Published July 19th, 2021
In the past week COVID-19 infections increased in Wisconsin, as it did in all 50 states. For perspective, the Wisconsin 7 day average of 149 compares to a 7 day average of 832 one year ago, near the peak of the 2020 summer surge. An important difference is that the current infections are almost entirely occurring in the half of the Wisconsin population that is not vaccinated. Numbers are taken from websites for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Wisconsin Hospital Association, the CDC, and The New York Times. Many numbers are a few days old due to reduced reporting over the weekends.
The biggest concern for the US in the near term remains the Delta B.1.617.2 variant. The Delta variant was causing a revised estimate of 57% of new cases in the US as of July 3. The Midwest is lower at 44%, but that represents a lag of only about a week. The Delta variant is more transmissible, by about 40%. Even brief interactions between unvaccinated individuals have been shown to carry risk of transmission. There continues to be uncertainty over the question of virulence - does the Delta variant cause more severe illness, on average?. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines appear to be only slightly less effective against this variant, but incomplete vaccination - one shot - is much less effective. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is almost as effective as the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
Wisconsin's 7 day average of new cases increased over the past 2 weeks from 73 to 149, a 104% increase. Case activity is slightly lower than the state average in the Fox Valley, Northeast and North Central regions.
Wisconsin hospitalizations for COVID increased over the past two weeks, 85 inpatients on 7/4/21 and 98 on 7/18, a 15% increase. For comparison, one year ago Wisconsin had 339 COVID-19 patients in the hospitals. Currently, 28 of the hospitalized patients are in the ICU, the same as last week.
The 7 day average of daily deaths due to COVID was 0. A year ago the average was 4.
For comparison with other states, the new case number is converted to cases per million. Comparing the 7 day average number of new cases in the past week:
United States: 95
All of these states, and the US as a whole, had worsening numbers in the past week.