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Positive test rate drops to lowest level yet; 5 of 6 “Badger Bounce Back” criteria met, for now


The percentage of coronavirus tests that came back positive in the past 24 hours fell to its lowest level yet — four percent — giving the average over the past 14 days enough downward trajectory to begin opening the state, if other measures also improve.

However, Milwaukee County reported an additional 100 new cases after the state posted the positive test rate, which could increase the case rate that’s reported tomorrow.

Governor Tony Evers’ “Badger Bounce Back” plan requires a 14-day decline in that measure, along with other indicators, before more businesses are allowed to open and groups can begin to gather. The number of people presenting at hospitals with flu and covid-like symptoms has not show an adequate decrease, nor has the number of health care workers who are infected or showing symptoms. Up-to-date information is on the DHS Website.

Wisconsin now has had a total of 10,741 cases, according to Department of Health Services and county public health data — an increase of 293.

Overall since the crisis began, 8.6 percent of all tests have come back positive. That’s slightly lower than it was yesterday, when it was 8.8 percent.

The largest increase in new cases today come from Milwaukee County, which increased by 100. The outbreak in Brown County seems to have slowed down, as just six percent of tests came back positive — down from more than 59 percent over the weekend. An outbreak at a meat packing plant in Green Bay has significantly increased the number of positive cases in Brown County, which have now reached 1,958 in the county. That’s a rate of 754 cases per 100,000 residents — far higher than the second-highest rate, 426 in Milwaukee County.

The other hotspot county that has shown no sign of cooling off is Racine County, which increased by 39 cases as 11 percent of tests came back positive. Similarly, Kenosha County reports an additional 23 cases as 42 percent of cases came back positive.

A number of rural counties are also showing what could be small flare-ups, including Fond du Lac County, which only processed 11 tests but had eight come back positive — a 73 percent rate.

The statewide death toll is now 418, with nine more fatalities since Monday afternoon.

The number of people hospitalized remained steady — 340 people are currently hospitalized with 116 in intensive care. Additionally, 194 are hospitalized awaiting test results. Of those, 239 are in Southeastern Wisconsin, and 42 are in Northeastern Wisconsin.

The rate of disparity in Latino populations continues to rise — 30 percent of total cases are now Latino people, and 32 percent of the new cases identified today. Latinos make up just seven percent of the state’s overall population.

Similarly, 21 percent of all cases are Black people, who also make up just under 30 percent of deaths. Black people make up just 6 percent of the state’s population.

Racial disparities also increased in Dane County, where Black people make up five percent of the population but 14 percent of coronavirus cases, and Latinos make up six percent of the population and 11 percent of coronavirus cases.

DHS also reports that 51 percent of those confirmed to have been infected have recovered and four percent have died.