Wisconsin’s coronavirus numbers have continued to climb, and state officials warn that all 72 counties are at ‘very high’ covid-activity levels.
Locally, officials say Dane County is also seeing an increase in the number of cases, with a seven day average of more than 300 additional cases per day.
Yesterday, Secretary Designee Andrea Palm of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services said that hospitals across the state were reporting staffing strain and that they were at peak census for accepting patients.
“This means that hospitals are at or near capacity, and that their options are limited when it comes to the need for more beds and for admissions,” Palm says.
Over 1,700 people in the state are currently hospitalized with Covid-19. Wisconsin’s seven day average of new infections has climbed to 4,839 per day, in comparison to just 2,400 a month ago, and just 767 two months ago.
“That’s an increase of 531% in just eight weeks,” Palm says.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, another 38 additional deaths were reported today, bringing Wisconsin’s death toll to 2,194.
Dane County is experiencing a similar increase in cases. According to Public Health Madison and Dane County Director Janel Heinrich, Dane County’s 14-day average infection rate is 281.6 per day, up from last week’s 217.6.
“We are seeing substantial, sustained growth in new covid-19 infections throughout Dane County,” Heinrich says.
134 people are currently hospitalized with the virus in Dane County.
Although Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway says Madison’s Halloween was relatively quiet, at least 13 campus residences violated public health orders limiting indoor gatherings. Today, Mayor Rhodes-Conway heavily criticized one especially egregious violation, in which allegedly 91 people were gathered in one apartment.
“Which is just completely and totally unsafe and unacceptable,” Mayor Rhodes-Conway says.
The students may face fines for violating a health order and emergency suspensions from UW-Madison.
That comes as the UW system has announced it will begin providing rapid testing on campuses statewide, for both students and community members. One surge testing site has already been opened on the UW La-Crosse campus.