MILWAUKEE -- Officials with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services on Monday, April 13 reported the slowest one-day increase in the number of positive cases of the coronavirus since March, and noted Governor Tony Evers' "Safer at Home" order, which took effect March 25, is working. They asked that everyone please continue to abide by the guidelines to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
DHS officials on Tuesday, April 14 reported a total of 3,555 positive cases of COVID-19 in the state. Of those, 1,049 (30%) have required hospitalization. There have been 170 deaths in the state, and 37,997 people have tested negative.
The Milwaukee County coronavirus dashboard showed 1,865 positive cases of COVID-19 in the county as of Tuesday afternoon, and 91 deaths.
Additional cases and deaths reported by health officials Tuesday brought the state total to 3,655 positive cases and 176 deaths. The state data is as of 9 p.m. the night before.
DHS officials in a news release Tuesday said people across the state have risen to the challenge of COVID-19 by changing the way they work, play and interact with friends and family. By staying Safer at Home, practicing physical distancing, and continuing to wash hands and cover coughs, Wisconsinites are making a difference and beginning to flatten the curve.
According to the model created by DHS, Wisconsin was projected to have 22,000 infections by April 8, which would have ultimately resulted in somewhere between 440 and 1,500 deaths. These numbers were based on projected significant exponential growth in positive cases; however, since the Safer at Home order, there has been a decrease in exponential growth in the number of cases.
DHS officials noted Wisconsin’s rate of doubling of infections was 3.4 days in early March and, over the past two weeks, the rate of doubling is now approximately 12 days.
“Without effective treatments or a vaccine, the only way to slow the spread of COVID-19 is through non-pharmaceutical interventions that help us maintain physical distancing,” said Chief Medical Officer and State Epidemiologist Dr. Ryan Westergaard in the release. “The Safer at Home order has been our main intervention in Wisconsin, and we are beginning to see the results.”
“Limiting physical contact between people is our only tool at slowing the spread of this virus,” explained DHS Secretary-Designee Andrea Palm in the release. “We will continue to work through our statewide response to develop capacity to implement effective containment strategies across the state. These are critical next steps to prevent a future surge of cases.”
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About COVID-19 (from the CDC)
Symptoms: Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure (based on the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses).