Wisconsin sees one of the biggest COVID-19 case surges in the nation

Sophia Voight, Assistant News Editor

Wisconsin experienced its worst COVID-19 case surge last month with one in 60 residents receiving positive test results in October.

The state experienced one of the largest case surges in the nation last month, trailing only North and South Dakota, according to the CDC.

Wisconsin tied with Montana with 1,685 positive cases per 100,000 residents over the last 30 days.

Courtesy of UWO Flickr
UW Oshkosh will increase its antigen testing at Albee Hall to 600 tests per day beginning Nov. 23.

Wisconsin’s weekly average positivity rate reached 30% for the first time on Sunday, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, or WDHS.

The seven-day average positivity rate reported by the WDHS was at 17% at the start of October, nearly doubling over the month.

Wisconsin reached another record number of positive cases with 5,771 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, according to the WDHS. Over 31,00 people in the state tested positive for COVID-19 between Oct. 27 and Nov. 3.

The number of deaths also rose last month as about 33% of Wisconsin residents who died with COVID-19 did so in October, according to the WDHS.

The average daily deaths from COVID-19 over the last seven day was at 36 on Tuesday, at the beginning of September it was five, according to the WDHS.

The increase in COVID-19-related deaths is seen in Winnebago County as well, with nearly half of the 51 confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the county occurring in October, according to the Winnebago County Health Department, or WCHD.

Winnebago County currently has 1,246 active COVID-19 cases, with 16 new cases reported on Tuesday, according to the WCHD COVID-19 dashboard.

“We are experiencing sustained uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 that is threatening all aspects of community life,” the WCHD weekly COVID-19 data summary said. “This is not a short spike in new cases.”

Hospitalizations from COVID-19 are also on the rise all over the state. As of Monday, 1,648 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state with 352 patients in intensive care units.

“COVID-19 hospitalizations are at record levels across the state,” the WCHD report said. “In our region, COVID-19 hospitalizations remain dangerously high.”

As of Oct. 28, 146 COVID-19 patients have been hospitalized in the Fox Valley area, an increase
from the 131 hospitalized patients last week, according to the WCHD.

“The extraordinarily high rates of cases have caused school closings, business closings and are challenging available hospital capacity,” the WCHD report said. “We need everyone to stay home, wear a mask and physically distance.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, UW Oshkosh has 89 active cases of COVID-19, according to the university’s COVID-19 dashboard.

The UWO COVID-19 dashboard reported a positivity rate of 5.3% with 20 people receiving positive tests on Monday.

UWO students and employees who have been exposed to the virus or are experiencing symptoms can get tested at Albee Hall by appointment through the MyPrevea app. Appointments are available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

UWO is currently running 430 antigen tests per day, UWO Police Chief Kurt Leibold said in a campuswide email Oct. 22.

According to the email, UWO will be increasing its testing to 600 per day starting Nov. 23 and increasing its hours at the Albee Hall testing center from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.