Data Notes for the Week of November 12
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 October 27—November 9):
For the fifth week in a row, Dane County’s 14-day average number of cases increased. It sits at 364 cases per day, up from 277 in the last snapshot.
Cases per day ranged from 176 to 528 with an average of 364 cases per day. In this 14-day period there were 5,094 total cases.
Clusters are growing in assisted living and skilled nursing facilities.
Just over 10% of cases were associated with a cluster and/or a facility investigation. Keep in mind this is an undercount because we are unable to contact trace with everyone who test positive. We continue to see clusters associated with workplaces, health care facilities, sports teams, schools, childcare facilities, churches, bar/restaurants, and salons. See page 2 of the snapshot for more details on clusters.
We want to remind people that close contact is what spreads COVID-19. Using virtual options and avoiding close contact, crowds, and confined spaces without ventilation can lower your risk for getting sick.
The percent positivity metric increased to 7.4% and remains yellow. The percent positivity has not been this high since we began creating weekly snapshots.
Percent positivity for this period was 7.4%, up from 6.0% last week. Dane County has steadily increased testing each week so we expected more cases, but the increase in cases far outpaced the increase in testing. This means we know the increase in cases isn't solely from more testing. An increase in percent positivity can indicate more widespread infection, so more testing is needed to capture all cases.
The Latinx community continues to be disproportionately represented among people testing positive and hospitalized for COVID-19.
During this two-week period, members of the Latinx population represented 19% of total cases and 15% of total hospitalizations but are only 6% of the Dane County population.
The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Dane County has increased, peaking at 160 hospitalizations on November 11.
In the past two weeks, the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Dane County has increased, peaking at 160 hospitalizations on November 11. The number of people hospitalized in Dane County has increased nearly every day since October 1. The South Central Region has a growing trajectory for COVID patients hospitalized. Increases in hospitalizations are concerning because strained health care systems may struggle to meet the needs of all patients—not just those with COVID.
2% of cases in this 14-day period were hospitalized. The risk of being hospitalized increases with age: 15% of cases age 70+ were hospitalized while 1.5% of cases age 23-69 were hospitalized.
Within this 14-day period, nine hospitals in our region reported at least one day of critical staffing shortage. One of these hospitals was within Dane County.
As we shared last week, every day more research is released that gives clues about how COVID-19 is transmitted and strategies that have been effective in reducing spread. Public Health Madison & Dane County staff continue to review this research, the latest metrics and indicators, and best practices issued from state and federal agencies.
As we assess this new information, it could inform changes to the metrics in the future. As always, we will keep the community informed of any changes and how they affect our future response to this virus.