Wisconsin recorded the second-highest number of daily deaths from COVID-19 Thursday, continuing the grim trajectory that began in September.
Department of Health Services numbers show 83 COVID-19-related deaths on Thursday, only lower than the record of 92 deaths set on Tuesday. Thursday's update now raises the seven-day average number of deaths caused by the virus to 52 - the highest that average has ever been.
Meanwhile, DHS recorded 6,635 COVID-19 cases Thursday, raising the seven-day average to 6,440, a dip from Wednesday's average but still coming in as the second-highest seven-day average in Wisconsin since the pandemic began.
Also on Thursday, the DHS tallied 236 new hospitalizations, raising the total number of current hospitalizations to 15,336. There are now over 75,500 active coronavirus cases in the state. Just under 260,000 people have recovered from the virus, according to the DHS.
The one trend that is heading downward is the percent positivity. Although the downward trend is still defined by the DHS as being preliminary data - meaning COVID-19 data recorded in the last two weeks - it shows that both types of percent positivity have deceased since Nov. 9.
DHS numbers show the seven-day percent positive by person at 33.1 percent, and the seven-day percent positive by test at 16 percent.
But the decrease in percent positivity has not been noted by the DHS in recent weeks. Instead, the department has highlighted the surge in hospitalizations and staffing shortages in Wisconsin hospitals, with the department's chief warning Wednesday that the state is running out of ICU beds for the swell of patients.
In a tweet Thursday, DHS pointed to more than 14,000 health care workers who have tested positive, 30 percent of hospitals reporting staffing shortages, and 40 percent of hospitals expecting a "critical" staffing shortage within the last week.
Your #COVID19_WI update:— WIDeptHealthServices (@DHSWI) November 19, 2020
• Another 236 people hospitalized
• 14,000+ health care workers have tested positive
• 30% of hospitals report staffing shortages
• 40%+ of hospitals expect a critical staffing shortage within a week
More: https://t.co/lkiGTjSo8P pic.twitter.com/koibvxPVb5