COVID-19 cases continue to rise

Walworth County’s surge largely due to university

By Jason Arndt

Staff Writer

Officials with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services continues to see a surge in new confirmed COVID-19 cases after reporting more than 1,000 residents tested positive for the seventh consecutive day on Sept. 21.

Since Sept. 15, county health departments statewide have reported 12,542 total positive results, which comes to 12.2% of Wisconsin’s pandemic total dating back to Feb. 5 when the state first began testing.

As of Sept. 21, the state DHS dashboard indicated 102,498 of 1,440,125 Wisconsinites have tested positive for COVID-19 with a death toll of 1,244. Local health departments reported 34 fatalities from Sept. 15 to 21.

The average case number in the last seven days has been 1,792 cases per day.

The DHS dashboard also shows 16.4% of residents tested Sept. 15 to 21 have returned positive results, an increase from the 14% recorded a week earlier.

There are 14,414 active cases, or 14.1% of the cumulative total and 86,822 cases have recovered.

Wisconsin hospitals have admitted 6,692 residents for a rate of 6.5%, a drop from 7% a week earlier, but the decrease is primarily attributed to more confirmed cases as well as a younger population testing positive.

The DHS only counts a person once, regardless of how many times someone receives a test, according to its website.

Locally, of all the areas in Southern Lakes Newspapers’ region, Walworth County has seen a higher positivity rate compared to neighboring counties, which is largely attributed to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Campus leads surge

Walworth County Public Health, which reported 17.58% of residents tested positive the last 14 days, has reported 2,458 confirmed cases with 180 residents in isolation and another five hospitalized as of Monday.

The UW-Whitewater dashboard shows 129 students living on campus have tested positive since Sept. 13 and accounts for 333 total cases.

“Individuals who are working or attending solely in a remote manner and not living in University Housing are not included,” the university dashboard states.

The county’s dashboard shows 2,239 people have recovered while 30 died from COVID-19 and four additional people have died with COVID-19 listed as another significant health condition.

Deaths low in Jefferson

In Jefferson County, which includes Palmyra and a portion of Whitewater, the Health Department has reported 15.2% of all people tested within a seven-day span returned positive results.

While 847 of 856 have recovered in Jefferson County, according to the dashboard, health officials stated on Sept. 21 there are 171 active cases and six total deaths.

Waukesha below 10%

In Waukesha County, which includes Eagle and Mukwonago, the Public Health dashboard shows 725 of 6,657 residents who tested positive have an active case.

Although the county has the highest amount of active cases, Public Health officials said on Sept. 21 the percentage of positive cases dropped to 9.96%, the second-lowest rate among five counties in the Southern Lakes Newspapers’ region.

Waukesha County officials have seen 85 deaths since the pandemic began.

Locally, municipalities with at least five cases as of Sept. 21 are the Village of Mukwonago, 24; Town of Mukwonago, 11 and Town of Eagle, five.

The Public Health dashboard breaks down cases by school district and reveals that 12 students living in the Mukwonago School District have an active COVID-19 case, including nine in 15 to 18 year olds.

Kenosha reports cases at schools

The Kenosha County Division of Health confirmed last week three western Kenosha County schools have at least one confirmed case.

Health officials, who reported one case at both Westosha Central and Wilmot Union high schools, saw two Bristol School staff members and one student test positive.

Officials with the Division of Health and Bristol jointly decided to close school to in-person instruction for two weeks, allowing staff extra time to deep clean surfaces, according to statement from the district.

Kenosha County health officials reported a seven-day moving average of 11.9%.

There have been 3,301 confirmed cases in Kenosha County, the dashboard shows, indicating a 4% increase from last week. A total of 65 residents have died from COVID-19.

State DHS numbers on Sept. 21 shows 204 Kenosha County residents have an active case.

Racine holds steady

In Racine County, health officials reported 4,445 residents have tested positive, an increase of 250 from a week earlier.

But for the first time in at least a month, Racine County did not report a fatality between Sept. 15 and 21, maintaining the death toll of 84.

The seven-day percentage of positive tests in Racine County has held steady at around 5%.


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