(WFRV) – Wisconsin continues to see many of its metropolitan areas seeing the greatest number of new COVID-19 cases in the nation, according to a report.
Just over two weeks ago, six metropolitan areas in the state were among the New York Times’ list of the top 20 in the nation seeing the greatest number of new coronavirus cases, relative to their population.
The six areas were La Crosse, Oshkosh-Neenah, Green Bay, Appleton, Platteville and Stevens Point.
Now, eight Wisconsin metropolitan areas are on that list – include four that weren’t on the list two weeks ago.
This comes as hospitals across the state, include ThedaCare in the Fox Valley, say they are at or nearing capacity. On Wednesday, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers announced the opening of a field hospital at the state fairgrounds to help respond to the growing number of Wisconsinites hospitalized for COVID-19.
As of Oct. 8, the Oshkosh-Neenah area is ranked at the top, reporting 2,556 new cases of COVID-19 over the last two weeks, a daily increase of about 106 cases per 100,000 residents.
Appleton came in third, reporting 2,872 cases over the last week – about 86 new cases per 100,000 residents.
On Oct. 2, public health officers from Appleton and Menasha as well as Calumet, Outagamie, and Winnebago counties issued a Public Health Emergency COVID-19 Alert in response to an increase in COVID-19 related hospitalizations and deaths.
Green Bay falls just behind Appleton in the New York Times list, reporting over 3,750 new COVID-19 cases over the last two weeks, with a daily increase of about 83 cases per 100,000 people.
A day after Fox Valley public health officers issued their COVID-19 alert, health officials in Brown County issued a similar alert.
Marinette came in seventh, just behind Bismarck and Dubuque, with 570 new cases over the last two weeks – an average of about 64 new COVID-19 cases a day per 100,000 residents.
Two weeks ago, Marinette was fourth on the New York Times list of metropolitan areas identified as those seeing new COVID-19 cases increasing fastest.
Manitowoc and Sheboygan are ranked 12th and 13th, respectively, each reporting about 60 new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents daily.
In early October, the Manitowoc Public School District announced its transition to full distance learning in response to the community spread of COVID-19. The announcement came just over a week after the district and others in Manitowoc County released a joint statement saying they will continue following safety protocols in order to keep students in schools.
Platteville landed in the 17th spot, down from 12th less than two weeks ago. As of Oct. 8, Platteville has reported over 400 new COVID-19 cases over the last two weeks.
Fond du Lac is ranked 19th, reporting over 780 new cases over two weeks, averaging 54 cases per 100,000 residents per day.
Stevens Point and La Crosse have dropped out of the top 20 metropolitan areas in the nation seeing the greatest number of new cases.
As of Oct. 8, three Wisconsin metropolitan areas are in the top 20 in the nation where new cases are rising the fastest on a population-adjusted basis, down from five toward the end of September.
On Sept. 25, the Oshkosh-Neenah area, Marinette, Green Bay, Platteville, and the Wausau-Weston area were in the top 20. Of those, only the Wausau-Weston area is not currently among the top 20 in the nation seeing the greatest number of new cases, relative to their population.
Currently, Sheboygan is the top metropolitan area seeing COVID-19 cases increasing fastest. Sheboygan was reporting 325 new cases a week ago. Now, the lakeshore city is reporting 647 new cases, a change of 279 cases per 100,000 residents.
The Oshkosh-Neenah area is in the 11th slot, down from the top spot in September, reporting 1,389 new cases in the last week compared to 1,167 in the previous time frame, a change of 129 cases per 100,000 residents.
The Wausau-Weston area ranks 17th, up from 19th on Sept. 25, reporting over 560 new cases in the last week compared to just over 400 in the week prior, a change of 115 cases per 100,000 residents.
On Oct. 8, Wisconsin reported a record number of new COVID-19 cases, adding 3,132 new cases in a single day.
Earlier in the week, Gov. Evers directed Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm to issue an order limiting indoor public gatherings. Two days later, Gov. Evers announced the activation of the state’s 530-bed field hospital.
For the latest updates on COVID-19 in Wisconsin, click here.
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