Dane County amends COVID hospitalization numbers after data input error

Photos: A Look Inside A Modern Covid 19 ‘field Hospital’
David Goldman

UPDATE: Public Health Madison & Dane County says the number of hospitalizations reported Wednesday was incorrect, due to a data input error from one of the health care systems in the county. They have since deleted their social media posts saying they reached a record low number of hospitalizations during the pandemic. At a press briefing Thursday, PHMDC officials said there are currently 25 people hospitalized due to COVID-19.

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MADISON, Wis. — In a sign the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic may be behind us, public health officials in Dane County say a record low number of people are in the hospital as a result of the disease.

Public Health Madison & Dane County says as of 5 p.m. Tuesday, only 12 people in the county were hospitalized with COVID-19, and only three people were in intensive care.

That’s down significantly from two months ago, when 77 people in Dane County were in the hospital with COVID-19. A month before that, on December 23, the number was 148 people.

A significant factor in this drop has been vaccination efforts, according to Katarina Grande from PHMDC. As of Wednesday, 87.5% of those 65+ in Dane County have gotten at least one dose.

It brings so much energy to our public health team, our friends and families and everyone that we encounter,” Grande said. It’s a joy that we’ll be able to share. I love talking about good numbers.”

Dr. Jeff Pothof, Chief Quality Officer at UW Health says the drop in hospitalizations has taken pressure off of the staff there.

Compared to where we were when we were really being crushed with the amount of COVID patients that we were seeing, morale is quite a bit better. Things are better,” he said. “It’s not that we don’t have COVID patients – we still have them. We’re treating them. So aren’t so sick, some are very sick. For the most part, it’s been fairly manageable in the footprint that we have designed to take care of people.”

The numbers were part of an update to the county’s COVID-19 dashboard, which now shows that 31.4% of people in Dane County have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

PHMDC data shows nearly 1 in 5 people in the county — 19.1% — are now fully vaccinated.