A Walworth County health official said the large jump in reported COVID-19 cases Monday came from increased testing after recent outbreaks at facilities were reported.
Also Monday, county officials reported another death from the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, bringing the total to eight, and they shared more data on the deaths.
The total of laboratory-confirmed cases rose from 116 in Friday’s update to 140 on Monday, which reflects data as of Sunday.
The county also has seen more people recover, too, increasing from 28 in Friday’s update to 41 in Monday’s data. Four patients are currently hospitalized, and 87 are isolating at their primary residences.
All eight deaths were patients with pre-existing medical conditions, according to the county. Five of the eight were older than 80, and the other three were 65 to 80 years old.
While one official cause of death is pending, five of the eight deaths listed COVID-19 as the cause. The other two had another official cause of death, but COVID was listed as “another significant health condition.”
Seven of the deaths happened in a health care setting, while the other occurred in the community, officials said.
“Please note that it is not unexpected that our case numbers will continue to rise, especially as testing becomes more readily available,” the county’s Monday update states. “Currently, our health care systems are still responding strong, and our hospitalizations remain low.”
Carlo Nevicosi, deputy director for Walworth County’s health department, said in an email Monday that “beds and ventilators are available for those who get sick.”
He said the increase in cases is “directly linked to increased testing.”
Learning of outbreaks at facilities such as the Birds Eye food processing plant in Darien, Geneva Lake Manor in Lake Geneva and Holton Manor in Elkhorn “triggered many new tests with unsurprisingly new confirmed diagnoses,” he said.
He said the number of confirmed cases is not an accurate picture of how the county is doing in battling the disease. Instead, he pointed to the availability of medical resources as tracked statewide and locally.
The county update also linked to a state resource that maps where the cases have been reported within each county by census tracts.