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New cases of COVID-19 spike as omicron variant takes hold in Wisconsin

Ten people in Northwest Wisconsin died from complications of COVID-19 since Dec. 28, 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 new cases of COVID-19 more than doubled over the previous week in Wisconsin since Dec. 28 as the omicron variant becomes the predominant strain nationwide, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported Wednesday, Jan. 5.

Hospitalizations as a result of COVID-19 rose to 1,784 people, DHS reported Wednesday, up from 1,586 on Dec. 29 based on a rolling seven-day average.

Among the people hospitalized, 416 were being treated in intensive care units, up from 397 on Dec. 29. For the two-week period ending Jan. 4, 94.8% of the ICU beds in Wisconsin were in use, DHS said.

An additional 218 people died from complications related to COVID-19 statewide since Dec. 28, the data showed, bringing the total to 10,198. Among those who died were three people each in Ashland, Sawyer and Washburn counties and one person in Taylor County.

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Statewide, an additional 50,633 new cases were reported since Dec. 28. The total number of cases across the state was 1,023,729 Wednesday.

Closer to home, an additional 775 people in Northwestern Wisconsin tested positive for COVID-19 since Dec. 28, DHS said.

They were reported as follows: 150 in Douglas County; 112 in Taylor County; 99 in Sawyer County; 89 in Washburn County; 84 each in Price and Rusk counties; 73 in Burnett County; 33 in Ashland County; 30 in Bayfield County; and 21 in Iron County.

The seven-day average of new cases in Wisconsin was 6,260 on Wednesday, up from 3,622 on Dec. 28. 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 number of negative tests in the state was 3,864,425 Wednesday, an increase of 42,692 since Dec. 28.

Since vaccines became available, 8,667,366 vaccines have been administered, and 1,647,791 booster shots have been administered. About 58.3% of Wisconsin's population is fully vaccinated.

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

Ashland County

  • Total cases: 1,901
  • Total negative tests: 9,825
  • Hospitalized: 102
  • Deaths: 22
  • Probable deaths: 6
  • Vaccinated: 64.8%

Bayfield County

  • Total cases: 1,765
  • Total negative tests: 9,797
  • Hospitalized: 122
  • Deaths: 24
  • Probable deaths: 9
  • Vaccinated: 67.6%

Burnett County

  • Total cases: 2,761
  • Total negative tests: 8,614
  • Hospitalized: 209
  • Deaths: 35
  • Probable deaths: 1
  • Vaccinated: 51.4%

Douglas County

  • Total cases: 6,102
  • Total negative tests: 26,940
  • Hospitalized: 290
  • Deaths: 49
  • Probable deaths: 22
  • Vaccinated: 60.4%

Iron County

  • Total cases: 854
  • Total negative tests: 3,490
  • Hospitalized: 69
  • Deaths: 23
  • Probable deaths: 21
  • Vaccinated: 61.2%

Price County

  • Total cases: 2,419
  • Total negative tests: 7,656
  • Hospitalized: 197
  • Deaths: 22
  • Probable deaths: 0
  • Vaccinated: 54.9%

Rusk County

  • Total cases: 2,676
  • Total negative tests: 7,065
  • Hospitalized: 192
  • Deaths: 41
  • Probable deaths: 0
  • Vaccinated: 39.7%

Sawyer County

  • Total cases: 3,153
  • Total negative tests: 11,644
  • Hospitalized: 174
  • Deaths: 46
  • Probable deaths: 4
  • Vaccinated: 53.5%

Taylor County

  • Total cases: 3,491
  • Total negative tests: 8,703
  • Hospitalized: 244
  • Deaths: 47
  • Probable deaths: 15
  • Vaccinated: 33.4%

Washburn County

  • Total cases: 2,953
  • Total negative tests: 9,81
  • Hospitalized: 202
  • Deaths: 35
  • Probable deaths: 2
  • Vaccinated: 61.3%

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 snelson@superiortelegram.com.
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