COVID-19 update: Positive cases continue to rise in city, including WUSD; State ranks Jefferson & Rock Counties in new “critically high” level

By Lynn Binnie
Whitewater Banner volunteer staff
whitewaterbanner@gmail.com
November 16, 2020

  • With a 7-day case incidence as of November 8 of 92.4, Walworth County’s positive cases have continued their climb, from 77.6 in the past week. The county is very deeply into the “very high risk” category (which begins at 25) under the Jefferson County model that Whitewater Unified School District (WUSD) is no longer using as guidance. Whitewater’s case incidence, 104.3, is even higher than Walworth County’s. Meanwhile, Jefferson County is currently reporting a 7-day case incidence as of November 14 of 95. The statewide case incidence is reported to be 93.6. (Case incidence = daily average new cases per 100,000 people.)
  • The school district has now had three school closings since the gradual return to in-person school, with classes going virtual at Lakeview for 11/5-6, at the High School on 11/9, and at Lincoln for 11/10-12. The 24 new staff/student cases in the district for the week more than equalled the previous cumulative total of 21. WUSD’s current data indicates that since September 1 there have been 34 positive cases among students and 11 staff members, a change of 18 students and 6 staff members since our report of November 8. In-person classes resumed fulltime for 4K – 5th grade on September 28; grades 6-12 began a hybrid model on October 12, and fulltime in-person classes resumed on November 2.
  • UWWs current data shows that last week there were 57 students and 6 staff/others with positive PCR tests, a decline from the 70 students in the previous week. In the initial four weeks of the semester there had been a total of 371 students and 15 others. In the past six weeks there have been 199 students and 21 others with positive PCR tests. Positive results from the rapid antigen tests that are administered to asymptomatic and random volunteers increased from 1.1% five weeks ago to 1.9% four weeks ago, 3.35% three weeks ago, to 8.15% two weeks ago. With an increase in testing, those results dropped last week to 5.85% positive.
  • In the past week the state introduced a new “critically high” COVID activity level. Per this state website, the state as a whole and all but seven counties have “critically high” COVID activity levels. The remainder, including Walworth, are at the “very high” activity level. Per the state, “COVID-19 remains very contagious and most people in Wisconsin are still at risk of getting sick from the virus.”
  • The majority of new positive cases in Whitewater still appear to be at UW-W; however, it is evident that there is ongoing community spread in the remainder of the community.
  • Both Rock and Walworth Counties today indicated that the deterioration in their key indicators have resulted in recommendations to revert to Phase I in their COVID-19 phased guidance.

DAILY CASE INCIDENCE PER 100,000 PEOPLE – WALWORTH COUNTY

End DateNew cases/14 daysIncidenceNew cases/7 daysIncidence
9/1552738.840359.2
9/2264847.724536
9/2937927.913419.7
10/530222.217625.9
10/1630822.617625.9
10/2542731.426539.0
11/153339.226839.4
11/879558.552777.6
11/16121889.662892.4
*

DAILY CASE INCIDENCE PER 100,00 PEOPLE – CITY OF WHITEWATER (WALWORTH COUNTY PORTION)

End DateNew cases/14 daysIncidenceNew cases/7 daysIncidence
9/15345206.8284340.4
9/22419251.1132158.1
9/29180107.94857.6
10/174225.12024.0
10/256136.64554.0
11/17544.93036.0
11/88852.75869.6
11/1616095.987104.3

TEST POSITIVITY RESULTS – CITY OF WHITEWATER (WALWORTH COUNTY PORTION)

End Date# Tests Reported – 14 days# PositivePositivity %# Tests Reported – 7 days#PositivePositivity %
8/222162712.5%10365.8%
8/29240197.9%128139.2%
9/74217718.3%2746021.9%
9/2095840442.2%57120435.7%
9/2966318027.1%2364820.3%
10/171754224.0%802025.0%
10/253106119.7%1404532.1%
11/12667528.2%1263023.8%
11/82978829.6%1715833.4%
11/1641316038.7%2348737.2%

