WI sets daily “shots in arms” record while passing a milestone for seniors

COVID-19(WEAU 13 News)
Published: Feb. 26, 2021 at 2:40 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY, WEAU) – Wisconsin’s surge in deaths, cases and testing on Thursday appears short-lived, as all three metrics fell sharply again on Friday back to levels more typical of the past two weeks.

The state reported a single-digit increase in deaths, with 5 more bringing the state’s COVID-19 death toll to 6,399. That’s one-tenth of the number of deaths the state added to the toll on Thursday. Friday’s smaller number helped bring the 7-day average down to 19 deaths per day, close to Wednesday’s 18 deaths.

Deaths were added in Dane, Langlade, Milwaukee (2), Sauk and Washington counties. The death count was revised in Kenosha County.

The state received 5,498 results for people tested, or testing positive, for the coronavirus for the first time and found 656 more people infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. Compare those to 13,177 tests and 840 positive results reported Thursday. Those 5,498 positive tests were 11.93% of the test results, incredibly on target with the 7-day average positivity rate of 11.92% by that measure. However, the state now measures the positivity rate by the results of all testing -- including people tested multiple times -- and by that measure, the 7-day average positivity rate was down to 2.3%, continuing a steady decline over two months. The state is averaging 616 new coronavirus cases each day over the last 7 days, close to Wednesday’s average of 617 cases before Thursday’s outlier test results.

New cases were identified in 60 counties. Fifteen of them reported only 1 or 2 cases.


Wisconsin has launched a statewide map for people looking for COVID-19 vaccination appointments. The Wisconsin COVID-19 Vaccine Provider map will help residents connect with clinics in their area, according to the Department of Health Services.

CLICK HERE to use the map. Users will click on a location and find contact information for the clinic of their choice. It’s expected to be updated every two weeks.

Wisconsin saw an increase of 58,793 “shots in the arm” since Thursday’s report, a new daily record, and passed a milestone for vaccinations: More than half of adults 65 and older (51.3%) have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. So far, 18.7% of that population has completed their vaccine regimen. It’s been a little over a month since vaccination efforts for that age population started in earnest.

The state says almost 15% (14.9%) of all eligible residents have received at least one shot -- that’s 868,800 people. More than half of them have received their second and final dose -- or 443,026 people. These numbers are preliminary for a few days as vaccinators’ reports continue to come in.

Here’s a look at some local vaccination numbers:


CHIPPEWA CO. FIRST DOSE: 11,352 (17.6%) FULLY VACCINATED: 6,337 (9.8%)

LA CROSSE CO. FIRST DOSE: 22,299 (18.9%) FULLY VACCINATED: 12,150 (10.3%)

DUNN CO. FIRST DOSE: 5,418 (11.9%) FULLY VACCINATED: 2,474 (5.5%)

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 the COVID-19 virus. For more information about racial and ethnic disparities in the pandemic, CLICK HERE.

Earlier this week, state health officials said Wisconsin is on target to expand eligibility for the vaccine next Monday, March 1. The emphasis in that expanded group is educators and child care workers. However, the first priority is still vaccinating people 65 and older. Deputy Health Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk said Thursday, “We couldn’t take our whole vaccine supply and give it to educators, because we need to keep vaccine available for people who are 65 plus. So the plan is that we continue in that 70- to 80,000 dose level going out to our vaccinators to continue to vaccinate people 65 plus, and as they finish those groups move on to other eligible groups.”

  • Education and child care: Includes preschool to grade 12, higher education, community learning programs, and Boys & Girls Club and YMCA staff members
  • People enrolled in Medicaid long-term care programs, such as Family Care and IRIS
  • Some public-facing frontline workers, including public transit and people responsible for utility and communications infrastructure
  • 911 operators
  • Workers in the food supply chain: Farms; production plants; food retail, which includes supermarkets and convenience stores selling groceries; and hunger relief distribution
  • Congregate living: Residents and staff of domestic abuse and homeless shelters; housing for the elderly or people with disabilities; prisons and jails; mental health facilities; some employer-based housing
  • Non-frontline essential health care: Emergency management; cyber security; critical support roles such as cleaning, HVAC and refrigeration; critical supply chain, such as production and distribution of vaccine

This is not an all-inclusive list, and vaccinations will be dependent on local vaccine supply. Even with the increased allocation coming from the federal government next week, the DHS says 700,000 people fall into these groups and it will take about two months to vaccinate everyone who qualifies.


The DHS says 59 people were hospitalized for COVID-19 in the past 24-hour period, similar to Thursday’s 61 hospitalizations and still above average, even though the 7-day average fell from 57 to 54 hospitalizations. More than 26,000 people were hospitalized for COVID-19 treatment at some point, or 4.6% of all cases.

The Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) reported 331 people were hospitalized on Thursday, with 97 in ICU, due to COVID-19. It was the lowest number of COVID patients in hospitals at one time since September 13. We expect updated hospitalization figures later Friday afternoon.


In terms of hospital readiness, the WHA reported 283 ICU beds (19.3%) and 2,057 of all medical beds (18.4%) -- ICU, intermediate care, medical surgical and negative flow isolation beds -- are open in the state’s 134 hospitals.

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

  • Barron – 5,336 cases (+9) (76 deaths)
  • Buffalo – 1,316 cases (+1) (7 deaths)
  • Chippewa – 7,029 cases (+8) (92 deaths)
  • Clark – 3,154 cases (57 deaths)
  • Dunn – 4,253 cases (+3) (28 deaths)
  • Eau Claire – 10,987 cases (+10) (104 deaths)
  • Jackson - 2,574 cases (23 deaths) (cases revised -4 by state)
  • La Crosse – 12,192 cases (+22) (78 deaths)
  • Monroe – 4,307 cases (+4) (31 deaths)
  • Pepin – 806 cases (7 deaths)
  • Pierce – 3,464 cases (+6) (33 deaths)
  • Polk – 3,905 cases (+12) (44 deaths)
  • Rusk - 1,253 cases (+4) (16 deaths)
  • Sawyer - 1,510 cases (+4) (21 deaths)
  • St. Croix – 6,370 cases (+17) (43 deaths)
  • Taylor - 1,798 cases (+1) (21 deaths)
  • Trempealeau – 3,384 cases (+5) (36 deaths)
  • Vernon – 1,828 cases (+6) (36 deaths)
  • Washburn – 1,292 cases (+1) (18 deaths)
  • Wood – 6,686 cases (+4) (73 deaths)

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