If you haven’t been following our dashboard updates each day, you might not realize just how good Dane County’s COVID-19 data are looking! Our case counts, percent positivity, hospitalizations, and vaccination rates continue to improve. Below is a quick look at the good news we’re seeing:

Our 14-day average number of cases continues to fall.

We had a record high 14-day average number of cases on November 19, 2020 with 460.4 cases per day. Our 14-day average as of March 28 is 45.8, which is the lowest it has been since August 31, 2020.

Our 14-day average is back to levels we last saw in August 2020.

a bellshaped curve of the 14-day average over time, with the peak in November 2020

Our percent positivity is the lowest ever.

We’re currently sitting with a percent positivity of 0.7%, which is the lowest ever. Note that a large increase in regular testing at UW is contributing to the low percent positivity—students are required to test weekly. Even when testing from campus is excluded, we still have a low percent positivity, at 2.3% as of our last Data Snapshot on March 25.

Maintaining a high level of testing is important for quickly identifying people who have COVID-19, ensuring they can quickly isolate, and rapidly starting contact tracing. We are happy to see such a high level of testing is happening in Dane County, particularly on campus! If you need testing, there are lots of options throughout the county.

Hospitalizations are the lowest since May, and deaths have decreased substantially.

Hospitalizations peaked on November 18, 2020 with 179 people hospitalized (on that date, 46 were in the ICU). This high level of hospitalizations was sustained for most of November and December. We now consistently average fewer than two dozen people hospitalized each day. As of March 28, 24 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Dane County.

Our hospitalizations are back to about two dozen or less per day.

a chart of hospitalizations over time, which is bellshaped with a longer tail towards spring 2020. The peak is at november 2020
102 people died from COVID-19 in December. So far, there have been 21 total deaths in the past eight weeks since February 1. Each of these deaths is a tragedy, and it is vital that we use the tools at our disposal, such as masking up, distancing, and getting vaccinated once we’re eligible to protect ourselves and our most vulnerable. 87.5% of all Dane County residents who have died from COVID-19 have been age 65 or older, and 88.5% of residents age 65 or older now have received at least one dose of vaccine.

While people who have been hospitalized due to COVID-19 tend to be 65 or older, hospitals across the country are starting to see people in younger age groups hospitalized. We aren’t out of the pandemic yet and must continue to stay vigilant. The vaccines are all incredibly effective at preventing hospitalization and death, so we are optimistic that hospitalizations and deaths will continue to decrease as long as people continue to raise their arm to get vaccinated.

Our percent of the population with at least one dose of vaccine increases about 1% every day.

As of March 28, 36.8% of the Dane County population has had at least one dose of vaccine. 21.1% have completed the series (2-doses of Pfizer or Moderna or 1-dose of Johnson & Johnson). Among people ages 65+, 88.5% have at least one dose of vaccine.

We’re encouraged by the data continuing to improve. Should we continue on this path, we anticipate being able to further loosen restrictions on our way to our new normal. We want to remind folks that, especially as weather gets nicer and there are more opportunities to socialize, you still need to be mindful of risk, wear a mask in public, and keep distance to stay healthy. Going outdoors to socialize is a great way to reduce risk! There is an end in sight, and we must stay vigilant to reach the finish line.

Remember you can track progress with our daily dashboard updates or subscribe to our blog so you get the weekly Data Snapshot delivered right to your inbox.

This content is free for use with credit to the City of Madison - Public Health Madison & Dane County and a link back to the original post.