COVID-19 update: Kewaunee, Door counties see positive tests, metrics rise in past week
After a slowdown at the end of November and during the first week of December, positive test results and other measures for the spread of the coronavirus once again rose over the past week in Door and Kewaunee counties.
The Kewaunee County Public Health Department reported 129 new cases between Dec. 9 and 15, 32 more than the 97 reported the previous week. The number of active cases also rose by a similar, significant number, from 96 as of Dec. 8 to 127, and four deaths were attributed to the virus in that time, bringing the county's total to 28, all but two of those occurring since September.
That comes after the period from Dec. 2 to 8 was the first Tuesday-to-Tuesday stretch since September to have fewer than 100 new positive tests for COVID-19.
The rate of positive tests, one of the metrics generally used by health departments to gauge how well a community is controlling the spread of the virus, also spiked in Kewaunee County the past week. With 301 test results coming back in that span, the positivity rate was 42.9%, the second-highest weekly rate the county after 48.4% from Oct. 28 to Nov. 3. Three residents were hospitalized because of the virus as of Tuesday, compared to one on Dec. 8.
Another metric used by the Wisconsin Department of Public Health to gauge COVID-19 spread is the number of positive tests per 100,000 residents. After falling dramatically the two previous weeks, that figure spiked in Kewaunee County last week.
According to the state health department, Kewaunee County had 520 new cases per 100,000 people over the past week, 11th-most of the state's 72 counties and a 74% jump from 299 cases per 100,000 for the week ending Dec. 8, which at the time was 66th-most among counties. The number had fallen from 653 as of Nov. 24 to 451 on Dec. 1 before dropping even more in the first week of December.
The cumulative number of positive tests per 100,000 for the county since testing began in the spring is 9,150, ninth-highest in the state; Kewaunee County has been in or around the top 10 for almost all of autumn.
Since testing began, 9,006 results for Kewaunee County residents have been returned with 1,960 positive and 6,874 negative. The cumulative rate of positive tests continued its rise, to 21.8% compared to 21% as of Dec. 8. So far, 1,805 people have recovered, 94 more than the week before.
The total number of positive cases also means that one of every 10.4 people in the county has tested positive at some time, compared to one in 11.1 a week before; that ratio has increased by about one person a week for the past six weeks.
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Door County had 94 new confirmed COVID-19 cases between Dec. 9 and 15, according to its Public Health Department, and 16 new probable cases — those who have not yet been confirmed positive by a lab but had a positive antigen test or have COVID-19 symptoms and known exposure to the virus. Such cases are considered positive and those in that category should isolate themselves and contact their employers and close contacts.
One death in Door County also was attributed to COVID-19 that week, bringing the total number of deaths to 12.
The increase of 112 combined positive and probable cases in Door County over that week is more than the 102 reported for the previous week and 77 over Thanksgiving week, but it's still well below the more than 200 positives that were reported each of the first three weeks of November.
With a combined total of 1,937 positives or probables since testing began (1,791 positive, 146 probable), one of every 14.3 county residents has tested positive for the virus at some time.
Some COVID-19 numbers in the Peninsula have fallen over the past week. As of Tuesday, 295 cases are active, 25 fewer than the 320 of Dec. 8 and a big decrease from 428 on Dec. 1. One person was hospitalized in the past week because of the virus after four were hospitalized the previous week; the overall total is now 62. So far, 1,630 residents have recovered.
With 421 total test results coming in to the county during the past week, the rate of positive tests remained high after it decreased over the last half of November.
The weekly positivity rate as of Tuesday was 26.6%, a slight decrease from 29.8% as of Dec. 8 but higher than the 18.9% of Dec. 1 and 20.5% the week before. The peak positivity rate for one week was 41.6% for the week ending Nov. 17. The cumulative rate of positive results, from a total of 13,725 tests, continued to inch upward, from 13.7% a week ago to 14.1% as of Tuesday.
According to the state, the county reported 340 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people over the past week (49th-most for counties in Wisconsin), on par with 348 for the week ending Dec. 8 but well under the 666 reported Nov. 17. The cumulative number of cases per 100,000 since testing began this spring is 6,487, 55th-most in the state compared to 53rd-most a week ago.
Contact Christopher Clough at 920-741-7952, 920-562-8900 or [email protected].
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: COVID-19 update: Kewaunee, Door counties see positive tests, metrics rise in past week