The Department of Health Services reported 1,550 positive cases of COVID-19 in the state of Wisconsin on Wednesday afternoon. That number is up from Tuesday’s total of 1,351 positive cases. Twenty-six percent of those positive cases have required hospitalization. A total of 18,819 negative tests were reported on Wednesday, up from 17,375 on Tuesday.
Related deaths were 24, up from 16 on Tuesday.
The current state numbers include 780 positive cases and 11 deaths in Milwaukee County. A website independently maintained by Milwaukee County reports 833 positive cases and 16 deaths. Six-hundred-fifty-six cases reported by the county are in the City of Milwaukee, and continue to be clustered on the north and northwest side, affecting the city’s African American community. Gov. Evers has called this a “crisis within a crisis.”
Discrepancies between state and county numbers aside, the reports paint a highly inaccurate picture of the COVID-19 crisis in Wisconsin. “Due to the nature of COVID-19 community spread and testing, the number of positive cases is likely much higher than that listed as a result of unreported or untested cases in our community,” states the Milwaukee County site.
“All data are laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 that we freeze once a day to verify and ensure that we are reporting accurate information,” reads the state website. “These numbers are the official state numbers, though counties may report their own totals independent of DHS. Combining the DHS and local totals may result in inaccurate totals. The number of people with negative test results now reflects only Wisconsin residents and excludes duplicate lab results.”
April is projected to be the deadliest month for COVID-19 in Wisconsin. According to a study from the University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, deaths will rise from five per day on April 1, to 25 per day on April 27. Hospital resource use is also expected to peak in late April. By June 1, the study predicts more than 900 total deaths in the state.
The study “assumes continued social distancing until the end of May 2020.” Numbers begin to drop beginning in May, reaching zero predicted deaths per day in early June.
In Milwaukee, a Super 8 hotel near Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport has been “converted to a 110-room isolation facility for those experiencing mild symptoms from COVID-19.” On Monday, the Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee “started sheltering homeless Milwaukee area residents […] to treat and isolate them during the COVID-19 pandemic.” Advocate Aurora Health, meanwhile, “is setting up COVID-19 triage tents outside its emergency departments.”