New COVID-19 cases 2.5 times higher than just two weeks ago

Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 2:46 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Four days of record breaking new COVID-19 cases combined with nearly 10,000 more confirmed cases over the weekend sent the seven-day rolling average for Wisconsin over the 9,000-mark for the first time in state history.

The Dept. of Health Services pointed out that average, which helps smooth the day-to-day volatility of case counts, now stands two-and-a-half times higher than it was just two weeks ago, when that figure was still below 4,000 cases per day.

The agency’s latest figures now put that average at 9,063 cases per day over the preceding week. The latest rise comes after the state reported Monday that there 9,493 new confirmed cases combined reported during the preceding two days, which typically have far fewer cases counted than weekdays.

New confirmed COVID-19 cases by date confirmed, and 7-day average, on Jan. 10, 2022.
New confirmed COVID-19 cases by date confirmed, and 7-day average, on Jan. 10, 2022.(Dept of Health Services)

Just ten days into 2022, Wisconsin has already reported more than 80,000 confirmed cases. In all, 1,075,971 cases have been reported since the pandemic began.

1 in 4 Tests are Positive

For every four people who get tested for COVID-19 right now, at least one of them will have contracted the virus, DHS’ latest numbers show. According to its report, 27 percent of tests are coming back positive.

More than 2,100 COVID-19 patients currently populate Wisconsin hospital. That’s nearly 400 more than last week. Statewide, fewer than five percent of ICU beds and just over three percent of intermediate beds are immediately available. South-central Wisconsin is faring slightly better – but still not well, at all – with 7.6 percent of ICU beds available and 6.4 percent of intermediate care beds open.

Nevertheless, Dane Co. hospitals have been sounding the alarm about their situation. All three area hospitals reported running out of beds and hitting their capacity. UnityPoint Meriter Chief Medical Officer Pam Wetzel added that health care workers are exhausted as hospital work at a redline pace.

When releasing the latest daily figures, the agency echoed its ongoing plea for people to help stop the spread of coronavirus by getting vaccinated or a booster, when eligible. Health officials have also started recommending some people get a second booster shot.

Twenty-eight more deaths were reported Monday by state health officials, putting the seven-day rolling average for deaths at 26 per day over the preceding week. That number does not include any deaths that happened more than a month ago, yet were not reported until the past week.

While cases are seeing record numbers in Wisconsin and hospitalizations in Dane Co. hit its own high for hospitalizations on Monday, the daily death toll still lags the highs set in Dec. 2020 when they were just over twice as high as current levels, peaking at 57 deaths per day. However, deaths can be a lagging indicator. While the peak seven-day average for cases prior to this current surge occurred on Nov. 17 at just under 6,500 cases per day, the highest death totals were not recorded until approximately three weeks later on Dec. 6, 2020.

According to DHS statistics, 10,334 Wisconsinites have died from COVID-19 or complications related to the virus.

Vaccinations rise, slightly

In the face of skyrocketing cases, the number of people receiving the COVID-19 vaccine did tick up over the past couple weeks, topping 40,000 doses for the first time since the first week of December. The number of doses distributed was still higher than all but five weeks, most of which were around the holidays, since the beginning of October.

DHS reports 62.5 percent of Wisconsinites have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 58.5 have completed their series and waited the subsequent two weeks.

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