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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Friday, January 21, 2022
A sign reminds students to keep their distance inside of the Engineering Centers Building at the University of Wisconsin-Madison during the first day of classes on Sept. 2, 2020. Adhering to Smart Restart safety protocols that include wearing of masks and physical distancing, the UW-Madison campus is reopening for the Fall 2020 semester during the global coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic. (Photo by Bryce Richter / UW-Madison)

Dane County community transmission rate reclassified to “substantial”

Following the release of updated COVID-19 transmission statistics by Public Health Madison & Dane County this past Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reclassified the county’s community transmission rate from “high” to “substantial.”

According to CDC guidelines, counties classified as having “high” levels of transmission experience more than 100 new cases per 100,000 people in the past 7 days and more than 10% positive tests in the past 7 days, while counties at the “substantial” level see between 50 and 99.99 new cases per 100,000 people in the last 7 days with a percent positive rate of 8-9.99% in the last 7 days.

Dane County has experienced 93.65 new cases per 100,000 people and a 3.13% positive test rate during the past week.

According to the CDC, only 13% of counties across the United States possess the rating of substantial, placing Madison’s rate of community transmission in the same category as Cook County in Illinois — another county that has kept its indoor mask mandate in effect despite experiencing a decrease in COVID cases.  

Dane county is the only county in Wisconsin to receive the community transmission classification of substantial, with the Wisconsin Department of Health services reporting that the remainder of the state’s 72 counties have "very high" or "critically high" level of case activity.  

Dane County is also the only county in Wisconsin to implement a mask mandate for residents while inside buildings that are not their homes.  

The current ordinance implemented by the PHMDC has already been extended twice and is scheduled to expire this upcoming Friday, Nov. 5. 

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