Wisconsin reports no new COVID-19 deaths for 2nd straight day

The state of Wisconsin reported no new COVID-19 deaths for the second straight day Monday as the test positivity average reached its lowest mark since the first day of the pandemic. 

According to data released by the Department of Health Services, the 7-day test positivity average was down to 2.6 percent Monday. The only day during the pandemic when that rate was lower was March 10, 2020, when the state reported its very first COVID-19 case. 

The state is also seeing declines in the case increase average, which reached 612 Monday. It was the lowest point for that metric since July 9, 2020. 

In hospitals, 76 percent of COVID-19 hospital beds were listed full as of Monday. 24 percent of all COVID-19 patients were in intensive care. 

Vaccines in Wisconsin

Statewide, 13.9 percent of the population have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. That is a total of 807,981 people. 

46.7 percent of people over 65 years of age have received the first dose, but only 11.5 percent of people aged 65 or more have received both doses. 

6.1 percent of the entire population has received both doses, a total of 352,791 people. 

The pandemic so far

The state of Wisconsin said it has discovered a COVID-19 variant in a patient. According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the strain, referred to as B.1.1.7, was identified in a Wisconsin patient Jan. 12.

COVID-19 infections can often go undetected and be asymptomatic; laboratory-confirmed tests only represent a fraction of actual COVID-19 cases. A study from the Journal of the American Medical Association estimated that actual cases in some instances were six to 24 times greater than reported cases.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers announced an indoor mask mandate for people over the age of 5, which he extended.  Face coverings while indoors except at a private residence have been required since Aug. 1. However, on February 4, the state's legislature voted to repeal Evers' order. That same day, Governor Evers issued a new mask mandate order, keeping the mandate in effect.

Evers extended the state's stay-at-home order until May 26, but on May 13, the state Supreme Court blocked the extension, effectively opening all establishments in the state. Hours later, images emerged of packed bars across the state, leading the Governor to call his state "The Wild West." Evers' original "Safer at Home" order went into effect on March 25. In October, a judge did however allow Evers' mask mandate to remain in effect.

On April 4, President Donald Trump approved a disaster declaration for Wisconsin due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This declaration allows for federal funding to be allocated to state, tribal and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations that were impacted by the virus.

For more information, go to the state health department's website.

If you have questions or immediate needs related to COVID-19, you can Text COVID19 to 211-211, visit 211Wisconsin.org or call 211. Call volumes are high, so officials are asking people to be patient and try to use the text or online options first. 

If you are experiencing signs and symptoms of COVID-19, health officials advise you to call your health care provider.