COVID-19 update: Door County’s positivity rate drops, Kewaunee County’s remains high
Door County saw its rate of positive tests for the COVID-19 virus fall dramatically in the past week, although it's still higher than preferred, while Kewaunee County's positivity rate remains above one-in-three over that time.
After three straight weeks of positivity rates higher than one-third (34.3%, 33.2%, 33.7% for each week), the rate in Door County was 22.7% for test results returned between Jan. 19 and 25, according to statistics from the Door County Public Health Department. That mirrors the recent drop on a statewide level, which has seen Wisconsin's seven-day percentage of positive tests go from the mid-30s earlier this month to 28.7% as of Jan. 18 and 23.6% as of Tuesday.
However, Kewaunee County continues to see a high seven-day rate of positive tests: 37.3% from Jan. 19 to 25, slightly above the 35.4% and 35.5% measured each of the previous two weeks.
The positivity rate is a metric used by many health departments to measure how well a community is fighting the spread of the virus. The World Health Organization has said that a rate of more than 5% is concerning because it means testing isn’t widespread enough to capture the spread of the virus among the general population.
Over the past week, the Kewaunee County Public Health Department reported 62 new positive cases from 166 test results, compared to 79 from 223 results the week before. The Door County Public Health Department reported 39 positive results from 203 tests, compared to 108 from 315 tests the preceding week. It also reported seven 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 by the department, and those in that category should isolate themselves and contact their employers and close contacts.
Kewaunee County also continued to rank highly in another metric used by the Wisconsin Department of Public Health to gauge COVID-19 spread: the number of positive tests in each county per 100,000 residents over a given time.
While that figure for the past week actually fell slightly, from 348 per 100,000 as of Jan. 18 to 339 on Monday — and it was 432 for the week ending Jan. 11 — the drop in positive results across the state means Kewaunee County has the fourth-highest number among the state's 72 counties for a second straight week, behind Iron at 423, Price at 418 and Buffalo at 411.
Kewaunee County also ranked fourth in Wisconsin for most positive per 100,000 since testing began; its 11,318 is exceeded by Menominee (16,778), Dodge (12,581) and Jackson (12,350) counties.
Meanwhile, Door County's positives-per-100,000 number was cut by more than half over the past week. After reporting 359, the state's third-highest seven-day figure for the week ending Jan. 18, the figure for the week ending Jan. 25 was 174, 42nd highest in Wisconsin. Cumulatively, the Peninsula has reported 8,421 positives per 100,000, which is 45th highest in the state.
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If there's a bit of statistical good news from Kewaunee County, it's that no deaths were reported from COVID-19 complications in the past week. That marks the first time no COVID-19 deaths were reported over a week's time in the county since Oct. 24, with 32 of its 34 deaths happening since Oct. 10.
As of Monday, 86 cases in Kewaunee County are active, compared to 72 as of Jan. 18, with two hospitalized, same as the week before.
Cumulatively, the county has seen 2,420 positives from 10,725 test results for a total positivity rate of 22.5% since testing began, compared to the statewide rate of 17.7%. The number means that one in every 8.4 county residents has tested positive at some time, a ratio that continues inch upward (one in 8.7 as of Jan. 18, one in nine on Jan. 11, one in 9.3 on Jan. 5). County officials say 2,300 cases have recovered.
Door County has seen a total of 2,325 positives and 192 probables (2,517 combined) from 15,519 results since testing began, making the cumulative positivity rate 16.2%. One of every 11 county residents has tested positive at some time, up from one in 11.2 and one in 11.8 the two preceding weeks.
Two COVID-19-related deaths were reported in Door County in the past week, giving the county a total of 18. The number of active cases was 259 as of Monday, a decrease of 32 in the past week, while 2,240 cases have recovered. One person was hospitalized with complications in the past week.
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: Door County's positivity rate drops, Kewaunee County's remains high