By Stephanie Díaz de León

This story also appeared in Madison365

Public Health of Madison and Dane County reported a net increase of 51 new COVID cases this morning. Though lower than the past few days late last week and yesterday, cases overall have grown by 54.1 percent in the past two weeks. Today’s update brings the county’s cumulative total to 42,897.

There is currently no information if any of these cases are related to a specific outbreak or if they are identified as a variant of COVID-19.

Statewide, according to WI Department of Health Services on late Wednesday afternoon, out of 9,322 positive cases sequenced as of April 8th:

  • 148 cases are Variant B.1.1.7 (U.K. variant)
  • 15 are Variant B.1.351 (South Africa variant)
  • 216 are Variant B.1.427/B.1.429 (California variant)
  • 4 are Variant P.1 (Brazil variant)

In the south central region, which includes Dane County, 3,994 cases were sequenced with one percent of those variant B.1.1.7 and 1.8 percent B.1.427/B.1.429.

PHMDC’s new data snapshot, released late Thursday afternoon,  looked at cases between March 22 through April 4, revealed that cases in UW staff and students accounted for 11 percent of all new cases during that time. When UW is removed from the overall data, including testing, Dane County’s percentage of positive was at 2.5 percent. With them, the county averaged .9 percent for those two weeks. Another important note revealed in yesterday’s snapshot:  cases in those 16 and younger have increased over 16.5 percent in the last month.

In general, between March 22 through April 4, cases have increased daily as our current infection rate grew to 1.14.  Among clusters during those dates: there have been 4 unique clusters in childcare facilities and 4 in schools. No additional identifying information about the specific schools or childcare facilites were given. However, there were also 4 clusters among sports with 9 of those cases linked to youth volleyball teams and multiple gatherings among those under 16 during school breaks that caused an outbreak.

For the past seven days, average of daily cases per 100,000 residents has increased to 15.2 cases per 100,000 from yesterday’s reported 14.3 cases per 100,000 residents. Active cases remains at two percent and now has grown to 928 from 899.

The total number of deaths from COVID-19 for Dane County remained this morning at 290.

As reported on April 9, UW is averaging 4,647.7 tests a day for the past seven days for on-campus testing while cases have increased by 52.2 percent the past 7 days to an average of 10 cases per day. The positivity rate for on campus testing for staff and students has remained at 0.2 percent for the past seven days.

As of April 8, 17,006 UW students and employees have received at least one dose (from both off and on campus vaccinations).

Dane County’s 14-day positive test rate as of April 8 has grown from 1.0 to 1.1 while the seven-day rate has grown from 1.2 to 1.3. These rates do not include preliminary data from the past four days as that data continues to adjust as more tests are attributed.

There are 22 people in area hospitals due to COVID-19 – a decrease of 2 from yesterday’s reported 24.  These numbers includes those who live in and outside of Dane County. Of the 22 people reported in the hospital for COVID-19, 5 people are in the ICU. For Dane County residents, the number of people ever hospitalized for COVID-19 has grown to 1,338.

More comprehensive data for vaccinations is updated every day for Dane County by only core measures. Data break down by race, ethnicity, and age except those older than 65 have been removed. The current data listed is retrieved from the Wisconsin Immunization Registry for all adults and children within the state. The release and the information on the dashboard does warn that some of this information may be incorrect or incomplete as the data is not updated as soon as someone is vaccinated or double-checked as consistently as other data gathered. Break down on further information about vaccinations from the county is derived from DHS COVID-19 Vaccine data page by Madison365.org.

As of this morning at least 267,535 people – or 48.9 percent of all eligible Dane County residents – have received at least one dose while 31.5 percent or 172,356 have completed both doses. Of those who have received at least one dose, 91.1 percent are 65 and older. Vaccination data is broken down between those who are 16 – 65+. No data for children is available as the vaccinations have not yet been approved for those under 15.

From all those who have received at least one dose of the vaccine, disparities amongst our communities of color continue. As of this afternoon based on race, those who are Asian now make up over 4.42 percent of those who have received at one least one shot of a vaccination while accounting for 7 percent of the Dane County population. For Black people, who make up 6 percent of the population in the county,  only make up 2.49 percent of the vaccinations. Those who are Native American/Alaskan Native remained at .59 percent as they make up .5 percent of the population. When broken down by ethnicity, Hispanic/Latinx people in our county make up 7 percent of the population but only 3.61 percent of those who have received at least one shot of a vaccine.

Madison365 has updated our weekly map of COVID-19 cases in the county by census tract.

We will have an update later this afternoon for statewide numbers.