Dane County COVID-19 Update #ONWISCONSIN

By Jon Lowe
Apr. 15, 2020

Welcome Badger fans, to the April edition of "will my team get a chance to play in 2020?" Forgetting about the professional teams in Milwaukee, which is definitely a forgotten city when it comes to COVID-19 and cases among national pundits, let's focus on whether or not there will be football in 2020 in Madison.

For those who do not know, Dane County is the county where Madison, Wisconsin (and other communities) is, and home of the Badgers. After all of the cancellations for COVID-19, many are wondering when things will open back up, and I'm wondering when my Badgers will have a home game again in Camp Randall Stadium. Honestly, that doesn't look like it will happen until the 2021 season, and it's a bummer that the Lambeau Field game with Notre Dame won't happen as planned, but let's see how the county is doing with regard to cases.

Population (on Google): 546,695 with Madison having about 258,000 of them (not including students)

Here is some COVID data for Dane County

According to the Dane County COVID-19 dashboard which is updated twice a day at 830am and 430pm, this is the data I have collected over the month

3/18: 32 cases (percentage increase from the previous day)

3/19: 39 (17%)

3/20: 52 (25%)

3/21: 63 (17%)

3/22: 69 (9%)

3/23: 80 (14%) +79 (weekly increase)

3/24: 98 (18%)

3/25: 122 (20%)

3/26: 134 (9%)

3/27: 158 (15%)

3/28: 172 (8%)

3/29: 183 (6%)

3/30: 192 (5%) +112

3/31: 209 (8%)

4/1: 224 (7%)

4/2: 234 (4%)

4/3: 246 (5%)

4/4: 269 (9%)

4/5: 276 (3%)

4/6: 287 (4%) +95

4/7: 303 (5%)

4/8: 305 (1%)

4/9: 310 (2%)

4/10: 316 (2%)

4/11: 330 (4%)

4/12: 337 (2%)

4/13: 340 (1%) +53

4/14: 346 (2%)

4/15: 350 (1%)

As you can see, the curve has pretty much remained flat. There have been no increases of more than 20 in one day since April 4th, and the last double digit day was April 11th. That day was also the last date that the percentages were over the 1 percent range (I round up to 2 percent if it's over 1.5%). We haven't had a double digit percentage increase since March 27th either, so the curve never really got going here.

The stay at home order began March 25th, and we frankly haven't had huge increases on a day-to-day basis. The increase on 4/4 was a bit alarming since it looked like things were stabilizing, and it was just a false alarm.

As for hospital capacity in Dane County, which is also likely included in some other neighboring counties like Green, Columbia, Sauk and possibly Jefferson, no hospital is over 60% capacity as of yesterday. This is significantly lower than normal, most likely because there are less concerns with other health related issues. As for more proof backing up what i'm saying, I visited the doctor for an unrelated health issue virtually, and was able to schedule an appointment and have the appointment within 20 hours in total. And I didn't even call in to schedule, I sent a message describing symptoms.

So, Dane County is still doing well, and we supposedly hit the "peak" yesterday. If these numbers continue to stay low, we will likely attempt to open Wisconsin back up since Dane County has the second highest number of cases (which is expected since it is the second most populated county).

What about the rest of the state? Well, Milwaukee is pretty roughly hit, with about 1 case for every 500 people in the county. That's of the confirmed cases, and the state will likely wait until the greater Milwaukee area settles down before the Governor lifts restrictions. Still, there are still almost 500 ICU beds available in Wisconsin, and I'm assuming this doesn't count recently constructed hospitals in places such as State Fair Park. There's also about 900 ventilators, if I'm reading it correctly, that are still available. Other numbers such as hospitals with less than 7 days of PPE per day are decreasing, deaths have not topped 20 per day yet and cases in hospitals have not topped 500. Overall, we are doing well as a state, and extremely well if you don't include Milwaukee.

So, does this make it more likely we will be able to see Badger football in Camp Randall Stadium? I think a lot of it has to do with the rest of the country and a potential resurgence, but at this point the state is doing a great job to demonstrate reopening.