Different groups at play in COVID stats

Posted at 11 a.m. on Friday, November 6, 2020


By Benjamin Yount

Center Square News Service

The people who are driving Wisconsin’s spike in coronavirus positives are not the same people who are driving the state’s increase in coronavirus deaths. 


Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services on Thursday, November 5, said another 5,922 people tested positive for the virus, and another 38 people died. Those numbers bring Wisconsin’s totals since March to 249,942 positive tests and 2,194 deaths. 


But the numbers clearly show the people who are testing positive in larger and larger numbers are not the people who are dying. 

DHS’s numbers show a spike in coronavirus positives among young people.

People between the ages of 18 and 24 and 25 and 34 represent the two largest, and surging, groups of those who are testing positive.

DHS reports that 42,877 people between 25 and 34 have tested positive since March, and another 41,825 people between 18 and 24 have tested positive in the same time frame. That’s 84,702 positive tests, or 33 percent of Wisconsin’s total coronavirus positives. 


While younger people are testing positive, they are not dying from the virus. 


DHS reported Thursday that just 13 people under 30 years old have died from or with the virus since March. Wisconsin tracks deaths based on ages in 10 year gaps, so to cover people up to 34 years old it's only possible to examine deaths in people up to 39. Even then, the death toll only jumps by 20 more people. 


By comparison, 1,658 people over 70 years old have died from or with the virus in Wisconsin. That’s almost 77 percent of Wisconsin’s coronavirus deaths. 


DHS’s positivity numbers for those over 70 years old are nowhere near as high as people in their 20s and 30s. 


Since March, 22,085 people aged 70 and 90-plus have tested positive for the virus. That is just under nine percent of all positive tests in the state. 


Governor Tony Evers is telling everyone in Wisconsin to stay inside and stay away from others. 


"Limit your social interactions to a circle of five and start planning your holidays to happen virtually,” Evers said during his weekly radio address. "Every time you choose to stay home, every time you decline a party invitation, every time you get takeout instead of dining in, and every time you make another sacrifice after months of sacrifices, you help stop the spread."


While nearly 250,000 people in Wisconsin have tested positive for the coronavirus since March, more than 193,000 of them have been declared fully recovered.

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