Wisconsin nursing homes see spike in COVID-19-related deaths

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MILWAUKEE (AP) — Wisconsin nursing homes have seen a spike in COVID-19-related deaths, with nearly 300 reported to the federal government during a recent four-week period, as the virus continues to spread in the state.

Data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services show that nursing homes in Wisconsin reported 294 residents had died of the virus between Oct. 12 and Nov. 8. The figure is more than 10 times higher than the 28 deaths that were reported in the previous month.

The number of cases in nursing homes have also surged, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. In the latest four-week period, Wisconsin nursing homes reported 2,130 residents with new COVID-19 cases, up from 387 new cases in the preceding four-week period.

Wisconsin ranks sixth in the country for new cases per capita, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. There were 1,605 new cases per 100,000 people in Wisconsin over the past two weeks; one in every 129 people tested positive in the past week.

State health officials reported Monday that they had confirmed 3,095 new cases and six more deaths. The state has seen 357,771 cases and 3,011 deaths since the pandemic began in March.

Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities make up a small percentage of overall coronavirus cases in Wisconsin, but represent at least 27% of fatalities, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. That percentage may be higher because health officials don’t know the housing status of more than 1,300 people who have died.

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