Positive percentage of new COVID-19 tests reaches 4% for first time in weeks

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MADISON, Wis. — For the first time in two weeks, the positive percentage of new COVID-19 tests has reached 4% Thursday.

According to the latest data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, it’s an increase of more than one percentage point compared to the 2.6% seen Wednesday afternoon.

DHS officials said 10,599 people have been tested in the past 24 hours. With 68 active labs around Wisconsin, labs can reach a combined daily testing capacity of 17,668.

There are still questions surrounding a COVID-19 vaccine. With medical experts compressing the 12-year period it would normally take for a vaccine to become available into a 12-month time frame, doctors say compromises will need to be made.

“When we do have a vaccine, they will most likely be in short supply,” President and CEO of the Medical College of Wisconsin Dr. John Raymond said. “I would imagine they would be used first in high-risk adult populations, such as the elderly, residents and staff of nursing homes and long-term care facilities, and people with diabetes, hypertension, obesity or heart disease.”

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Health officials confirmed 389 new cases Thursday, up from the previous day’s 304. The state is now at a lifetime total of 23,966 confirmed cases, according to combined numbers from state and county health officials.

DHS data shows 18,055 people, or about 76% of all positive cases have fully recovered. Five more people have died, bringing the state’s death toll to 721.

The pandemic continues to affect area businesses, as the Overture Center for the Arts in Madison announced it will be cutting staff and furloughing more than half of its workforce.

The Hilldale Shopping Center and Wisconsin Union’s Memorial Union Terrace have each announced plans for reopening, with both implementing new safety measures.

For more information on COVID-19 in Wisconsin, click here.