MON AM News: Wisconsin’s COVID-19 death count at 647, but hospitalizations are declining

— The state’s COVID-19 death count hit 647, up two from Saturday. Plus, 264 new COVID-19 cases brings the cumulative case count to 20,835.

Along with the drop in daily new cases, the positive tests as a percentage of total tests fell to 2.3 percent, the lowest it’s been since May 31.

The number of recovered patients continues to rise, now at an estimated 66 percent, while 3 percent of patients have died. Thirty-one percent are still in a 30-day waiting period of symptom onset or diagnosis.

Counties reporting deaths include: Milwaukee (326), Racine (47), Brown (38), Kenosha (34), Waukesha (33), Dane (29), Rock (21), Walworth (17), Ozaukee (13), Grant (12), Washington (9), Outagamie (8), Winnebago (7), Fond du Lac (6), Clark (4), Dodge (4) and Richland (4).

Door, Jefferson, Marinette, Sauk and Sheboygan counties report three deaths each. Buffalo and Forest counties report two deaths each.

Adams, Bayfield, Burnett, Calumet, Columbia, Iron, Jackson, Juneau, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, 

Marathon, Marquette, Monroe, Polk, Waupaca and Wood counties report one death each.

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— COVID-19 hospital patients statewide have declined to 308, the lowest it’s been since May 6.

Just under 77 percent of those patients — 237 — are in southeastern Wisconsin, which is also seeing a downward trend and the lowest number of patients since May 7. 

According to data from the Wisconsin Hospital Association, the state’s COVID-19 ICU patients is at 107, also at its lowest since May 7. COVID-19  inpatients with pending tests number 183, which has leveled out since declining.  

Of the state’s 20,835 confirmed cases, 14 percent have been hospitalized and 3 percent have received intensive care, according to DHS.

The department also reports that 32 or fewer patients are in each of the six other public health regions of the state.

WHA data show that statewide, Wisconsin seems to have an adequate supply of beds and ventilators. Hospitals have a total of 1,272 ventilators and 302 ventilated patients.

ICU beds immediately available in the state number 352 out of 1,484 total in Wisconsin; intermediate care beds — 186 out of 837; surgical beds — 1,424 out of 7,243; and isolation beds — beds in negative pressure rooms meant for isolating patients — 996 out of 1,957.

But according to data from DHS, southeastern Wisconsin only has 18 percent of its beds available.

Hospitals continue to lack PPE. The WHA data show that 28 hospitals have a seven-day or less supply of face shields, 43 have a limited supply of goggles, 30 have limited N95 masks, 38 have a limited supply of gowns and 29 hospitals have limited paper medical masks.

— Public officials discussed how to allocate resources and strategies to address two pandemics — coronavirus and racism — as protests continue over the death of George Floyd.

Congresswoman Gwen Moore, a guest and panelist during Real Talk’s Racial Justice Summit on Friday, said that resources need to be used in communities of color not only to create economic opportunities, but to aid public health with contact tracing. 

“That will require that we not have denial from the very top of our leadership chain,” she said. “We have already lost the opportunity, timewise, to prevent this from being endemic. We’re really running behind the curve.”

Moore voiced that Republicans are going to have to “come to terms” with an economy projected to remain affected by COVID-19 until the end of 2021, which will require more economic impact payments.

“They don’t want to give any money to local governments and the war is on,” she said. 

While Celestine Jeffreys, chief of staff for the Green Bay mayor’s office, said she loves seeing what’s going on in Milwaukee and Dane County in the response to COVID-19, she said if the virus is going to be defeated, it needs to be a statewide response. 

“In order for us to actually put the pandemic down, we need minimally a statewide response, maximally a national response,” she said, adding that the city of Green Bay relies on Brown County’s health department and the Oneida Nation’s health department. 

The end result is a patchwork of recommendations regarding testing that cause confusion.

“The pandemic has revealed what we already know needs fixing in our society,” Jeffreys said. “It is now up to us to identify what we need to do in order to make our society work for, more open for, more reflective of, more respectful of every member of our community.”

She noted that the Green Bay mayor’s office is trying to respond to what some of the protesters are talking about. But she said the challenge is not listening, but acting on what they are saying. 

“One thing that would be important for us to do when we’re considering how to shift money is to actually go to the people, to engage in subsidiarity, which is essentially asking people what they would want and then believing them and acting on it,” Jeffreys said.

Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley added that a participatory budgeting tool and a racial equity budgeting tool allows people to provide input to amplify voices and make sure services meet the needs of minority communities. 

He noted that now is an opportunity to focus on getting resources to the communities that have been disproportionately impacted by many different issues.

“We need these protesters out there… not only to just talk about what’s going on with the social injustices,” Crowley said. “It’s about making sure that when we are releasing and allocating these funds, we’re doing it through an equitable manner.”


# First look at Covid-19 changes made to Potawatomi Hotel & Casino as it prepares to reopen Monday

# Economic strain persists even as businesses reopen



– University of Wisconsin develops CFAP assistance tool for farmers 

– 9th Circuit Court decision on dicamba “challenging for farmers” 

– Wisconsin Cheese Production Dipped in April 

– Where Does Wisconsin Rank 


– Largest Wisconsin public companies moved toward growth in 2019


– State private schools weigh accepting U.S. pandemic money 

– Eau Claire’s presence shrinks on Board of Regents 

– Madison teachers union backs removal of police from high schools


– Greater Milwaukee Foundation backs African American Chamber COVID-19 recovery fund 

– Federal grants eyed for affordable housing, senior center expansion 


– No ‘silver lining’: Trump faces voter backlash amid crises 

– Activists outline steps to fight racism 

– Art brings messages of solidarity, protest and large swaths of color to State Street

– About 1,000 people demonstrating downtown in call for police reform 

– Door County protests call attention to Black Lives Matter movement 

– ‘Peaceful and for the people’: Hundreds come together to support Black Lives Matter movement in Appleton

– What Defund the Police Really Means 

– Milwaukee police chief: Violence against officers must stop 


– New Berlin spec industrial building to break ground with Associated Bank financing

– Tenants’ troubles put stress on commercial real estate


– Milwaukee now in phase 3 of reopening: Here’s what that means 

– Curfew in place Saturday, Sunday nights in De Pere and Howard 

– Tony Evers orders gay pride flag to fly over Wisconsin Capitol for second year in a row 


– JCPenney’s Menomonee Falls store among 154 locations to close

– Southridge Mall closes doors Friday amid area protests 


– Thousands walk with Milwaukee Bucks players, owners during team’s protest and march 

– Milwaukee Bucks arena-operating company stops rent payments for Fiserv Forum


– Milwaukee County set for return of Whitnall Park and traveling beer gardens

– Potawatomi Hotel & Casino to reopen in phases beginning June 8 

– Irvine Park Zoo reopens with limitations 

– Wisconsin State Park Campgrounds Opening June 10 


– The pandemic response slashed traffic; what did it teach us about transportation planning? 


– Collective action needed among businesses addressing race issue 

– Next year will be a better year 


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