DHS: Over a dozen counties have very high COVID-19 transmission

All of Wisconsin has high or very high COVID-19 transmission.
All of Wisconsin has high or very high COVID-19 transmission.(WEAU)
Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 3:49 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WEAU, WBAY, WMTV) - The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is reporting that the seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin is at 1,223 as of Thursday.

The DHS says the new seven-day average is a slight increase from 1,218 on Tuesday. According to the DHS, the increasing number of cases over the past few weeks can be attributed to the spread of the delta variant of COVID-19, a more transmissible form of COVID-19. The seven-day average for COVID-19 cases is as high as it’s been statewide since February, while the percent-positive of tests is at 6.9%, which is similar to numbers last seen in January. Over 90% of the state is at substantial or high community transmission of COVID-19.

On Thursday, the DHS provided new data displays showing the differences in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths between vaccinated and unvaccinated people. The monthly dashboard shows that unvaccinated people are three times as likely to catch COVID-19. You can view the new dashboard on the DHS website.


53.6% of the state’s population has received one dose of vaccine and 50.4% are fully-vaccinated. For people age 18 and older, 64.5% of the adult population received at least one dose of the vaccine and 60.9% of adults are fully-vaccinated.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services says this year through July 22, over 98% of COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin were people who were not fully-vaccinated.

Eau Claire, La Crosse and Trempealeau counties have had over half of their populations complete the vaccination series, beating the state percentage.


The seven-day average for new confirmed COVID-19 cases is 1,223 as of Thursday. The total confirmed COVID-19 deaths is 7,503 in Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene reports the delta variant accounts for 90% of samples tested in the last week testing data was available for, up from 83% the previous week and 75% the week before that. The delta variant is known to be more contagious than the original COVID-19 virus and is more likely to result in severe symptoms, particularly among the unvaccinated.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services updated its COVID-19 case activity dashboard Wednesday, showing that every county in Wisconsin is now experiencing at least high COVID-19 activity. According to the DHS, 60 counties in the state meet the criteria for high case activity. 12 counties, including Eau Claire, Chippewa, and Trempealeau, are at very high case activity.

Case activity levels are determined by a combination of case trajectory and case burden (the number of confirmed cases per 100,000 people). The CDC uses slightly different criteria for its own COVID-19 data tracker, which shows most of Wisconsin at substantial or high COVID-19 transmission rates. At these levels, the CDC recommends everyone wear masks indoors in public areas, regardless of vaccination status.


On Monday, the Wisconsin Hospital Association reported 712 COVID-19 patients in Wisconsin hospitals and 222 COVID-19 patients in the ICU. Wisconsin had 82 ICU beds immediately available.

The seven-day average of COVID-19 patients in Wisconsin is at 112, while the average for ICU patients in Wisconsin due to COVID-19 is 44.


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