Weekly COVID-19 vaccinations reach new high; daily vaccinations near record
MADISON, Wis. (WEAU, WBAY) - The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reports 31.1% of Wisconsin residents have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, including 18.5% of state residents who are completely vaccinated against the disease caused by the coronavirus.
Weekly COVID-19 vaccinations set a new record Thursday, with vaccinators administering an average 55,928 doses a day over the past 7 days by our calculations. In 109 days, they’ve administered almost 2.9 million doses (2,890,231). That’s an increase of 76,756 doses from Wednesday’s report, the second-highest one-day increase, behind an increase of 78,488 reported on March 26.
So far, 1,810,361 Wisconsin residents have had at least one vaccine shot, and 1,076,380 have had the complete regimen -- whether that’s two doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Importantly, 6 out of 10 senior adults, age 65 or older, have completed their vaccinations. This is the age group most susceptible to dying from COVID-19 or otherwise risking hospitalization for serious COVID-19 symptoms.
Percentages that received and completed their vaccinations so far, by age group:
- 16-17: 5.2% received/0.8% completed
- 18-24: 16.3% received/7.0% completed
- 25-34: 23.9% received/12.0% completed
- 35-44: 30.1% received/14.7% completed
- 45-54: 31.3% received/14.7% completed
- 55-64: 39.8% received/15.5% completed
- 65+: 75.7% received/60.0% completed
Wednesday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled the Evers administration exceeded its authorities with continual health emergencies during the COVID-19 pandemic, effectively striking down the statewide mask mandate (see related story). However, masks can still be required in municipalities that issued their own mask orders and in private businesses, including stores and restaurants (see related story).
Health officials says we can’t led our guard down yet against the coronavirus. Wearing masks -- which have to be over the nose -- maintain 6 feet from anyone who isn’t from your household, even visiting friends and relatives; and wash your hands more frequently or use sanitizer.
THURSDAY’S VACCINATION TOTALS
WISCONSIN ALLOCATED: 3,002,745 ADMINISTERED: 2,890,231
PFIZER: 1,523,758 MODERNA: 1,298,763 JOHNSON & JOHNSON: 67,572
FIRST DOSE: 1,810,361 (31.1%) FULLY VACCINATED: 1,076,380 (18.5%)
EAU CLAIRE CO. FIRST DOSE: 34,930 (33.4%) FULLY VACCINATED: 24,038 (23.0%)
CHIPPEWA CO. FIRST DOSE: 20,272 (31.4%) FULLY VACCINATED: 13,316 (20.6%)
LA CROSSE CO. FIRST DOSE: 42,683 (36.2%) FULLY VACCINATED: 26,166 (22.2%)
DUNN CO. FIRST DOSE: 11,212 (24.7%) FULLY VACCINATED: 7,106 (15.7%)
Effective April 5, everyone age 16 and older will be eligible for the vaccine regardless of health condition or where they work. Making more teens and young adults eligible for the vaccine could help against virus outbreaks we’ve seen in our area and nationwide blamed on people of high school and college age getting together without wearing a face mask over their nose or social distancing. While these age groups are less likely to suffer serious effects of the coronavirus developing into COVID-19, they can be asymptomatic and spread the disease to more vulnerable people.
CASES AND DEATHS
Wisconsin reported more than 500 new coronavirus cases for the third straight day, but new cases were below the 7-day average for the first time since Monday. The number of deaths fell back to a single digit.
Out of 4,609 results for people being tested for the first time or testing positive, the state had 517 positives, or 11.22% of the results. The remaining 4,092 tests were negative. Currently the state is averaging 468 new cases a day over the past week, a slight change from Wednesday’s average of 471. New cases were found in 50 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties.
But what’s become an important metric, adding in all test results, including people tested multiple times, the 7-day average positivity rate climbed to 2.9% Thursday, which is where it was on February 16 when that metric was on the decline to a low of 2.0%. That indicates infections in the state are increasing.
The state’s death toll increased by 3 to 6,625. The state added deaths in 9 counties but revised numbers in 5 others. The counties with new deaths reported were Brown, Dane, Dunn, Fond du Lac, Milwaukee, Monroe, Outagamie, Racine and Sheboygan.
Wisconsin’s 7-day average is 4 deaths per day. The death rate remained stable at 1.15%.
