| Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Wisconsin on Thursday for the first time ever reported more than 3,000 new coronavirus cases and more than 900 people hospitalized due to the virus, the latest markers of the state’s spiraling health crisis.
The state Department of Health Services reported 3,132 new cases — more than 200 cases higher than the previous all-time high, logged on Oct. 3.
The state also reported 13,524 negative tests and nine deaths, bringing the death toll to 1,424.
The average daily case count over the last seven days was 2,381. That number is nearly three times the average daily count of 841 reported one month ago on Sept. 8.
The first day the state crested 2,000 cases was Sept. 17, and three weeks later it has topped 3,000.
The number of people hospitalized due to the virus in Wisconsin has tripled in the last month. The state reported 907 coronavirus patients in hospitals Thursday, including 228 people in ICUs.
Just Tuesday the state passed 800 patients, and on Thursday passed 900. On Sept. 8, one month ago, there were 297 coronavirus patients in the state.
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Surge continues to overwhelm northeast, central Wisconsin hospitals
Northeast and central Wisconsin continued to drive much of the surge in cases. As has been the case several times in recent days, the Oshkosh-Neenah metro area topped the New York Times’ ranking of worst outbreaks in the country.
The ranking looks at average daily case counts over the last two weeks on a population-adjusted basis. Also in the top five were the Appleton and Green Bay metro areas.
The metro areas of Marinette, Manitowoc, Sheboygan, Platteville and Fond du Lac are also in the country’s top 20 worst outbreaks.
Sheboygan ranked as metro area in the country with the fastest-rising case counts, week over week, on a population-adjusted basis.
Hospitals in Green Bay, the Fox Valley and central Wisconsin continue to be overwhelmed with coronavirus patients. Many report being at or near capacity.
Aspirus Wausau Hospital is opening an additional COVID-19 unit to accommodate the recent influx of infected patients needing care in the region, while Marshfield Clinic is moving coronavirus patients to other areas of the hospital with open bed space.
And Bellin Health in the Green Bay area is opening a larger respiratory clinic to treat patients experiencing coronavirus or flu symptoms.
In Milwaukee County, where case counts have been inching upward in recent weeks, health officials warn the area is on the cusp of a “third peak” after seeing declining cases in August.
Hospitalizations have more than doubled in the last three weeks in the county, according to Ben Weston, director of medical services for the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management. The 167 coronavirus patients in the county is the highest number in four months.
“We’re back to the flatten-the-curve concept that we talked about in the spring,” Weston said Thursday in a news conference.
More than 1.6 million people have been tested statewide for the virus. Of the 141,830 Wisconsinites who have tested positive:
- 80.1%, or 113,596, have “recovered” by DHS standards, meaning there is documented proof their symptoms have resolved or it’s been 30 days since their diagnosis.
- 18.93%, or 26,774, are considered “active,” meaning they aren’t recovered and haven’t died.
Benita Mathew and Melissa Siegler of the USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin and Andrew Mollica of the Journal Sentinel contributed to this report.