Dane county reported a record number of current hospitalizations due to COVID-19 on Monday. According to the county’s data dashboard, there were 47 current hospitalizations as of Sunday night, with 14 of those in intensive care.
Dane County Executive Joe Parisi issued a statement in response to the record urging individuals to practice wearing masks, social distancing and avoiding large gatherings.
“More people are getting sick, some of them seriously,” Parisi said. “Hospitals are filling up. Now is the time for all of us to look at our days and identify steps we can all take to help reduce not only the risk to ourselves, but also that of those around us.”
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Sunday’s total broke Dane County’s previous hospitalization record of 46, which was set in early April. So far the county has seen 387 hospitalizations and 43 deaths from the virus, according to the county’s COVID-19 data tracking dashboard.
Thursday, the Dane County Board passed a resolution calling for the University of Wisconsin to send students home and transition to an entirely virtual format to help lower the spread of COVID-19 from campus.
Soon after, UW Chancellor Rebecca Blank issued a statement disagreeing with the board’s recommendation. The statement brought up the restrictions UW imposed following the student body’s spike in cases.
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“Campus cases now average 19 cases per day, with a positivity rate of 1.8 percent,” Blank said. “This is a lower infection rate than in Dane County in general and far below the Wisconsin state average.”
Since Thursday, the University’s positivity rate has only fallen, according to the Smart Restart Dashboard. Among students, the seven-day average positivity rate is 0.9%, reporting just 13 cases per day, far below the 290 positive cases reported by on campus testing on Sept. 8.
Blank said the school disagreed with the board’s calls for the University to move to an entirely virtual format and send students home.
NPR’s COVID-19 spread tracker currently ranks Wisconsin as the third worst state when it comes to daily COVID-19 cases per capita.
“We are in this together and our community is strong,” Parisi said. “Our thoughts go out to the increasing number of families in our community facing the worry and uncertainty of having loved ones in the hospital with COVID-19.”