COVID-19 cases continue to rise, but it’s too early to say if this is another surge

The seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases rose again Tuesday to 634, the highest since Feb. 19. And the one-day total mark of 886 cases is the highest since Feb. 12. 

Hospitalizations rose Tuesday to 275 patients, the highest mark in more than a month but well below the peak of more than 2,200 last November.

It is still too early to tell if this increase in cases is the beginning of a new spike. 

“I think we are starting to see a new increase certainly, whether that increase ends up being a significant spike like we saw back in November or a smaller blip on the radar is to be determined,” said Ben Weston, director of medical services at the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management.

“It’s to be determined by a lot of the unknown that surrounds the new strain, to be determined by how much caution people take, it is particularly to be determined by how fast we can get people vaccinated.”

One-third of Wisconsin residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine β€” a little more than 1.94 million people β€” while a little more than 20% are fully vaccinated. 

Milwaukee VA opens vaccinations to spouses and caregivers

The Milwaukee VA Medical Center opened eligibility to all veterans, regardless of age, on March 23. On Tuesday, it announced it is expanding that eligibility to spouses and caregivers of veterans. 

Appointments are required for vaccinations and can be made from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays by calling 414-384-2000, ext. 42053, or in person at the medical center.

Track COVID and the vaccine in Wisconsin:Track the latest data on cases, deaths and our pace on vaccines

More:What we know about Wisconsin’s COVID-19 vaccine plan, who’s eligible and when

Latest COVID-19 numbers

  • New cases reported: 886
  • New deaths reported: 8
  • Number hospitalized: 275 (intensive care: 75); up 20 patients from one month ago
  • Seven-day average of daily cases: 634 (up 225 cases from one month ago)
  • Seven-day average of daily deaths: 5 (down 6 from one month ago)
  • Seven-day average positivity rate β€” as a share of all tests given: 3.5%
  • Total cases since the start of pandemic: 581,070 (7,562 active cases)
  • Total deaths: 6,648

Latest vaccine numbers

  • Total doses administered: 3,120,369
  • Wisconsin residents with at least one dose: 1,944,054 (33.4% of the population)
  • Residents who are fully vaccinated: 1,185,478 (20.4% of the population)
  • Residents 65 and older with at least one dose: 780,812 (76.8% of 65+ population)

Contact Drake Bentley at (414) 722-3811 or DBentley1@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter at @drake_bentley.