MILWAUKE- COVID-19 is rearing its ugly head again across Wisconsin. After a drastic decrease in daily cases during the month of March, the state’s now averaging more than 1-thousand new cases per day over the past week.
According to the Department of Health Services, the state’s now averaging 1,168 cases per day, compared to 316 on March 23rd.
During a media briefing this (Tuesday) afternoon, DHS Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ryan Westergaard said the rise in cases isn’t all that surprising.
“It took a bit longer for this BA2 variant to take hold in North America but it’s here now and the thinking is that’s why we’re seeing this uptick,” Dr. Westergaard said. “Why it happened later compared to Europe isn’t really clear but some of the factors might be that it’s spring time and there’s more gatherings going on, another reason could be that there was so much activity in January that the whole population has a level of immunity that’s starting to wear off.”
Despite the increase in overall cases, hospitalizations have remained fairly level. As of April 20th, there were 174 people hospitalized with the virus, 11.4% of those people were using ventilators.
Dr. Westergaard says the overall rate of vaccinations likely is contributing to the low hospitalization rate, but that any bump in overall cases is worth keeping an eye on.
“I would never say to stop thinking or caring about COVID-19 because it can still be a very dangerous virus,” he said. “We need to continue to track it but our focus has shifted to trying to prevent severe disease, making people aware of therapeutics and just having general awareness like wearing masks in indoor settings when disease burden gets high are still things to think about.”
You can find more DHS data here.