Local COVID-19 Positivity Trending Up in Past Week; UW-W Establishes COVID-19 Dashboard

By Lynn Binnie
Whitewater Banner staff

A primary measure of the spread of COVID-19 in a community is the positivity rate, which is generally calculated as the percentage of people with positive results out of all of the test results that have been reported in the past 7 or 14 days. The Whitewater Unified School District Board has indicated that, based on advice from the Jefferson County epidemiologist, in order for fulltime in-person classes to resume, the blended 14-day positivity rate for Jefferson, Rock and Walworth counties should be less than 8% and continue on a downward trajectory for 14 days. Some school districts have used a target of 5%.

The tables below show both the 14 and 7 day test results for the city and Walworth County. (Only the Walworth County portion of Whitewater can be computed, as the census tract for the Jefferson County portion of the city extends as far as Palmyra.) Although the 14 day positivity rate for the city has declined, unfortunately the trend for the past 7 days has been on the increase.


End Date# Tests Reported – 14 days# PositivePositivity %# Tests Reported – 7 days#PositivePositivity %


End Date# Tests Reported – 14 days#PositivePositivity %# Tests Reported – 7 days# PositivePositivity %% of Those with Positive Results Who Reported being Asymptomatic Total Deaths

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.

COVID-19 cases reported to UW-Whitewater

New cases – Week of Aug. 23-29Previous weekCumulative cases since March 2020

Dashboard is updated daily 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.

Regional Metrics

University Health and Counseling Services 8/16-8/29Walworth County 8/12-8/25Rock County 8/12-8/25Jefferson County
Percent Positive50% (1 of 2*)10.95%4.75%9.9%
Time to complete contact tracing100% of contacts are initiated within 48 hours96% of contacts are initiated within 48 hours79% of contacts are initiated within 48 hoursNot Available
Healthcare system capacity levelNo crisis management of careNo crisis management of careNo crisis management of careNot Available
Total cases per 100,000n/a26094220

*UHCS percentage positive is based on PCR testing performed at the University Clinic site of students only.

Additional UW-Whitewater metrics

Capacity for isolating/quarantining individuals on campus101 of 113 rooms available*

The university is also monitoring the current PPE supply and supply chain, staffing levels across both campuses, and compliance of university safety protocols.

*One room is currently occupied by a general use student, not COVID related.

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