155 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin, 21 counties effected

The coronavirus outbreak has spread to 21 counties in Wisconsin and 155 people based on the latest figures from the state Department of Health Services.

The latest figures released Thursday were up from 106 in 14 counties on Wednesday.

Health officials say there is now community spread of COVID-19 in Brown County. There had been community spread identified previously only in Milwaukee, Dane and Kenosha counties.

No deaths have been reported in Wisconsin. The state health department did not release details about how many of those who tested positive are being treated in hospitals or are recovering at home.

KSTP COVID-19 pandemic coverage

For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover.

A doctor at the Waupun Correctional Institute has tested positive for COVID-19, the first confirmed case of the virus inside a Wisconsin prison.

Waupun Correctional Institution Warden Brian Foster sent an email Wednesday night informing employees that a worker had contracted the virus. The email was first obtained by WisPolitics.com. The Department of Corrections did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

A source states the worker affected was a doctor who had recently traveled out of the country and that 18 inmates were quarantined and 11 prison medical workers were sent home.

“Be assured we as an institution and a department are taking this situation very seriously,” Foster said in the email. “As everyone knows we are making many changes within the institution, and we have implemented a significant cleaning process throughout the institution.”

The Department of Corrections on Friday suspended all in-person visits, except from attorneys and other professionals, but advocates for inmates have urged for more to be done to protect those incarcerated at more than 30 prisons around the state.

The maximum security prison in Waupun has more than 1,200 prisoners and is about 40% above capacity.