Data Notes for the Week of December 30
Today we released this week’s data snapshot. If you’re new to the data snapshot, we publish a weekly summary of the status for each of our metrics (you can find past issues on our data and metrics page). We have a few notes for this week’s issue (data from December 14 through December 27):
There was a significant decrease in both cases and hospitalizations. However, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 remains at a high level.
There was a significant decrease in cases during this 14-day period, but also a significant decrease in the number of tests conducted. Dane County’s 14-day average number of cases is 138 per day, down from 165 in last week’s snapshot. In this 14-day period there were 1,931 total cases. Cases per day ranged from 48 to 233. The average number of tests per day was 3,541, down from 3,867 in last week’s snapshot. Percent positivity remained below the desired 5% threshold, at 3.9%. This low percent positivity suggests that there is sufficient testing in the community and that there is a true decrease in cases occurring.
In the past two weeks, the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Dane County has averaged 132 each day, down from 140 in last snapshot. While this is a significant decrease, hospitalizations remain at a high level.
182 Dane County residents died this year from COVID-19.
There have been 182 Dane County residents who have lost their lives to COVID-19 so far. 123 (68%) of these deaths have occurred in November or December, and of those 123, two out of every three were residents of a long term care facility. The median age of those who died was 86 and the majority were white, non-Latinx. The rate of COVID-19 deaths in Dane County is significantly lower than the rate for Wisconsin overall. Dane County has an age-adjusted death rate of 34.2 deaths per 100,000 population, while Wisconsin has a rate of 64.1 deaths per 100,000 population.
Cases in long term care facilities trended downward over this period.
124 cases were associated with long term care facilities, which is the fewest in nine weeks. This is encouraging, given the severe outcomes this population is experiencing here and nationally. As cases in the community decrease, the potential for new outbreaks to occur in these facilities with vulnerable populations also decreases. Since many deaths in Dane County are among residents of long term care facilities, a decrease in cases associated with these facilities is a positive sign for trends in deaths.
Health inequities persist by race and ethnicity.
Hispanic Dane County residents are disproportionately represented among people testing positive, and Hispanic, Black, Asian, and American Indian residents are disproportionately represented among people hospitalized. During this two-week period, Black Dane County residents made up 7% of cases and 11% of hospitalizations but make up 6% of the Dane County population. Members of the Latinx population represented 15% of cases and 11% of hospitalizations but make up 6% of the Dane County population. Asian residents made up 5% of cases and 8% of hospitalizations but make up 7% of the Dane County population. American Indian and Alaskan Native people made up 0.4% of cases and 2.6% of hospitalizations, but make up 0.3% of the Dane County population.