MILWAUKEE (AP) — Wisconsin has surpassed 3,000 COVID-19 deaths, adding a about third of that tally in November.
The state Department of Health Services reported 51 deaths on Saturday, bringing the state’s death toll to 3,005 since the pandemic began.
The Journal Sentinel reports it took Wisconsin about five months from the beginning of the pandemic in March to hit 1,000 deaths, which happened on Aug. 11. By Halloween, the state had reached its second 1,000 deaths.
There were 6,224 new cases reported by the state Department of Health Services on Saturday.
Health officials reported 380 people have died since Sunday, making it the deadliest week of the pandemic.
Gov. Tony Evers has cited a model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation that projects Wisconsin could reach nearly 8,000 deaths by March 1 if the state continues on this path.
The model predicted the state would pass 3,000 deaths on Friday. It was only a day off.
While models were wildly off at the beginning of the pandemic, they have become more accurate as scientists continue to learn more about the virus, said Patrick Remington, a former epidemiologist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s preventive medicine residency program.
Models are less certain the further out they predict, but the IHME model shows Wisconsin will reach 4,000 deaths in early December and pass 5,000 before Christmas. Remington said he is “absolutely certain” they will exceed 5,000 by the end of the year.
That would likely make it the third-leading cause of death in Wisconsin, behind cancer and heart disease.