Report: Wisconsin COVID-19 outbreak to peak late April, 1,300 deaths expected

By Brandi Makuski

A new study from the Institute for Health Metrics & Evaluation shows predictions on state-by-state death tolls and when hospitals can expect to peak their use of resources.


The analysis also predicts Wisconsin may not manage the coronavirus pandemic without a shortage of hospital beds.

Wisconsin residents can expect to lose about 1,300 of her citizens by the time of COVID-19 virus is expected to burn out sometime in August. Johns Hopkins University is reporting 1,165 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 18 deaths across the state as of March 30.

In Portage Co., health dept. officials are reporting one positive COVID-19 case, 79 negative tests for the virus, and 14 tests pending.

The IHME study changes daily as new cases are reported but as of March 30 predicts Wisconsin deaths resulting from the coronavirus will peak on about April 25, when 37 deaths are anticipated daily before a predicted decrease on May 1. Following that, the death rate is expected to continue decreasing until June 6, when the last COVID-19-related death is anticipated.

The greatest increase in the number of deaths is likely to occur between April 1 and May 7, the study suggests.

Of the state’s 5,364 available hospital beds, only about 3,758 will be needed to COVID-19 illnesses, the study said. The expected number of ICU beds needed for coronavirus patients is 172—far below the state’s number of ICU beds, 562, the report said.


Hospitals will need about 450 invasive ventilators during the height of the pandemic in Wisconsin, which is estimated to run approximately April 1 until the end of May, according to the report.

Over the weekend, Gov. Tony Evers said his administration plans to purchase 10,000 ventilators and 1 million protective face masks to assist with the COVID-19 response.

Under Evers’ $700 million proposal, the measure would also extend the statewide public health emergency indefinitely and boost health care staffing.