Forty people were hospitalized for COVID-19 in the past 24-hour period. That’s below the 7-day average of 46 hospitalizations per day.
For the first time in weeks, recovered cases declined as a percentage of all cases, from 97.7% to 97.6%.
Since February 5, 2020, the state reports:
- 3,314,178 people have been tested
- 577,712 confirmed coronavirus cases
- 27,638 hospitalizations (4.8% of all cases)
- 6,625 COVID-19 deaths (1.15%)
- 563,893 recoveries (97.6% of cases)
- 6,980 cases still active (1.2%)
County-by-county case and death totals will be updated later in this article.
According to the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA), there were 233 currently hospitalized COVID-19 patients in 136 hospitals across the state, including 59 in ICU, Wednesday. Changes in daily hospitalizations take discharges and deaths into account.
For hospital readiness, the WHA reports 252 ICU beds are available statewide. That’s 17.18% of the state’s ICU beds. Counting ICU, intermediate care, medical surgical and negative-flow isolation, there are 1,980 hospital beds open in the state (17.72%). These hospital beds are for all patients, not just COVID-19.
THURSDAY’S COUNTY CASE AND DEATH TOTALS (counties with new cases or deaths are indicated in bold) *
· Adams – 1,630 cases (+4) (10 deaths)
· Barron – 5,527 cases (+3) (76 deaths)
· Buffalo – 1,327 cases (7 deaths)
· Chippewa – 7,182 cases (cases revised -1 by state) (93 deaths)
· Clark – 3,168 cases (58 deaths)
· Crawford – 1,674 cases (cases revised -3 by state) (17 deaths)
· Dunn – 4,397 cases (+3) (31 deaths) (+1)
· Eau Claire – 11,256 cases (+9) (105 deaths)
· Jackson - 2,578 cases (cases revised -1 by state) (26 deaths)
· Juneau - 3,043 cases (+5) (21 deaths)
· La Crosse – 12,419 cases (+7) (80 deaths)
· Pepin – 816 cases (cases revised -1 by state) (7 deaths)
· Pierce – 3,627 cases (+6) (35 deaths)
· Polk – 4,024 cases (cases revised -5 by state) (43 deaths) (deaths revised -1 by state)
· Price – 1,179 cases (+4) (7 deaths)
· Rusk - 1,271 cases (cases revised -2 by state) (16 deaths)
· Sawyer - 1,573 cases (+2) (23 deaths)
· St. Croix – 6,803 cases (+28) (47 deaths)
· Taylor - 1,811 cases (+1) (23 deaths)
· Trempealeau – 3,460 cases (38 deaths)
· Vernon – 1,877 cases (+2) (38 deaths)
· Washburn – 1,355 cases (+1) (18 deaths)
* Cases and deaths are from the daily DHS COVID-19 reports, which may differ from local health department numbers. The DHS reports cases from all health departments within a county’s boundaries, including tribal, municipal and county health departments; county websites may not. Also, public health departments update their data at various times, whereas the DHS freezes the numbers it receives by the same time every day to compile the afternoon report.
CDC GUIDANCE ON GATHERINGS
The Centers for Disease Control have announced that fully vaccinated Americans can gather with other vaccinated people indoors without wearing a mask or social distancing.
The CDC’s recommendations also say vaccinated people can come together in the same way – in a single household -- with people considered at low-risk for severe disease, such as in the case of vaccinated grandparents visiting healthy children and grandchildren.
The CDC is continuing to recommend that fully vaccinated people still wear well-fitted masks, avoid large gatherings, and physically distance themselves from others when out in public. The CDC also advised vaccinated people to get tested if they develop symptoms that could be related to COVID-19.
COVID-19 TRACING APP
Wisconsin’s COVID-19 tracing app, “Wisconsin Exposure Notification,” is available for iOS and Android smartphones. No download is required for iPhones. The Android app is available on Google Play. When two phones with the app (and presumably their owners) are close enough, for long enough, they’ll anonymously share a random string of numbers via Bluetooth. If someone tests positive for the coronavirus, they’ll receive a code to type into the app. If your phones “pinged” each other in the last 14 days, you’ll receive a push notification that you are at risk of exposure. The app doesn’t collect personal information or location information, so you won’t know from whom or where, but you will be told what day the exposure might have occurred so that you can quarantine for the appropriate amount of time.
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