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COVID-19 Wisconsin Update #114 (7-24-20) 

Updated numbers from Friday July 24th, 2020

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services released the following updated numbers for Friday July 24th, 2020:

  • Cumulatively there have been 842,197 COVID-19 tests in Wisconsin;
    • 46,917 positive tests and 795,280 negative tests in Wisconsin (5.6 % positive rate for the pandemic)
      • On Friday there were 1,018 positive tests reported on 17,456 tests (5.8% positive rate Friday)
  • Deaths from COVID-19 are at 878 in Wisconsin.
      • There were 0 deaths reported on Friday
  • 36,333 patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are listed as having recovered (77%), 9,688 cases are still considered active (21%) and 878 patients have died (2%). (last updated by DHS on 7/24)


Sources: DHS COVID-19: County Data;

Week-in-Review (7/18-24/20):

Positive Test Results

There were 6,410 positive tests reported last week, which is up 656 (+656) from the previous week.  An average of 916 positive test results per day.

  • Milwaukee county had the highest number of new positive cases, with 2,174 new positives, 123 (+123) over the previous week.
  • Waukesha county came in with the second highest number of new cases, 752, which is 306 more (+306) than the previous week.
  • Rounding out the top five counties with the most positive new cases were;
    • Dane county- 367 new cases, (227) less than the previous week
    • Racine county- 320 new cases, +107 over the previous week
    • Kenosha county-310 new cases, +114 over the previous week


  • There were 45 COVID-19 related deaths, up 26 (+26) the week prior.
    • Milwaukee had 18 of the 45 deaths from the last week, which is 12 more (+12) than the number of deaths in the county reported the previous week.
    • Brown county had 4 deaths, 3 more than the prior week (+3)
    • Racine county had 3 deaths, 2 more than the prior week (+2)

  • There were 89,493 tests conducted over the past week (an average of 12,785 tests/day)
    • There were 6,953 more tests conducted this past week (+6,953) than the prior week.

Percent Positive Test Results:
  • On average, 7.2% of tests came back positive this week.




Mask Ordinances:

This list is constantly changing and we will effort to make sure it remains up to date and current. New additions will be bold & red.

Here are the communities with current community-wide mask ordinances:

Resolutions/Advisories in support of mask wearing:

Ordinances/Requirements for public/government buildings:

Mask ordinances actively being debated or considered:

  • Brown County (Committee passes motion to draft ordinance)
  • City of De Pere (Common Council will vote on Tuesday, July 28th)
  • City of Lake Geneva (Ordinance up for a vote on Monday July 27th)
  • City of Superior
  • City of Wauwatosa (on July 28th Council Agenda)
  • Walworth County
    • On July 22nd, the Walworth County Health and Human Services Committee will be meeting. There is a petition signed by 1,665 opposed to a mask ordinance that opponents say will be discussed at the meeting, however there is not a specific discussion related to masks on the agenda. In the board packet, Walworth County Public health says the following; “At this time, Public Health is supportive of the use of face coverings, especially when physical distancing is not possible, but is not proposing or exploring mask mandates.”
  • Washburn County
    • Considering a mandate

Mask ordinances that have failed to move forward:

Delay in reporting negative test results impacting positivity rates

During the media briefing with Governor Tony Evers on Thursday, Secretary-designee Andrea Palm responded to a reporter’s question regarding the timing discrepancy of the release of positive and negative test results and the impact that has on reporting the percent positive test results. Sec. Palm responded that in some jurisdictions, where there have been surges in the number of positive cases, because they prioritized the processing and reporting of positive cases, the number of negative results were not immediately processed and reported at the same time, and lagged two – three days. Secretary Palm suggested that the public should look to the seven-day average of the percentage of positive tests to get a better picture of the virus spread in Wisconsin because it evens out the noise of the daily reporting.

State Senate Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) however raised concerns about how the incomplete/inaccurate information is driving decisions in communities about opening and closing businesses and released a press release and did several media opportunities today calling on DHS to acknowledge the backlog and the impact that has had on the numbers being reported;

“The public and media have been given an incomplete picture of Covid-19 testing results for several weeks. DHS and local public health officials have been telling us that the increases in Covid-19 positives are not simply because of more testing. We now know those statements were inaccurate and misleading due to the significant backlog in processing negative results,” Nass said.

Nass noted that when DHS provides its daily Covid-19 briefing, the public and media are given the impression that testing data is timely and accurate. He emphasized that the backlog in entering negative results dramatically skews the percentage positive calculations (this includes the daily percentage, the 7-day percentage and the 14-day rolling average) used in determining if we are identifying more cases due to increased testing or are in a period of increasing spread of infections for other reasons.

Public Health of Madison and Dane County updated on Twitter the changes they have made to their reporting and the impact it has had on their percent positive for the last 7-days, which is now 2.1%.


Link to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Story

Link to MacIver Report story

No Updated Hospitalization Data

There are still no hospitalization updates because the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) is updating their dashboard to accommodate federal data collection changes.

See below.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel also reported on the WHA not publishing new data on hospitalizations and ICU patients since Tuesday.  They shared a response from the WHA;

“The reporting changes were requested and occurred in a very short time frame — less than a week,” Mark Grapentine, spokesman for the Wisconsin Hospital Association, said in an email.

All of the state’s hospitals had been reporting data to the state Department of Health Services in order to track capacity but the federal health agency now is requesting additional and different data that hospitals and health systems are still developing processes to collect, Grapentine said.

He said he anticipated the WHA dashboard will show updated numbers in a day or two.

Updated Charts

Daily Numbers:


Cumulative Numbers:










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