TEST POSITIVITY RESULTS – WALWORTH COUNTY

End Date# Tests Reported – 14 days#PositivePositivity %# Tests Reported – 7 days# PositivePositivity %% of Those with Positive Results Who Reported being Asymptomatic Total Deaths
8/22238627711.6%107111210.5%11.4%25
8/29197221010.6%9019810.9%11.1%27
9/7195322811.7%98612913.1%10.9%32
9/22268964824.1%124924519.6%9.7%34
9/29250437915.1%125513410.7%9.75%35
10/5218930213.8%86417625.6%9.49%35
10/16180330814.6%114217615.4%9.47%36
10/25330442712.9%109726524.2%9.36%38
11/1228953323.3%119226822.5%9.10%39
11/8274879528.9%155652733.9%8.8%39
11/163465121835.2%182462834.4%7.84%43
Note: On May 12, 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) advised governments that before reopening, rates of positivity in testing (ie, out of all tests conducted, how many came back positive for COVID-19) should remain at 5% or lower for at least 14 days. If a positivity rate is too high, that may indicate that the state is only testing the sickest patients who seek medical attention, and is not casting a wide enough net to know how much of the virus is spreading within its communities. Wisconsin’s current positivity rate is 36.5%.

WUSD is providing the following “COVID Tracking Data” on its website at this link.

COVID TRACKING DATA

On September 23, 2020 the WUSD School Board voted to suspend the utilization of a community level metric.

Below is the cumulative and current number of close contact, symptomatic, COVID positive staff and students.

District COVID Tracking Data Sept 1 – November 9 (updated Nov. 10)
CumulativeNov. 9
STAFF
Close Contact Positive Person3710
Showing Symptoms411
Tested COVID-Positive115
Total Quarantined Staff89
STUDENTSClose Contact Positive Person 225105
Showing Symptoms3005
Tested COVID-Positive3415
Total Quarantined Students559
TotalsNumber of Positive COVID Cases45
Number of Days of School47

UWW has established the following dashboard which provides useful information. It is found at this link.

COVID-19 Dashboard

The COVID-19 pandemic is an ever-changing situation and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater actively monitors and reviews a series of health, safety, and resource metrics to guide decision-making with regard to university operations. These metrics are considered in combination and consultation with recommendations and orders from the state and county health departments before any changes in operations are made.

Last Updated 11/16/2020 at 9:00 AM

COVID-19 cases reported to UW-Whitewater

New reports – Week of Nov. 8-14Previous weekCumulative reports since March 2020
Students5773607
Employees3636
Other105
Unknown202

Dashboard is updated on business days with available data. Numbers include cases reported through university-coordinated testing, as well as those reported through the COVID-19 Hotline, which may include testing that occurred off-campus through other health clinics/providers. Student employees are counted in the student numbers. The “Other” category is defined as any positive cases reported to UW-Whitewater who are neither students nor employees and may include visitors to the university, contractors or vendors, or others who have been to the university in person.  These numbers represent individuals who have had direct contact with the campuses.  Individuals who are working or attending solely in a remote manner and not living in University Housing are not included.

Regional Metrics


University Health and Counseling Services (10/31-11/13)Walworth County (10/28-11/10)Rock County (10/28-11/10)Jefferson CountyWisconsin (7-day average)
Percent Positive43% (166/390*)26.54%26.4%32%36.5%
Time to complete contact tracing100% of contacts are initiated within 48 hours**79% of contacts are initiated within 48 hours49% of contacts are initiated within 48 hoursNot AvailableN/A
Healthcare system capacity levelNo crisis management of care15% ICU beds availableHospitals at a medium capacity levelNot Available14% Available (Based on Immediate Bed Availability)
Total cases per 100,000n/a973.5
(69.5 per day)
1136.9
(81.2 per day)
1254.2
(89.6/day)
1310.6
(93.6)

*UHCS percentage positive is based on PCR testing performed at the University Clinic site of students only.  Case totals are represented by (Total Positives/Total PCR Tests)

**To avoid duplication, UHCS actively partners with Walworth, Rock, and Jefferson Health Departments.  County Health Departments do tracing of positive cases and UHCS employees do tracing of contact cases. 

Previous 7 days of PCR Tests Administered

PCR* Test Date# of PCR Tests Administered
11/5/2030
11/6/2026
11/9/200
11/10/2016
11/11/2061
11/12/2024
11/13/2014

*PCR testing is conducted on symptomatic individuals and individuals with positive Antigen testing results.

Total All PCR Tests# of PCR Negative# of PCR PositivePercentage Positive
1404102345630.8%
3.2%Antigen* Test Date# of Antigen Tests Administered# of Antigen Negative Results# of Antigen Positive ResultsPercentage Positive
11/5/20242221218.3%
11/6/201069798.5%
11/9/20170155158.8%
11/10/2011310587.1%
11/11/20633613203.2%
11/12/20545047.4%
11/13/20666246.1%
Weekly total 13841303815.85%
Total All Antigen Tests533050902334.4%

*Antigen testing is conducted on asymptomatic and random volunteers.

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