COVID on campus

New executive orders and statewide statistics of COVID-19 spread

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The news column “COVID on campus” posts relevant COVID-19 news every week for UWEC students.

As of 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 29, there are two new positive cases of COVID-19 today on the UW-Eau Claire campus. 

According to data Student Health Services collected — which is found on the UW-Eau Claire COVID-19 dashboard — 316 tests were given today, with a 0.6% positivity rate. 

The dashboard now shows bar graphs and running tables to compare dates, positive test cases and the number of tests given this semester.

The Eau Claire City-County Health Department data included on the dashboard shows five new UW-Eau Claire connected positive student cases. 

Additionally, the cumulative total number of UW-Eau Claire positive student cases now rests at 380, accompanied by six staff cases.

According to the dashboard, the Rice Lake and Marshfield UW-Eau Claire campuses have remained at two cases and no cases, respectively.

Regarding COVID-19 news in Wisconsin, Governor Tony Evers issued a new statewide mandate concerning wearing masks when in public spaces. 

Executive Order 1 has been extended to last until Nov. 21, whereas the original end date to the mandate was set on Oct. 1, just two days from the current date of this article.

In addition to the updated mandate, Evers also sent out another public health emergency declaration known as Executive Order 90.

According to Executive Order 90, Wisconsin is experiencing unprecedented, “near-exponential” growth of COVID-19 cases. The daily number of cases rose from 678 on Aug. 31 to 1,791 by Sept. 21, which is a 260% increase in three weeks.

According to Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin has surpassed 100,000 positive cases of COVID-19 as of late last week.

Wisconsin also saw an increase in cases among 18 to 24 year old people, primarily between Aug. 30 and Sept. 19, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

The DHS website reports by the week of Sept. 20, the number of individuals in the 18 to 24 year old demographic testing positive for COVID-19 — resting at 1,959 confirmed or onset COVID-19 cases — was surpassed by the age group of individuals between 25 and 34 year olds, which rests at 2,206 confirmed cases.

As of Sept. 29, the majority of the current confirmed COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin is comprised of individuals between 20 and 29 years old, forming 25% — or 30,452 people — of the current total demographic.

The next largest age groups of COVID-19 cases are individuals between 30 and 39 years old containing 15% or 18,244 cases and individuals between 50 and 59 years old containing 14% or 16,490 cases. 

The lowest contributing group to positive cases are individuals above 90 years old, forming only 1% — or 923 cases — of the current positive demographic.

The DHS website also allows users to measure the spread of COVID-19 through Wisconsin by gender, race, ethnicity and region in addition to age group.

The region of Wisconsin with the most cases currently is the Southeastern area, at 43% — or 51,624 cases — of the current confirmed demographic. The Northeastern area of Wisconsin is in second, at 25% — or 30,248 cases.

Spierings can be reached at [email protected].