In the past five days, 279 people in Dane County have tested positive for COVID-19, which brings the seven-day case average to 47 cases per day. The seven-day average from mid-June was 17 cases per day. Increased testing does not fully account for this upward trend in cases, officials said.

“We can’t speculate about the increase in cases, and it’s probably not due to just one thing, but in our contact tracing interviews, it is evident that people are socializing more.” said Janel Heinrich, director of Public Health Madison & Dane County. “The orders put in place are one part of a strategy, and we also need everyone to do their part to help prevent the spread of disease.”

What officials do know about these 279 cases:

– 50 percent of the cases are ages 20-29.

Officials are investigating multiple cases associated with businesses near campus.

So far, 35 cases are connected with clusters, but contact tracers are still conducting interviews so this number will increase.

– 167 (60 percent) cases are from Madison and 112 (40 percent) are from other cities in Dane County.

– 173 of the cases were tested at the community test site.

There has not been a corresponding increase among people being admitted to the hospital or ICU. These data tend to lag behind case increases; however, so it will be closely monitored.

“Given this steep upward trend in cases from the past several days, it is very unlikely we will meet the criteria outlined in the Forward Dane plan for moving to phase three anytime soon,” Heinrich said.

The metrics outlined in the Forward Dane plan will be updated again July 2. Two metrics are currently red, indicating Dane County should not increase business capacity or gathering size limits.

There is currently no state or federal guidance about when cities, counties or states should return to prior reopening phases. As stated in the Forward Dane plan, “While we hope that by following this plan our path to reopening will be linear, we cannot predict the path of this virus. It’s possible that we may have to tighten or loosen policies so we can all stay safe and healthy and keep our healthcare and public health systems from becoming overwhelmed.”

Public Health Madison & Dane County staff continue to finalize criteria, in consultation with health system partners, for returning to previous phases.

"Our community is facing a real turning point with the now accelerating spread of COVID-19," said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. "It's here, it's spreading, it's affecting more young people, and the risk of getting it is no less today than it was in March when the state started Safer at Home. If we don't wear masks, if we gather in groups, if we go out in public excessively, we are at risk of amplifying this dangerous virus."

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