COVID-19: Wisconsin Summary Data

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Understanding our data: What does this chart mean?

Testing: This section provides the cumulative total number of people tested using diagnostic, confirmatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests or nucleic acid amplification tests (NAT) that detect the genetic material of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. No antigen or antibody test results are included in this section. The number of people who have tested positive using a diagnostic, confirmatory test is the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Wisconsin residents. The numbers in the parentheses (+number) indicate the increase from yesterday.

Confirmed Case Information:This section provides a daily snapshot of information about the cumulative total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 that have been reported.

Recovered: This section describes the total number and percentage of confirmed COVID-19 cases that have recovered and the total number and percentage that are still considered active. The number of patients recovered from COVID-19 is defined as the number of confirmed cases who are currently alive based on Wisconsin state vital records system data and had one or more of the following:

  • Documentation of resolved symptoms
  • Documentation of release from public health isolation
  • 30 days since symptom onset or diagnosis*

Active cases include COVID-19 cases who were diagnosed in the last 30 days, are not known to have died, and do not yet meet the definition of having recovered.

*Our data indicate that the majority of reported cases who recovered did so within 30 days. However, the time to full recovery varies from person to person. In some cases, more than 30 days were required to recover. As a result, a small number of cases who are still recovering might be included in the 'recovered' category.

Deaths: This section includes the cumulative total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 who have been reported as having died from COVID-19 and the increase (+number) in the cumulative total since yesterday. It also includes the percentage of all confirmed COVID-19 cases who have died from COVID-19. See “About our data” for more information on COVID-19 deaths.

Hospitalizations: This section includes the cumulative total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 who have ever been hospitalized for COVID-19 and the increase (+number) in the cumulative total since yesterday. It also includes the percentage of all confirmed COVID-19 cases who have ever been hospitalized for COVID-19. The data in this section do not include the current number of COVID-19 cases hospitalized today. Information on current numbers of hospitalized patients can be found here on the Hospital Capabilities dashboard. Review our Frequently Asked Questions page to address common questions about hospitalization data.

Please note that the Wisconsin Electronic Disease Surveillance (WEDSS) system underwent routine maintenance and enhancements over the weekend of October 16-18, 2020. Due to this temporary pause in reporting, multiple days of data were uploaded at once, affecting the single day count for the visualizations during that time.

About our data: How do we measure this?

Data source: Wisconsin Electronic Disease Surveillance System (WEDSS).

Read our Frequently Asked Questions for more information on how cases of COVID-19 are reported to WEDSS.

Every morning by 9 a.m., we extract the data from WEDSS that will be reported on the DHS website at 2 p.m. These numbers are the official DHS numbers. Counties may report their own case and death counts on their own websites. Because WEDSS is a live system that constantly accepts data, case and death counts on county websites will differ from the DHS counts if the county extracted data from WEDSS at a different time of day. Please consult the county websites to determine what time of day they pull data from WEDSS. Combining the DHS and local totals will result in inaccurate totals.

Confirmed cases of COVID-19: Unless otherwise specified, the data described here are confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported to WEDSS. Cases are classified using the national case definition established by the CDC. Confirmed cases are those that have positive results from diagnostic, confirmatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests or nucleic acid amplification tests (NAT) that detect genetic material of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Illnesses with only positive antigen or positive antibody test results do not meet the definition of confirmed and are not included in the number of confirmed cases.

COVID-19 deaths: Unless otherwise specified, COVID-19 deaths reported on the DHS website are deaths among confirmed cases of COVID-19 that meet the vital records criteria set forth by the CDC and Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) case definition. Those are deaths that have a death certificate that lists COVID-19 disease or SARS-CoV-2 as an underlying cause of death or a significant condition contributing to death. Deaths associated with COVID-19 must be reported by health care providers or medical examiners/coroners, and recorded in WEDSS by local health departments in order to be counted as a COVID-19 death. Deaths among people with COVID-19 that were the result of non-COVID reasons (e.g., accident, overdose, etc.) are not included as a COVID-19 death. For more information see the FAQ page.

