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Three-fourths of Wisconsin counties have 'very high' rates of COVID-19 transmission

Out of 72 counties, 55 have more than 350 but less than 1,000 new cases per 100,000 people. The remaining counties in Wisconsin are listed in the high transmission category with more than 100 but less than 350 new cases per 100,000 people.

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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

A total of 55 counties across Wisconsin are reporting very high rates of COVID-19 infection for the two-week period that ended Tuesday, Aug. 31, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported Wednesday, Sept 1.

From Aug. 25-31, the state recorded 440.1 new cases per 100,000 people, according to DHS . The very high category means more than 350 but less than 1,000 new cases per 100,000 people were recorded. A high case rate happens when more than 100 but less than 350 new cases are reported per 100,000 people.

Closer to home, an additional 243 Northwestern Wisconsin residents tested positive for COVID-19 since Aug. 25, according to DHS.

They were reported as follows: 82 in Taylor County; 26 in Burnett County; 24 each in Douglas and Sawyer counties; 21 in Price County; 20 in Washburn County; 18 in Rusk County; 14 in Bayfield County; 12 in Ashland County; and two in Iron County.

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Statewide, an additional 11,791 new cases were reported in the last week, DHS said, bringing the total to 663,132 Wednesday in Wisconsin.

The seven-day average of new cases continued to climb to 1,699, up 282 from the previous week. The seven-day average of positive cases measures the average number of new cases per day over the previous week. An increase in the seven-day average of positive cases indicates the number of confirmed COVID-19 infections in the state is going up, according to DHS.

An additional 27 deaths were reported statewide since Aug. 25, DHS said, including two Northwestern Wisconsin residents. Rusk and Washburn counties each reported one death from COVID-19 over that time period. Since the start of the pandemic, 7,627 Wisconsinites have died from COVID-19.

The number of negative tests in the state was 3,161,602 Wednesday, an increase of 33,572 since Aug. 25.

An additional 317 people were hospitalized because of the virus; a total of 37,839 people have been hospitalized since the pandemic began, according to DHS data. The seven-day rolling average updated Wednesday showed 867 people hospitalized, with 272 people being treated in intensive care. About 91.6% of ICU beds are in use, DHS reported.

DHS also reports that 6,115,473 doses of vaccine have been administered by Wednesday. A total of 3,189,538 Wisconsin residents have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 2,999,364 people, 51.5% of the population, have completed the vaccine series.

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

Ashland County

  • Total cases: 1,332
  • Total negative tests: 8,182
  • Deaths: 15
  • Probable deaths: 0
  • Hospitalizations: 59
  • Vaccinations: 9,304

Bayfield County

  • Total cases: 1,234
  • Total negative tests: 8,213
  • Deaths: 20
  • Probable deaths: 2
  • Hospitalizations: 60
  • Vaccinations: 9,840

Burnett County

  • Total cases: 1,555
  • Total negative tests: 7,273
  • Deaths: 29
  • Probable deaths: 0
  • Hospitalizations: 147
  • Vaccinations: 7,588

Douglas County

  • Total cases: 4,300
  • Total negative tests: 22,325
  • Deaths: 44
  • Probable deaths: 22
  • Hospitalizations: 206
  • Vaccinations: 24,808

Iron County

  • Total cases: 616
  • Total negative tests: 2,959
  • Deaths: 21
  • Probable deaths: 21
  • Hospitalizations: 50
  • Vaccinations: 3,278

Price County

  • Total cases: 1,313
  • Total negative tests: 6,496
  • Deaths: 8
  • Probable deaths: 0
  • Hospitalizations: 108
  • Vaccinations: 6,752

Rusk County

  • Total cases: 1,503
  • Total negative tests: 5,891
  • Deaths: 26
  • Probable deaths: 1
  • Hospitalizations: 118
  • Vaccinations: 5,036

Sawyer County

  • Total cases: 1,871
  • Total negative tests: 9,959
  • Deaths: 27
  • Probable deaths: 2
  • Hospitalizations: 107
  • Vaccinations: 8,411

Taylor County

  • Total cases: 2,122
  • Total negative tests: 6,940
  • Deaths: 28
  • Probable deaths: 13
  • Hospitalizations: 132
  • Vaccinations: 6,156

Washburn County

  • Total cases: 1,592
  • Total negative tests: 7,967
  • Deaths: 23
  • Probable deaths: 2
  • Hospitalizations: 127
  • Vaccinations: 8,999

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

Jen Zettel-Vandenhouten is the regional editor for Duluth Media Group, overseeing the Cloquet Pine Journal and the Superior Telegram.
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