Dane County’s average COVID cases per day drops again, low level of community spread

Coronavirus COVID-19

MADISON, Wis. — Dane County health officials say the two-week average of COVID-19 cases continues to fall as they keep an eye on the numbers following the expiration of the indoor mask mandate.

In its latest data snapshot, Public Health Madison & Dane County says they saw an average of 120 new COVID-19 cases per day in the last two weeks, down significantly from the 215 cases per day the county was averaging last week. The week before that, the county’s 14-day average sat at 359 cases per day.

Only about 5 percent of tests came back as positive in the last two weeks, as the Omicron variant seems to be fading in the area.

Those numbers are contributing to the CDC now rating Dane County as having a low level of community spread.

The CDC recently updated its community-level metrics to rate counties as having either low, medium or high levels based on three metrics: COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 people in the last 7 days, the percent of staffed inpatient hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, and total new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the past 7 days.

At Dane County’s “low” level, the CDC recommends people stay up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccines and get tested if they have symptoms. At communities at the “medium” level, those who are considered high-risk for severe illness should talk to their doctors about whether they need to wear a mask, and everyone should stay up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccines and get tested if they have symptoms.

Only at the “high” level does the CDC recommend everyone wear a mask indoors in public.

The CDC says it will update those community numbers and ratings weekly, and PHMDC says it is working to incorporate that rating into its own COVID-19 dashboards showing the latest data.