Positive percentage of new COVID-19 tests jumps to nearly 13% as Wisconsin sees largest single-day case count to date

COVID-19 virus
This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow)—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (blue/pink) cultured in the lab.

MADISON, Wis. — The positive percentage of new COVID-19 tests in Wisconsin has climbed by nearly 5 percentage points Friday, according to the state Department of Health Services.

Out of the 11,702 tested in the past day, DHS officials said 12.8% of those results came back positive. With the highest positive percentage in weeks, the seven-day average has now gone above 9%.

State and county health officials recorded 1,311 new cases, an increase of more than 400 compared to Thursday and the highest single-day case count to date.

DHS officials attributed Friday’s large case count to “problems with the laboratory test reporting that have now been fixed.” An update from the agency’s Twitter page reminded the public to view the seven-day case average for a more complete look at how the state is doing during the pandemic.

A lifetime total of 79,431* cases have been confirmed, and 10% of those remain active.

At least 1,158 in Wisconsin have died due to the virus, with nine more deaths confirmed Friday. DHS officials said an additional 52 were hospitalized, but there are nearly 2,300 hospital beds still available throughout the state.

Covid Chart

DHS has since launched a new dashboard tracking the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases by age group, which shows people ages 18-34 as having the most confirmed cases and higher rates of illness out of any age group.

“We encourage everyone, regardless of age but particularly for those younger Wisconsinites, to be safe should they choose to spend time with people outside of their homes,” DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm said in a statement.

The new dashboard comes after the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Public Health Madison & Dane County announced a mandatory 14-day quarantine for members of nine UW-Madison fraternities and sororities who live in off-campus chapter houses. The nine chapters have about 420 members, with 38 of those members having tested positive for the virus since UW-Madison’s first day of in-person classes Wednesday.

Despite this, public health officials in Dane County said that data from the latest 14-day time period reveals 75% of new cases were not UW-Madison students or faculty.

“COVID doesn’t exist in a bubble,” the post said. “It’s on campus, and it’s also in the rest of our county and state. Our actions add up. We all have the responsibility to slow down the virus.”

You may have seen news about us taking action to address a spike in COVID cases on the UW campus. While this is a…

Posted by Public Health Madison & Dane County on Friday, September 4, 2020

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9 04 20 230pm Update Wi Covid 19 Cases Map

*News 3 Now uses data from DHS and county dashboards to calculate daily cases and deaths. DHS posts new numbers daily at 2 p.m., and our newsroom continues to update our totals throughout the day with additional cases that individual counties report. By using a combination of state and county data, News 3 Now is dedicated to providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date COVID-19 coverage.