Numbers still growing but not as fast as before social distancing

While the number of people infected with the coronavirus and the number of those who have died due to the deadly virus continues to rise in Wisconsin, top state health officials say there is reason for hope. 

“The fact that we are seeing cases go up by the same number every day – 180, 190 – is actually good news,” said Dr. Ryan Westergaard, chief medical officer with the state Department of Health Services. “It is very encouraging that we are flattening the curve.”

Westergaard said communicable diseases like the coronavirus often spread exponentially throughout communities. This means the number of people infected would jump from 100 cases a day to 200 cases the next day, then 400 the next unless steps were taken to level off its reach. 

What we are seeing in Wisconsin is linear growth, which means the social distancing initiatives put in place are working, Westergaard said. 

The Friday afternoon DHS report indicates 1,916 positive cases of COVID-19 and 37 deaths. However, updated numbers from Dane and Milwaukee counties put the case number at the 2,000 mark and 46 deaths.

Of the total number of people infected, 487, or 25 percent, have required hospitalization. 

For the first time, the counties of Rusk and Barron are reporting positive results, according to DHS. 

The hardest-hit counties appear to be in southeast Wisconsin, with Milwaukee having 1,023 positive cases, according to the Milwaukee County Health Department. According to DHS, Waukesha has 133, Kenosha with 81, Ozaukee with 50 and Racine with 41. Further west Dane County has 252 positive cases, according to the Dane County Health Department. 

“We’re not out of the woods, but I think this week taught us a lot,” Westergaard said. “There is a glimmer of hope that what we are doing is making a big difference.”

In other stories related to the coronavirus outbreak around Wisconsin:

Marshfield Clinic and Aspirus are able to do in-house testing but not as quickly as they would like due to shortages of equipment and materials, according to a report from WJFW-TV.

While the pandemic gave many an extended spring break, this period has been anything but a vacation for school principals dealing with online learning, special programs, senior year issues and more, according to an article in the Rice Lake Chronotype.

A Green Bay pet food company has donated $100,000 to non-profit organizations and is urging other business owners and CEOs to give more to their communities, the Green Bay Press Gazette reports.


Golf courses may not be considered an essential business under the “Safer at Home” emergency order, but a Dunn County course is staying open after undertaking safety measures such as closing the clubhouse, removing flags, not renting carts, and making food service carry-out only. In an article in the Chippewa Herald, the Dunn County sheriff says, “I don’t see a violation.”