A second and third death associated with COVID-19 have been confirmed in Price County in recent days as new case numbers continue rising.

As of Monday evening, Price County had 358 confirmed cases of the virus — up by 61 from last week. The previous week saw an increase of 45 new cases, and the week before that saw 44 new cases.

Price County currently has 55 active cases as 303 people have been listed as recovered.

There have been 33 hospitalizations in the county, up by seven from last week. Hospitals in the north central region of Wisconsin — which includes Price, Iron, Vilas, Oneida, Forest, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Portage, Wood, Clark, and Taylor — are currently at 83% capacity in available beds. Hospitals in this region had a total of 139 COVID-19 patients as of Monday, 36 of which were in the intensive care unit and 26 of which were on ventilators to assist them in breathing.

The majority of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Price County, 31%, are between the ages of 80-90. Individuals between the ages of 30-39 account for 4% of all hospitalization in Price County; those age 40-49 account for 4%; age 50-59 account for 23%; age 60-69 account for 19%; and age 70-79 account for 19%.

All three of the Price County residents whose deaths have been associated with COVID-19 were hospitalized prior to passing away.

Price County Public Health Officer Michelle Edwards told the Review that these individuals were elderly, over the age of 70.

“In order for a death to be attributed to COVID-19, a medical examiner or coroner needs to examine the individual and make that decision,” Edwards said. “[The virus] has to be related to the reason they died — if it played no part in how they died, it is not listed as a cause of death.”

Edwards told the Review that there is at least one other individual in Price County who was positive for COVID-19 at the time of their death, yet it was not listed on their death certificate since it was determined the virus played no role in their death.

“The virus may not be the primary reason the person died, but it has to play a role [to be listed as a cause],” Edwards said.

In general, Edwards said that the majority of Price County residents who test positive are symptomatic, and in general, she said the severity of symptoms reported appears to be increasing.

Price County Public Health released updated demographic information regarding the virus’ spread in the county on Oct. 23, showing that the majority of cases — 76 as of that date — are affecting those between the ages of 60-69.

As of Oct. 23, 12 of Price County’s test-confirmed cases were in children between the ages of zero and nine; 26 were in people age 10-19; 33 were in people age 20-29; 30 were in people age 30-39; 45 were in people age 40-49; 52 were in people age 50-59; 39 were in people age 70-79; 15 were in people age 80-90; and one individual over the age of 90 was confirmed to have the virus.

As of Oct. 23, there had been 154 cases in individuals with a Phillips address (this also includes people in the surrounding rural area), 63 cases in Park Falls, 29 cases in Ogema, 24 cases in Prentice, 16 cases in Fifield, 13 cases in the Brantwood and Tripoli area, 12 in Kennan, 11 in Catawba, four cases in Price County residents whose address is Butternut, and three cases in county residents with a Rib Lake address.

State, regional cases continue rising

As of Monday, Wisconsin has had 201,049 confirmed cases of the virus — 41,067 of which were active as of that date, and 158,158 people have recovered. There have been 10,416 people who have been hospitalized statewide due to COVID-19, and 1,788 deaths. A total of 1,978,941 Wisconsinites have been tested and 1,777,892 tests have returned negative.

Case numbers and associated deaths continue to rise in the region.

As of Monday evening, Oneida County had recorded 1,202 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 367 of which were active as of that date. A total of 13 deaths have been attributed to the virus. The county has had 60 hospitalizations, 11 of which were current. There have been 811 recoveries and 11,835 tests have returned negative.

Taylor County has had 485 confirmed cases, 311 of which were listed as active on Monday. The county currently has four people hospitalized and has recorded seven deaths. A total of 3,677 tests have returned negative.

Ashland County had had 277 confirmed cases, but reported it is actively monitoring 303 individuals for the virus. There have been 12 hospitalizations and three deaths. A total of 6,306 tests have returned negative.

Vilas County has had 563 confirmed cases, 179 of which were active on Monday. There have been six hospitalizations — two current — and six deaths. There have been 379 recoveries and 5,907 tests have returned negative.

Lincoln County has had 756 confirmed cases, 104 of which were active. There have been 41 hospitalizations and 10 deaths. A total of 642 people have recovered and 7,101 tests have returned negative.

Rusk County has had 199 confirmed cases, 98 of which were active, resulting in three hospitalizations and one death. There have been 100 recoveries and 2,971 tests have returned negative.

Sawyer County has had 369 confirmed cases, 64 of which were active, resulting in 16 hospitalizations and three deaths. A total of 302 people have recovered and 5,379 tests have returned negative.

Iron County has had 189 confirmed cases, 18 of which were active, resulting in 13 hospitalizations and four deaths. A total of 171 people have recovered and 1,752 tests have returned negative.

(Copyright © 2020 APG Media)

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