The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has added a new category to its COVID-19 dashboard, and it paints a bleak picture of the state's fight against the pandemic.
A “critically high” category has been added to the Disease Activity Dashboard, DHS announced Wednesday, arguing that it will give residents "a better picture of the impact of COVID-19 in our state amidst a surge in activity."
The department's point is quite clear: every single one of Wisconsin's counties besides seven are determined to be "critically high" in coronavirus case activity. The other seven, including Dane County, are classified as "very high" in case activity.
The data you see on the dashboard on Wednesday was taken from the two weeks between Oct. 28 through Nov. 10.
In a statement, DHS Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk explained that the critically high category is nearly three times higher than the very high category.
“Far too many of our communities are in a dire situation,” said Willems Van Dijk. “To put these new data in perspective, Wisconsin is now seeing more average cases per day than New York City did at the peak of its surge last spring."
"Because of these critically high levels of disease, public health can no longer adequately contact trace, hospital beds are filled with patients with COVID-19, and too many Wisconsin families are losing loved ones to this virus. By helping people see the critically high level of disease in their counties and regions, we hope these data enhancements will help people make important decisions to stay home in order to stop the spread of COVID-19," according to Willems Van Dijk.
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