follows: 136 in Douglas County; 56 in Sawyer County; 40 in Burnett County; 34 in Washburn County; 26 in Bayfield County; 18 in Price County; 16 in Rusk County; 13 in Ashland County; 10 in Taylor County; and eight in Iron County.

About 61.2% of Wisconsin's population is fully vaccinated.

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

Ashland County

  • Total cases: 2,548
  • Hospitalized: 110
  • Deaths: 29
  • Probable deaths: 7
  • Vaccinated: 68.4%

Bayfield County

  • Total cases: 2,473
  • Hospitalized: 149
  • Deaths: 29
  • Probable deaths: 12
  • Vaccinated: 70.4%

Burnett County

  • Total cases: 3,655
  • Hospitalized: 234
  • Deaths: 42
  • Probable deaths: 1
  • Vaccinated: 53.9%

Douglas County

  • Total cases: 8,400
  • Hospitalized: 314
  • Deaths: 56
  • Probable deaths: 23
  • Vaccinated: 63.4%

Iron County

  • Total cases: 1,227
  • Hospitalized: 82
  • Deaths: 25
  • Probable deaths: 22
  • Vaccinated: 64%

Price County

  • Total cases: 3,053
  • Hospitalized: 244
  • Deaths: 31
  • Probable deaths: 2
  • Vaccinated: 57%

Rusk County

  • Total cases: 3,303
  • Hospitalized: 218
  • Deaths: 55
  • Probable deaths: 0
  • Vaccinated: 41.5%

Sawyer County

  • Total cases: 4,099
  • Hospitalized: 208
  • Deaths: 55
  • Probable deaths: 7
  • Vaccinated: 55.3%

Taylor County

  • Total cases: 4,349
  • Hospitalized: 275
  • Deaths: 56
  • Probable deaths: 16
  • Vaccinated: 34.7%

Washburn County

  • Total cases: 3,810
  • Hospitalized: 229
  • Deaths: 42
  • Probable deaths: 4
  • Vaccinated: 63.6%

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

Shelley Nelson is a reporter with the Duluth Media Group since 1997, and has covered Superior and Douglas County communities and government for the Duluth News Tribune from 1999 to 2006, and the Superior Telegram since 2006. Contact her at 715-395-5022 or
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