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COVID-19 Wisconsin Update #156 (9-21-20 PM)

Updated numbers from Monday September 21st, 2020

  • 433 Current Hospital Admissions (131 patients in ICU)
    • Hospital admissions are up 26 (+26) since Sunday.
    • The total number of ICU patients reported increased by 20, (+20) since Sunday.
  • Cumulatively there have been 1,440,125 COVID-19 tests in Wisconsin;
    • 102,498 positive tests and 1,337,627 negative tests in Wisconsin (7.1% positive rate for the pandemic)
      • On Monday there were 1,271 positive tests reported on 6,796 tests (18.7% positive rate Monday)
        • The 7-day average for positive tests is now 1,792/day
  • Deaths from COVID-19 are at 1,244 in Wisconsin.
    • On Monday there were 2 deaths reported
  • 86,822 patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are listed as having recovered (84.7%), 14,414 cases are still considered active (14.1%) and 1,244 patients have died (1.2%). (last updated by DHS on 9/21)

 

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Dane County Exec Renews Call for UW Campus to go virtual

On Sunday, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi renewed his call on the UW-Madison campus to take action immediately to help slow the spread of Covid-19.

“Today, as our state surpasses the 100,000 case mark, we find ourselves in the midst of an unprecedented surge in Covid-19 cases fueled largely by the University System’s decision to return to in-person classes.

“This decision has greatly impacted our community and others, and has now catapulted Wisconsin into the top three states in the nation for increases in the rate of infection.

“Last week, UW System President Thompson attributed the rise in cases to an increase in testing. A closer look at the facts, however, paints a much different picture.

“In the first two weeks of September, 24,790 people were tested for Covid-19 in Dane County. That compares to 32,588 tests done in the two weeks prior. That means there was a 24% DECLINE in the overall number of tests administered over the past two weeks while the total number of positive cases increased dramatically, bringing the rate of positivity from 125 per 100,000 residents to 425 per 100,000.

“Additionally, a review of counties with the highest rates of infection shows a close correlation between positive test data and the presence of a UW System school.

“We have an incredible state University system with a rich progressive tradition, but nothing that is happening now exemplifies what we have come to know as the Wisconsin Idea,” Parisi said. “This implicit acceptance that some people are just going to get sick – some seriously – spread this to friends and families, and people will experience long term cardiac illness, is entirely unacceptable when individuals have the ability to make decisions right now to prevent this from continuing. The time to act is now.”

“The data tells the real story of what’s happening – Covid-19 is here, it’s spreading, and barring a major course correction this region and state are in store for countless tales of unnecessary human suffering,” Parisi said. “We have families right now unable to visit sick loved ones in the hospital because of this high prevalence of Covid-19. The data and the science are crystal clear; Wisconsin has a very real Covid-19 problem,” Parisi concluded.

Link to release

Chancellor Blank to County Executive: Partner with us in enforcing safe behavior off-campus

Chancellor Blank released the following statement in response to County Executive Parisi;

UW–Madison shares a common goal with the City of Madison, Dane County and Public Health Madison & Dane County of reducing COVID-19 infections in our community. The best way to accomplish this goal is not by issuing press releases calling for students to leave, but to partner in developing collaborative solutions for the benefit of all residents.

In recent weeks, UW–Madison has taken a strong series of steps to control infections among students, including quarantining our two largest residence halls and implementing two weeks of remote instruction. As a result, our infection numbers have fallen substantially in the past week.

We have run more than 36,000 tests since August and are testing our campus population at a far higher proportion than the Dane County community at large. We also plan to take all appropriate steps to ensure that Badger football does not create a negative impact.

In short, we are working hard to control the areas under our jurisdiction and are cautiously optimistic that we’re making progress.

But you don’t need to look hard on social media to find a photo of long lines outside downtown bars or parties in large apartment buildings, or other places where 18- to 24-year-olds are gathering. This comes despite our efforts to educate and enforce our health protocols through the hundreds of hours UW­–Madison staff have spent visiting off campus spaces and discouraging large gatherings, and the hundreds of student misconduct investigations for actions on campus and off.

We know these gatherings can lead to the spread of COVID-19 but UW–Madison does not have jurisdiction to shut down gatherings in off campus areas.  Until those agencies with enforcement authority take additional action, we shouldn’t expect to see a rapid decline in cases in Dane County.

We call on the County Executive’s Office to step forward and become a partner in promoting and enforcing safe behavior in off-campus spaces.

Students are an important part of the Madison community. You can’t simply wish them away, nor should you. This is where students live, where they work, where they vote and their presence supports hundreds of local businesses and the Dane County economy.

As we’ve said repeatedly, the university could close its residence halls and move to all online instruction and there will still be tens of thousands of students who would opt to honor their apartment leases and stay in Madison, as they did this past spring. It’s wishful thinking to suggest otherwise.

It’s long past time to stop arguing. We’d welcome a conversation on how we can work together to help our community.

Link to statement

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