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8 percent of COVID-19 tests come back positive; 9 more dead

MADISON (WKOW) -- The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin increased on Wednesday, as did the number of fatalities attributed to the disease.

The Department of Health Services reported 4,194 new test results, of which 335--or 8.0 percent--came back positive. As a percentage of total tests, this is a decrease from Tuesday.

Health officials and Gov. Tony Evers have said they will monitor the percentage of new tests that return positive to determine when the state can reopen. Fourteen days of a trending decline will be needed to reopen the state.

Measuring the percentage of new cases returned in tests each day helps differentiate if increases in cases are due to greater spread or more testing.

As of Monday, Wisconsin had 51 labs capable of processing a total of 11,347 tests each day. The number of tests ordered daily is usually around 3,000.

The number of people infected by the coronavirus since the outbreak began is 8,901.

Forest County reported its first confirmed case.

The largest increases in recent days have come in Brown County where food processing plants have seen outbreaks among workers.

Over 87,000 tests have come back negative.

The disease has killed 362 Wisconsinites. That is up 9 from yesterday. Over 200 of the dead were from Milwaukee County.

Nineteen percent of those testing positive so far have been hospitalized, 1,694 people. That is 31 more than the day before.

On Tuesday, health officials released an updated number of recovered cases. That figure stands at 4,131. The statistic seems to rely heavily on the assumption most people recover within a month, rather than actual verification through testing.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services updates the statistics each day on its website around 2 p.m.

(Our entire coronavirus coverage is available here.)

The new strain of the coronavirus causes the disease COVID-19. Symptoms include cough, fever and shortness of breath. A full list of symptoms is available on the Centers for Disease Control website.

In severe cases, pneumonia can develop. Those most at risk include the elderly, people with heart or lung disease as well as anyone at greater risk of infection.

For most, the virus is mild, presenting similarly to a common cold or the flu.

Anyone who thinks they may have the disease should call ahead to a hospital or clinic before going in for a diagnosis. Doing so gives the staff time to take the proper precautions so the virus does not spread.

Those needing emergency medical services should continue to use 911.

(A timeline of the virus' spread in Wisconsin is available here.)

COVID-19 by County

Infogram

Wisconsin COVID-19 summary

Number of positive cases and deaths by county