April 29, 2020
Jennifer Miller, 608-266-1683
Elizabeth Goodsitt, 608-266-1683

DHS Releases Data About COVID-19 Public Health Investigations and Outbreaks Across Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) released new data today on its website about COVID-19 facility-wide public health investigations and outbreaks in areas across the state. On April 29, 2020, Wisconsin has 187 COVID-19 facility-wide public health investigations and outbreaks in the five public health regions of Wisconsin (Northeastern, Northern, Southeastern, Southern, and Western).

“Data are one of our most critical tools to better understand and fight COVID-19,” said DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm. “It is important that we share this information with the public so they understand how we are making decisions about our response to COVID-19, as well as better understand how this virus is impacting different areas of Wisconsin.”

DHS and local health departments have been working together on COVID-19 facility-wide public health investigations throughout the state, conducting widespread contact tracing, monitoring symptoms, testing symptomatic individuals, and evaluating infection control measures. Any individual who has been in contact with a confirmed case will be notified by a public health official. The Wisconsin National Guard has also deployed specimen collection teams to Grant, Sheboygan, Brown, Kenosha, Milwaukee, and Sauk counties to assist DHS and local health departments in their response.

On April 29, 2020, Wisconsin has COVID-19 facility-wide investigations and outbreaks in the following settings: 25 group housing facilities, 11 health care facilities, 93 long-term care facilities, 48 workplaces (non-health care), and 10 other settings. Among the 93 public health investigations in long-term care facilities, 20 facilities have single confirmed cases and 25 facilities have less than 5 confirmed cases. The median number of confirmed cases per investigation for long-term care facilities is 3, the average is 6, and the range is 1 to 54 confirmed cases. This data will be updated weekly on Wednesdays and is subject to change. 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.

Facility-wide public health investigations depend on the setting:

A single case of COVID-19 leads to a facility-wide public health investigation in:

  • Long-term care facilities: skilled nursing facilities (nursing homes) and assisted living facilities (community-based residential facilities and residential care apartment complexes).

Two or more cases of COVID-19 lead to a facility-wide public health investigation in:

  • Group housing facilities: correctional facilities, homeless shelters, dormitories, and group homes.
  • Health care facilities: hospitals, clinics, dialysis centers, hospice, and in-home care.
  • Workplace (non-healthcare) settings: manufacturing and production facilities, distribution facilities, offices and other indoor workplaces.
  • Other settings: adult or child day care centers, restaurants, event spaces, and religious settings.

DHS has released a wide array of data about COVID-19 in Wisconsin, including:

For up-to-date information about Wisconsin’s COVID-19 response, visit the DHS COVID-19 website. We encourage you to follow @DHSWI on Facebook, Twitter, or dhs.wi on Instagram for more information on COVID-19.