Probable cases of COVID-19 and deaths among probable cases. Some visualizations include the option of including information on probable cases of COVID-19 and deaths among probable cases of COVID-19. Cases are classified using the national case definition established by the CDC and the CSTE [https://wwwn.cdc.gov/nndss/conditions/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/.... A person is counted as a probable* case of COVID-19 if they are not positive by a confirmatory laboratory test method (for example, a PCR, or NAT test), but have met one of the following:

  1. Test positive using an antigen test method.
  2. Have symptoms of COVID-19 AND known exposure to COVID-19 (for example, being a close contact of someone who was diagnosed with COVID-19).
  3. COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 is listed on the death certificate.

*This definition was updated as of August 19, 2020. Previously, probable cases also included those that had a positive antibody test which detects COVID-19 antibodies in the blood. For more details on this transition, see the CDC’s statement.

Deaths among probable cases are those that meet one of the following criteria:

  • A probable case of COVID-19 is reported to have died from causes related to COVID-19.
  • A death certificate that lists COVID-19 disease or SARS-CoV-2 as an underlying cause of death or a significant condition contributing to death is reported to DHS but WEDSS has no record of confirmatory laboratory evidence for SARS-CoV-2.

People with negative test results: The number of people with negative test results includes only Wisconsin residents who had negative confirmatory test results (PCR or NAT tests that detect pieces of SARS-CoV-2) reported electronically to WEDSS or entered manually into the WEDSS electronic laboratory module. Because manual entry of negative test results into electronic laboratory module takes more time, this number underestimates the total number of Wisconsin residents with negative test results.

Data shown are subject to change. For more information see the FAQ page. As individual cases are investigated by public health, there may be corrections to the status and details of cases that result in changes to this information. Some examples of corrections or updates that may result in the case or death counts going up or down, include:

  • Update or correction of case’s address, resulting in a change to their location of residence to another county or state
  • Correction to laboratory result
  • Correction to a case’s status from confirmed to unconfirmed (for example, if they were marked as confirmed because a blood test detecting antibodies was positive instead of a test detecting the virus causing COVID-19)
  • De-duplication or merging and consolidation of case records
  • Update of case’s demographic information from missing or unknown to complete information

For information on testing, see: COVID-19, testing criteria section.

We plan to update our data daily by 2 p.m.

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7-day percent positive by test, total tests by day

Understanding our data: What does this chart mean?

This graph shows the number of positive (dark blue bars) and negative tests (gray bars) on the date the test result is posted by the testing lab. It also includes a trend line (red line) that shows the percent of all positive tests, averaged over the previous 7-day period. The 7-day average percent positive (by test) trend line is an indicator for monitoring COVID-19 trends. The line is presented as a 7-day average to smooth out any day-to-day fluctuations and track overall trends. Increasing trends in the 7-day average percent positive (by test) trend line could indicate an increase in COVID-19 infections.

In this graph, people are included each time they are tested. If people tested positive or negative more than once, they are included and counted each time, on the date the testing lab reports their test result. Tracking by test provides a daily view of test positivity and is a more recent method used by other groups.

Please note that the Wisconsin Electronic Disease Surveillance (WEDSS) system underwent routine maintenance and enhancements over the weekend of October 16-18, 2020. Due to this temporary pause in reporting, multiple days of data were uploaded at once, affecting the single day count for the visualizations during that time.

About our data: How do we measure this?

Data source: These data are from the Wisconsin Electronic Disease Surveillance System (WEDSS).

Data in this graph includes all Wisconsin residents tested in- and out-of-state, as well as non-Wisconsin residents that were tested in-state. This figure includes data on diagnostic, confirmatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests or nucleic acid amplification tests (NAT) that detect the genetic material of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. No antigen or antibody test results are included in this figure.

