Wisconsin COVID-19 death toll surpasses 1,000

August 13, 2020

Gov. Tony Evers announced on Tuesday, August 11, 2020, that in just over six months, Wisconsin’s COVID-19 death toll has surpassed 1,000 people. This devastating news comes just as Gov. Evers issued Emergency Order #1, requiring face coverings to be worn in response to the recent spike in new infections. Since early July, the average number of deaths and the seven- day average of new cases have been increasing.

On July 9, 2020, the seven-day average was only two deaths reported per day, but nearly one month later the seven-day average was eight deaths reported per day. Out of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, 52 have reported at least one COVID-19 death.

Data also show the disproportionate impact that COVID-19 has on communities of color. While Black people make up only 7 percent if Wisconsin’s population, 21 percent of COVID-19 deaths in Wisconsin are among Black individuals. Many factors impact health outcomes such as employment, income, housing, education, and accessibility of quality healthcare services. These factors are the social determinants of health and have played a role in the higher rates of COVID-19 infections and deaths among historically marginalized populations, especially Black, Latinx, and indigenous individuals. Compared to White Wisconsinites, the infection rate is over five times higher for Latinx Wisconsinites and the death rate is over four times higher for Black Wisconsinites.

As Wisconsin passes this devastating milestone, it is important for Wisconsinites to take care of their emotional and mental health, as part of their overall health and well-being. In April, Department of Health Services launched the Resilient Wisconsin initiative to provide stress-reduction strategies and behavioral health resources.

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