Wisconsin sees 42 new virus deaths, drop in hospitalizations

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Wisconsin health officials reported an additional 42 new deaths related to COVID-19 on Saturday, and 1,681 new cases of the virus.

But the state is also seeing a decline in hospitalizations, after hospitals were overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients in the fall.

As of Friday, the Wisconsin Hospital Association reported 785 people were hospitalized, including 178 in intensive care. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported that the number of hospitalizations is down 489 when compared with a month ago, and much lower than the state’s peak hospitalization of 2,277 on Nov. 17.

The state opened an alternate care facility in October at the Wisconsin State Fairgrounds to serve as an overflow facility for hospitals across the state. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services says there were no people receiving inpatient care at the facility as of Saturday morning. In all, 170 people were treated there.

At the peak of the state’s coronavirus outbreak in mid-November, about 6,500 new infections were being reported daily. After that, the number of new cases began falling, until a few days after Christmas.

According to The COVID Tracking Project, the seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Wisconsin decreased over the past two weeks, going from 3,156 new cases per day on Jan. 8 to 2,018 new cases per day on Jan. 22.