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Claire DeRosa / Wisconsin Watch

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Wisconsin’s COVID-19 daily case count has surpassed New York City’s during its April peak, Assistant Department of Health Services Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk told reporters Thursday

Wisconsin’s seven-day average of newly diagnosed COVID-19 infections hit 6,209 on Thursday. That is far above New York City’s peak average of 5,292 in April, Van Dijk said — in a city with 2.6 million more residents than Wisconsin.

“This spring, ambulance sirens ran nonstop in the streets of New York. The reality of COVID-19 was unavoidable. With so many people in such close proximity, you could see the devastation the virus was creating in the city,” Van Dijk said. “The residents of our state are more spread out, so it’s easier to miss the crisis. But this virus and the death it brings us are everywhere in the state.”

DHS on Thursday reported 58 new deaths from COVID-19, bringing the state’s total to 2,515 during the pandemic. Wisconsin has set records for hospitalized COVID-19 patients each day in November. Just 8% of statewide ICU beds remained unfilled on Thursday, Wisconsin Hospital Association data show

“COVID-19 is everywhere in our state. It is bad everywhere, and it’s getting worse everywhere. It is straining hospitals, and people are dying,” Van Dijk said. 
COVID-19 is claiming far fewer lives in Wisconsin than it did in New York City over the spring; More than 20,000 New Yorkers died during a time before doctors and other medical experts developed more effective treatments for the virus.

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“It bothers me that people don’t believe how quickly people can get severely sick and be intubated or die, because the numbers are real … I see this every day.”

— Josue Maldonado, a nurse in a University Hospital COVID-19 ward in Madison, as quoted by WKOW.

Data to note

WisContext offers these visualizations of Wisconsin’s startling trends in COVID-19 infections, deaths and hospitalizations.

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