COVID-19: Wisconsin Summary Data

About our data

All data are laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 that we extract from our live Wisconsin Electronic Disease Surveillance System (WEDSS) and freeze once a day. These numbers are the official state numbers, though counties may report their own totals independent of DHS. Combining the DHS and local totals may result in inaccurate totals.

Deaths must be reported by health care providers, medical examiners/coroners, and recorded by local health departments in order to be counted.

The number of people with negative test results includes only Wisconsin residents who had negative test results reported electronically to DHS or entered manually into the WEDSS electronic laboratory module. As a result, this number underestimates the total number of Wisconsin residents with negative test results.

Data shown below are subject to change. We strive for transparency and accuracy in our data, and 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 lead to changes to our data, such as case and negative counts and deaths 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.

Wisconsin and surrounding states and Great Lakes map image

View COVID-19 Maps

Download the following data:

Need more information? Look at our Data Dictionary (PDF) or visit our Data 101 section where you can find information on how we calculate and report COVID-19 data.

 

 

 

Number of newly reported COVID-19 cases, by day, and 7-day average (last 14 days)

Number of people with COVID-19 test results (positive or negative) and the percent positive, by day (last 14 days)

 

 

Data in the summary statistics and charts above includes laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 extracted from WEDSS. It also shows people in live WEDSS with negative test results reported electronically or entered manually into the WEDSS electronic laboratory module. People are included on the date their case status was confirmed (positive or negative) by public health. This is typically but not always the same as the lab result date. If someone tested positive or negative more than once, they would only be counted on the day of their first test, but not on any future days they are tested. 

In the chart titled “Number of people with COVID-19 test results (positive or negative) and the percent positive, by day (last 14 days)” percent positive is calculated as the number of positive (confirmed cases) divided by total people tested. 

All people tested by positive and negative result, with 7-day average percent positive, by person

In the chart titled “All people tested by positive and negative result, with 7-day average percent positive, by person” people are included as testing positive (dark blue bars) on the date of their positive test result. If they tested positive more than once, they are only included once on the date of their first positive test result. People who tested negative and never positive (gray bars) are counted once on the date of their first negative test result. This figure includes data on diagnostic, confirmatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests or nucleic acid amplification tests (NAT) that detect the presence of the ribonucleic acid (RNA) of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. No antigen or antibody test results are included in this figure.

The 7-day average percent positive (by person) line is another 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 person) line could indicate an increase in COVID-19 infections.

The data in this chart are laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 extracted from WEDSS and people with negative test results 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 these 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 (e.g., 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.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths by gender

Confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths by race

Confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths by ethnicity

Laboratory testing capacity

Data collected by voluntary reporting from public, private, and commercial laboratories in Wisconsin. All data are estimates and do not reflect actual number of tests performed in the state. Capacity is dependent on availability of test supplies and adequate staffing.

 

All people tested versus testing capacity

    In the chart titled “All people tested versus testing capacity” all positive and negative tests are presented by date the test result is posted by the testing lab. In this graph, people are included once for 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. Rarely, people may have multiple specimens, or swabs, collected at a single visit. Each of those specimens will use up some of our labs’ capacity. The total number of tests done may be greater than the number of people tested. 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. The testing capacity seen on this graph is only based on Wisconsin labs. This figure includes data on diagnostic, confirmatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests or nucleic acid amplification tests (NAT) that detect the presence of the ribonucleic acid (RNA) of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. No antigen or antibody test results are included in this figure.

    Testing capacity represents a maximum number of tests that, in theory, all labs in Wisconsin who test for COVID-19 could complete on a given day. In practice, labs aim to operate at 80% of their maximum capacity, to ensure a consistent turnaround time for test results. Operating at full capacity or beyond every day limits the ability for labs to respond to outbreak events or other surges in testing, and could lead to delays in results. 

    The testing capacity for COVID-19 is continuing to increase, and some people are tested multiple times with both positive and negative results. As expected, with more time and increased capacity, the number of people testing more than once is increasing as well. People are being tested one or more times for various reasons, including:

    • Having COVID-19 symptoms
    • Having close contact with someone with COVID-19, regardless of symptoms
    • Living or working in a long-term care facility or other group living setting
    • Being part of a facility-wide and/or outbreak investigation 
    • Being screened prior to certain medical procedures
    • Being hospitalized (for any reason)
    • Having access to a community testing location 
    Last Revised: September 14, 2020