Data Notes for the Week of December 3
Today we released this week’s data snapshot. If you’re new to the data snapshot, we publish a weekly summary of the status for each of our metrics (you can find past issues on our data and metrics page). We have a few notes for this week’s issue (data from November 17 through November 30):
There was a significant decrease in the number of cases during this 14-day period.
Dane County’s 14-day average number of cases was 319 per day, down from 441 in the last snapshot. In this 14-day period there were 4,464 total cases. Cases per day ranged from 133 to 513. Hospitalizations among people with COVID have plateaued, but remain at a high level.
Lab timeliness improved, with 61% of tests reported within 24 hours of collection.
In the last snapshot, 38% of tests were reported within 24 hours of collection. This improvement is important because the sooner we receive lab reports, the sooner we can begin contact tracing and stop the spread of the virus. About a quarter of people who tested positive were contacted within 48 hours of being tested. 36% were interviewed within 24 hours of when we received their positive lab result.
More people in Dane County died from COVID in November than any other month in the pandemic.
102 Dane County residents lost their lives to COVID-19 over the past nine months. 41 (40%) of these deaths occurred in November. This was more than double the number of deaths in April, which had the previous high of 20 deaths.
On December 2, we added 21 deaths to our data dashboard. These deaths did not all occur on one day (most occurred between 11/5-11/19). We learn about deaths in a number of ways, including when death certificates are imported from Wisconsin Vital Records and matched to cases in the Wisconsin Electronic Disease Surveillance System (WEDSS). There were many death certificates imported into WEDSS at once, and we reviewed each death certificate to verify whether the person died due to COVID-19.
Of the 41 people who we lost in November, nearly two-thirds were residents of a long-term care facility. The median age of those who died was 86 and the majority were white, non-Latinx.
People in the Latinx community continue to be disproportionately represented among both people testing positive and people hospitalized for COVID.
During this two-week period, members of the Latinx population represented 17% of cases and 9% of total hospitalizations but make up 6% of the Dane County population. This week the Cap Times highlighted the experience of people in Madison’s Latinx community coping with COVID-19.
This trend is also happening in other parts of the country; for example, COVID-19 has disproportionately affected Hispanic/Latinx persons in the Denver community. The Denver report, released this week, finds that “Among adults with COVID-19, Hispanic persons reported larger household sizes and more known COVID-19 household exposure, working in essential industries, working while ill, and delays in testing after symptom onset.”
Clusters continue to challenge assisted living and skilled nursing facilities.
This is particularly worrisome given the severe outcomes this population is experiencing here (see page 4 of snapshot) and nationally. In this 14-day period there were 4,464 total cases. At least 424 (9.5%) of these cases were associated with a cluster and/or a facility investigation at a long term care facility, correctional facility, childcare facility, or school. The Dane County Jail currently has the largest cluster in a single facility, with 81 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 during this 14-day period.