The Department of Health Services reported 1,730 positive cases of COVID-19 in the state of Wisconsin on Thursday afternoon. That number is up from Wednesday’s total of 1,550 positive cases. Twenty-seven percent of the 1,730 positive cases have required hospitalization. A total of 20,317 negative tests were reported on Thursday, up from 18,819 on Wednesday.
Related deaths were 31, up from 24 on Wednesday.
The current state numbers include 869 positive cases and 16 deaths in Milwaukee County. A website independently maintained by Milwaukee County reports 918 positive cases and 18 deaths. Seven-hundred-twenty-two 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.”
Meanwhile, virologists at UW–Madison have joined with vaccine companies FluGen and Bharat Biotech to begin development and testing of a COVID-19 vaccine. “CoroFlu builds on the backbone of FluGen’s flu vaccine candidate known as M2SR, a version of the influenza virus that induces an immune response against the flu without making people sick,” reads a press release. “Gene sequences from the novel coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19 will be inserted into M2SR so the new vaccine also induces immunity against the coronavirus.”
The full press release can be found HERE.
Also on Thursday, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine unveiled a “possible candidate” COVID-19 vaccine.
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.