MADISON, Erase. (WMTV) – Public Health Madison & Dane Co. offered some good news on Thursday night as it continues to report record-shattering numbers of new COVID-19 cases. In its weekly update, the agency reported that with the advent of vaccines to fight the virus, the age-adjusted death rate related to COVID-19 has nearly halved.
The figures show that the death rate per 100,000 inhabitants fell by 49 percent during that period. Notably, Dane Co. lead the state on vaccinations, according to Department of Health statistics, with nearly three-quarters of the province being fully vaccinated and at least 4 in 5 residents receiving at least their first dose.
Further PHMDC figures support the idea that vaccines have an impact on COVID-19-related deaths. Zooming out to include the five counties with the highest vaccination rates have seen their rates drop 39 percent, which is more than double the 17 percent drop reported statewide.
Conversely, the five least vaccinated counties have seen their death rates rise by almost a third, which amounts to 32 percent. Health officials compared the period from December 2020 to May 2021 to sample the unvaccinated figure, while the vaccinated numbers come from June 2021 to December 2021.
3% tested positive last week
Nearly three percent of Dane Co. residents. tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week using a PCR test, the province’s health revealed on Thursday evening. That figure doesn’t include those who tested positive using a home test, so the number of cases is likely even higher.
PHMDC is urging people taking any of those home tests to report the results to the agency so that local health officials can spread the word about Dane Co. track more accurately. With the percentage of registered tests reaching record levels, with more than 1 in 5 tests coming back positive.
“A high percentage of positivity means we are likely missing cases in our case count,” PHMDC added.
The agency reminded residents that the walk-in test clinic at the Alliant Energy Center is open and appointments can be made here. She asks anyone who has symptoms to come to the clinic or get tested at another location. For anyone needing a test soon, PHMDC was able to add 200 additional slots in the Alliant Center on Friday, January 14.
dane co. COVID-19 deaths top 400
Three more deaths were reported Friday in Dane Co., pushing the total over another benchmark. The agency’s figures show that since the start of the pandemic, 402 residents of the province have died from COVID-19 or complications from the virus.
After a three-day period in which new daily records were set for new COVID-19 cases, the latter figure fell significantly, more than halving each of the previous two days. On Friday morning, PHMDC’s preliminary report added 1,161 new cases in the province. The previous two daily preliminary reports saw new cases above 2,400 every day. The agency notes that its figures for each day are considered preliminary and are subject to revision based on the latest data.
Friday’s decline could also see the seven-day moving average, which is designed to smooth out daily fluctuations. That preliminary figure dropped to 1,747 cases per day in the past week, which is still the second highest number on record. PHMDC totals remain much higher than those reported by the State Department of Health Services because that agency did not include cases that are still fully processed.
The number of COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized due to the virus has also fallen for the second day in a row. With eight fewer currently admitted to Dane Co. hospitals, the PHMDC update shows 189 patients.
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