A fourth person has tested positive for COVID-19 in Sawyer County, as reported by the Sawyer County Health Department Monday, May 4.
Sawyer County Public Health Officer Julia Lyons said that by using contract tracing it has been determined that this person contracted the novel coronavirus causing COVID-19 via community spread.
Health officials state “community spread” when they have been unable to detect a specific contact with a positive COVID-19 person or travel to a high risk area, leading officials to believe the virus had been picked up locally and is being spread from person to person.
So far 286 people have tested negative and four positive for COVID-19 in Sawyer County.
The completed 290 test results representing nearly 2% of Sawyer's population.
Between Tuesday and Wednesday this week, another 335 cases of confirmed COVID-19 were identified statewide for a total of 8,901, the state Department of Health Services announced.
Milestones on average have been passed weekly initially and have picked up speed: The count of confirmed cases in the state had surpassed 8,000 by May 4, 7,000 by May 1, 6,000 by April 27, 5,000 by April 23, 4,000 by April 17, 3,000 by April 10, 2,000 by April 5, and 1,000 the prior weekend.
At least 19% – 1,694 – of the confirmed cases have been hospitalized.
In Northwest Wisconsin, the counties that have or have had confirmed cases are Ashland (2), Barron (7), Bayfield (3), Douglas (9), Polk (4), Price (1), Rusk (4), Sawyer (4), St. Croix (21), and Washburn County (1). Chippewa County has 25, and Eau Claire County has 42.
Just five of the state's 72 counties have no confirmed cases: Burnett, Forest, Langlade, Pepin, and Taylor.
Key parts of the state's Badger Bounce Back plan for opening the economy is for the number of new cases to drop over 14 days and for the percentage of positive cases compared to total COVID-19 tests drop over a 14-day period. Testing levels are ramping up across the state as testing capacity increases.
Those who develop a fever, cough or shortness of breath, should call the Sawyer County COVID-19 Screening Hotline at (715) 934-4518, 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
An appointment will be scheduled for curbside testing.
Julie Hustvet at the Spooner Advocate contributed to this story.