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You can find past issues on our data and dashboard page. The data below are from April 18-May 1.

Cases increased during this 14-day period with an average of 246 cases per day.

The number of people hospitalized with COVID in Dane County hospitals was stable with an average of 27 people hospitalized each day. Percent positivity during this 14-day period was 10.3% and an average of 2,395 tests were conducted per day. We strongly recommend that you and your loved ones get up to date on your COVID vaccines so that we can keep severe COVID outcomes at a low level.

Over the past four weeks, cases increased among all age groups except 70-79 and 80+, who had stable trends. Children ages 8-11 currently have the highest case rates at 96.6 per 100,000 per day, and the highest percent positivity at 13.3%.

In 2022, Dane County has had a higher case rate than Wisconsin, but a lower death rate.

Dane County’s case rate has been, on average, 1.7 times higher than Wisconsin’s over the past five months, but Dane County’s test rate has also been 1.6 times higher than Wisconsin’s.

Even more strikingly, the age-adjusted COVID death rate during the past five months was 2.2 times higher in Wisconsin overall than in Dane County— despite a higher rate of detected cases in Dane County.

This means that while Dane County has higher rates of reported COVID cases, we are experiencing less severe outcomes than Wisconsin as a whole—likely due to Dane County being the most vaccinated county in Wisconsin. Our lower death rate could also be influenced by our high level of health care access, and high access to earlier testing and therefore treatment. As COVID moves toward becoming endemic in the future, focusing on severe outcomes like hospitalizations and deaths will become more and more essential to our COVID response.

Chart showing age-adjusted death rate per 100,000, comparing Dane County and Wisconsin from 12/1/21 to 5/1/22. Wisconsin has a rate of 31.4/100,000; Dane County has a rate of 14.4/100,000

Omicron subvariants are spreading rapidly in Wisconsin.

The BA.2 Omicron subvariant (a version of Omicron) is the dominant virus strain in Dane County and Wisconsin. BA.2.12.1, another Omicron subvariant, is making up an increasing proportion of cases in Wisconsin.

BA.2.12.1, BA.4, and BA.5 are Omicron subvariants that have recently emerged; BA.2.12.1 appears to be causing an increase in cases and hospitalizations in New York, while BA.4 and BA.5 are seen in increasing cases in South Africa. These may be even more infectious and may be better at immune escape than the BA.1 & BA.2 Omicron subvariants. Learn more about variants in Wisconsin on the State Lab of Hygiene website.

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.