The data in this chart are laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 extracted from WEDSS. People with negative test results are reported electronically or entered manually into the WEDSS electronic laboratory module. In addition, people with unprocessed negative test results are also included in this chart. Unprocessed means that the negative laboratory results are reported into WEDSS “staging” system but not yet imported into the live system. This is a manual process requiring public health staff to review, import, and assign cases (example: attach to an existing record or create a new record). We strive for transparency and accuracy in our data. As individual results are processed into the live system and investigated by public health, there may be corrections to the status and details of cases that result in changes to these data.

We plan to update our data daily by 2 p.m.

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COVID-19 cases and deaths by county and census tract, municipality, school district, and zip code

Understanding our data: What do these maps mean?

These maps show metrics on COVID-19 cases and deaths. Case metrics include 7-day averages of new case rates, cumulative case counts, and cumulative case rates by geographic boundary. Death metrics include cumulative death rates, cumulative death counts, and percent of deaths among all cases. Darker colors indicate a higher rate or count of COVID-19 cases or deaths. Clicking within a specific geographic boundary provides boundary-specific metrics. Data represent all COVID-19 case information for those who reside in that geographic area. Data are inclusive of all age groups.

About our data: How do we measure this?

Data source: Wisconsin Electronic Disease Surveillance System (WEDSS).

Data are based on the geocoded addresses of all COVID-19 records that have been entered into WEDSS. All COVID-19 data that are geocoded to a location within a boundary are represented as part of the total values being reported for that geographic area.

Read our Frequently Asked Questions for more information on how cases of COVID-19 are reported to WEDSS.

Every morning by 9 a.m., we pull the data from WEDSS that will be reported on the DHS website at 2 p.m. These numbers are the official DHS numbers. Counties may report their own case and death counts on their own websites. Because WEDSS is a live system that constantly accepts data, case and death counts on county websites will differ from the DHS counts if the county pulls data from WEDSS at a different time of day. Please consult the county websites to determine what time of day they pull data from WEDSS. Combining the DHS and local totals will result in inaccurate totals.

Confirmed cases of COVID-19: Unless otherwise specified, the data described here are confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported to WEDSS. Cases are classified using the national case definition established by the CDC. Confirmed cases are those that have positive results from diagnostic, confirmatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests or nucleic acid amplification tests (NAT) that detect genetic material of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Illnesses with only positive antigen or positive antibody test results do not meet the definition of confirmed and are not included in the number of confirmed cases.

COVID-19 deaths: Unless otherwise specified, COVID-19 deaths reported on the DHS website are deaths among confirmed cases of COVID-19 that meet the vital records criteria set forth by the CDC and Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) case definition. Those are deaths that have a death certificate that lists COVID-19 disease or SARS-CoV-2 as an underlying cause of death or a significant condition contributing to death. Deaths associated with COVID-19 must be reported by health care providers or medical examiners/coroners, and recorded in WEDSS by local health departments in order to be counted as a COVID-19 death. Deaths among people with COVID-19 that were the result of non-COVID reasons (e.g., accident, overdose, etc.) are not included as a COVID-19 death. For more information see the FAQ page.

Data shown are subject to change. For more information see the FAQ page. As individual cases are investigated by public health, there may be corrections to the status and details of cases that result in changes to this information. Some examples of corrections or updates that may result in the case or death counts going up or down, include:

  • Update or correction of case’s address, resulting in a change to their location of residence to another county or state
  • Correction to laboratory result
  • Correction to a case’s status from confirmed to unconfirmed (for example, if they were marked as confirmed because a blood test detecting antibodies was positive instead of a test detecting the virus causing COVID-19)
  • De-duplication or merging and consolidation of case records
  • Update of case’s demographic information from missing or unknown to complete information

For information on testing, see: COVID-19, testing criteria section.

We plan to update our data daily by 2 p.m.

Back to a list of charts on this page.


How can I download DHS COVID-19 data?

All DHS COVID-19 data is available for download directly from the chart on the page. You can click on the chart and then click "Download" at the bottom of the chart (gray bar).

To download our data visit one of the following links:

You can find more instructions on how to download COVID-19 data or access archived spatial data by visiting our FAQ page. The data dictionary (PDF) provides more information about the different elements available in the data above.

Last Revised: February 8, 2021

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