7-day average positivity rate falls below 3% for the first time since mid-June

COVID-19(WEAU 13 News)
Published: Feb. 19, 2021 at 2:59 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY, WEAU) – Wisconsin’s coronavirus caseload remains lower than any time since September, but the state has seen an increasing number of new cases every day for the past four days. The Department of Health Services (DHS) says 774 new cases were identified Friday. That was 14.58% of the 5,309 results for people being tested, or testing positive, for the coronavirus for the first time. Despite the rising day-to-day numbers, the 7-day average fell again to 635 cases per day, the lowest average since last July.

The state now emphasizes the positivity rate looking at all test results, including people tested multiple times, since more than half of the state’s population has been tested at least once. By that measure, the state says the 7-day average positivity rate is below 3% for the first time since mid-June, and only the third time since last March. As we’ve reported, health officials want to see these positivity rates fall to 3% to consider the COVID-19 virus is being managed.

The death rate held steady at 1.12% of all COVID-19 cases after the deaths of 35 more people. The death toll is now 6,267, and the state is averaging 17 COVID-19 deaths per day, 4 more than Thursday’s average.

Eight deaths were added in Brown County. Other counties reporting deaths were Bayfield, Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Dunn, Fond du Lac (2), Kenosha (2), Manitowoc (2), Marathon, Marinette, Milwaukee (3), Outagamie (2), Ozaukee, Portage, Waukesha (2), Waushara (2) and Winnebago (2) counties.

Twelve counties did not report any new coronavirus cases by Friday’s deadline. Of the 60 counties with new cases, 16 added only one or two.


The next drive-through vaccination clinic for Clark County will be on Thursday, February 25, 2021at the Greenwood Area Fire and EMS Department, 103 Cannery Street 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. At this time, vaccines are not available for the general public. Protocols put into place by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) require administration to be limited to those part of Phase 1A, and the start of Phase 1B only.

Wisconsin set a new daily record for completed COVID-19 vaccinations for a second day in a row. 314,762 people completed the two-dose vaccine regimen, which is 26,015 more people than Thursday’s report. So far, 5.4% of the state’s population is completed vaccinated. That includes almost 1 in 10 older adults, age 65 and up, and almost 1 in 20 of all White residents of the state.

Health officials are encouraging people in minority groups to get vaccinated because of the disparity in the vaccination numbers and because minority groups are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. To date, 12.6% of all the state’s White residents received at least one dose, compared to 8.9% of American Indians, 5.7% of Asians and 3.8% of the state’s Black population received the vaccine. (The DHS says 8.2% of records listed race as “Unknown” and 4.8% reported it as “Other.”) For more information about racial and ethnic disparities in the pandemic, CLICK HERE.

Health officials say 1,119,705 “shots in the arm” of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. That’s more than twice the 558,496 people who’ve tested positive for the COVID-19 virus since its appearance in the state on February 5, 2020.

There are currently 9,575 active cases diagnosed in the past 30 days (1.7% of all known cases); 542,495 people (97.2% of cases) are considered recovered, even if they’re considered “long haulers” with lingering effects from their infection.


The National Guard COVID-19 testing site at Peace Church, 501 E. Filmore Ave., Eau Claire is modifying its hours and will be open from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays beginning Monday, February 22. Testing is also available at the National Guard testing site in Augusta on Wednesdays from 1-6 p.m. Both these sites will be open through March 10, but may be extended. People are asked to pre-register on the day they plan to get tested by clicking HERE.


The DHS says 79 more people were hospitalized for COVID-19, the tenth day with fewer than 100 hospitalizations but it raised the 7-day average from 59 to 63 hospitalizations per day. Since the virus’s first appearance in Wisconsin, 25,635 people have been hospitalized for COVID-19 treatment, which is 4.6% of all known cases.

On Thursday, the latest data available, the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) reported there were 388 COVID-19 patients in the state’s hospitals (3 more than the day before), including 107 in intensive care (unchanged from Wednesday). It was the third time in a week there were fewer than 400 patients hospitalized at one time. We expect updated figures later Friday afternoon.


In terms of hospital readiness, the WHA reported 263 ICU beds (17.9%) and 2,314 of all medical beds (20.7%) are open in the state’s 134 hospitals. All medical beds include ICU, intermediate care, medical surgical and negative flow isolation. These are beds for all patients, not just COVID-19.

Statewide, 16 of the 134 hospitals report they have less than a 7-day supply of gowns and 11 are running low on paper medical masks. Those numbers are the same as Monday.

FRIDAY’S COUNTY CASE AND DEATH TOTALS (Counties with new cases or deaths are indicated in bold) *

  • Barron – 5,282 cases (+12) (75 deaths)
  • Buffalo – 1,309 cases (+1) (7 deaths)
  • Chippewa – 6,993 cases (+4) (90 deaths)
  • Clark – 3,149 cases (+1) (57 deaths)
  • Dunn – 4,213 cases (+8) (27 deaths)
  • Eau Claire – 10,906 cases (+11) (104 deaths)
  • Jackson - 2,575 cases (23 deaths)
  • La Crosse – 12,115 cases (+22) (75 deaths)
  • Monroe – 4,255 cases (+8) (30 deaths)
  • Pepin – 800 cases (7 deaths)
  • Pierce – 3,428 cases (+7) (33 deaths)
  • Rusk - 1,243 cases (+2) (16 deaths)
  • Sawyer - 1,485 cases (+6) (21 deaths)
  • St. Croix – 6,296 cases (+2) (42 deaths)
  • Taylor - 1,792 cases (20 deaths)
  • Trempealeau – 3,370 cases (+6) (36 deaths)
  • Vernon – 1,804 cases (36 deaths)
  • Washburn – 1,283 cases (+5) (18 deaths)
  • Wood – 6,648 cases (+9) (72 deaths)

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