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Maintenance causes backlog to COVID-19 data collection

Six additional deaths have been reported since Dec. 1 in Northwestern Wisconsin, DHS data shows.

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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 counties reporting critically high rates of COVID-19 infection dropped to 19 from 26 the previous week, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported Wednesday, Dec. 8.

However, routine maintenance to the Wisconsin Electronic Disease Surveillance System over the weekend of Dec. 4, required down time that has resulted in a backlog of processing records. As DHS continues to work through the backlog, the data reported may be lower than expected for the next few days, DHS stated.

Four counties in Northwestern Wisconsin were still among those reporting critically high case numbers: Ashland, Burnett, Price and Washburn counties. The critically high category means more than 1,000 new cases per 100,000 residents have been reported in the last two weeks.

Statewide, an additional 22,113 new cases were reported since Dec. 1, up from 19,903 the previous week, DHS said, bringing the total to 901,727 Wednesday.

Closer to home, an additional 670 Northwestern Wisconsin residents tested positive for COVID-19 over since Nov. 17, DHS said.

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They were reported as follows: 99 in Washburn County; 92 in Burnett County; 89 in Douglas County; 79 in Taylor County; 77 in Price County; 60 in Ashland County; 51 each in Bayfield, Rusk and Sawyer counties; and 21 in Iron County.

The seven-day average of new cases in Wisconsin was 3,155 on Wednesday, up from 2,796 on Dec. 1. 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. The seven-day rolling averages are the most reliable data until the backlog is cleared, officials said.

Hospitalizations as a result of COVID-19 rose to 1,503 people, DHS reported Wednesday, up from 1,336 on Dec. 1 based on a rolling seven-day average.

Among the people hospitalized, 402 were being treated in intensive care units, up from 364 on Dec. 1. For the two-week period ending Dec. 7, 96.7% of the ICU beds in Wisconsin were in use, DHS said.

An additional 183 people died from complications related to COVID-19 statewide since Dec. 1, the data showed. Among those who died were four people in Douglas County; and one person each in Rusk and Washburn counties.

The number of negative tests in the state was 3,721,171 Wednesday, an increase of 32,466 since Dec. 1.

Since vaccines became available, 7,883,976 vaccines have been administered, and 1,189,963 booster shots have been administered. About 56.3% of Wisconsin's population is fully vaccinated.

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

Ashland County

  • Total cases: 1,738
  • Total negative tests: 9,579
  • Hospitalized: 92
  • Deaths: 18
  • Probable deaths: 5
  • Vaccinated: 61.7%

Bayfield County

  • Total cases: 1,637
  • Total negative tests: 9,484
  • Hospitalized: 115
  • Deaths: 24
  • Probable deaths: 6
  • Vaccinated: 66.6%

Burnett County

  • Total cases: 2,529
  • Total negative tests: 8,642
  • Hospitalized: 200
  • Deaths: 32
  • Probable deaths: 1
  • Vaccinated: 50.6%

Douglas County

  • Total cases: 5,684
  • Total negative tests: 25,990
  • Hospitalized: 268
  • Deaths: 48
  • Probable deaths: 22
  • Vaccinated: 59.2%

Iron County

  • Total cases: 805
  • Total negative tests: 3,410
  • Hospitalized: 65
  • Deaths: 22
  • Probable deaths: 21
  • Vaccinated: 58.2%

Price County

  • Total cases: 2,117
  • Total negative tests: 7,455
  • Hospitalized: 177
  • Deaths: 16
  • Probable deaths: 0
  • Vaccinated: 53.1%

Rusk County

  • Total cases: 2,381
  • Total negative tests: 6,877
  • Hospitalized: 184
  • Deaths: 37
  • Probable deaths: 0
  • Vaccinated: 38.5%

Sawyer County

  • Total cases: 2,877
  • Total negative tests: 11,361
  • Hospitalized: 160
  • Deaths: 35
  • Probable deaths: 4
  • Vaccinated: 52.6%

Taylor County

  • Total cases: 3,198
  • Total negative tests: 8,442
  • Hospitalized: 217
  • Deaths: 36
  • Probable deaths: 13
  • Vaccinated: 32.2%

Washburn County

  • Total cases: 2,702
  • Total negative tests: 9,536
  • Hospitalized: 187
  • Deaths: 28
  • Probable deaths: 2
  • Vaccinated: 59.9%

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

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