The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) added a “critically high” category to the Disease Activity Dashboard to give Wisconsinites a better picture of the impact of COVID-19 in our state amidst a surge in activity. This new category indicates how alarming COVID-19 activity is in counties and regions throughout Wisconsin. The “critically high” category is nearly three times higher than “very high.” Both the state and 65 counties are at this “critically high” level today.
New testing data, now available at the county level, also provides further insights about the COVID-19 infections in communities. Looking at percent positive by test, which counts people each time they are tested, is an important way to understand how prevalent the COVID-19 virus is in each jurisdiction (or county). The updated dashboard also includes the number of daily tests administered by region and county, as well as the 7-day average tests administered and test positivity.
“Far too many of our communities are in a dire situation,” said DHS Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk. “To put these new data in perspective, Wisconsin is now seeing more average cases per day than New York City did at the peak of its surge last spring. Because of these critically high levels of disease, public health can no longer adequately contact trace, hospital beds are filled with patients with COVID-19, and too many Wisconsin families are losing loved ones to this virus. By helping people see the critically high level of disease in their counties and regions, we hope these data enhancements will help people make important decisions to stay home in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.”