By Shereen Siewert

Portage County health officials confirmed its first case of COVID-19 late Wednesday in a news release, the sixth area county to report a positive test, while cases in Wisconsin continue to rise.

New cases in Portage, Clark, Waupaca and Vilas Counties are not included in Wednesday’s official tally released at 2 p.m. by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, which listed 585 infections and six deaths statewide. Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 tracking page reports the numbers in Wisconsin have already jumped to 621, less than five hours after the DHS daily totals were posted.

The Johns Hopkins map is maintained in near real time throughout the day through a combination of manual and automated updating. See the full map below.

The Portage Co. patient is in isolation and receiving medical care, the release stated. County health officials are working to determine how the person may have become infected and is contacting individuals with whom the patient had close contact with.

“Portage County Public Health is ready to respond to an increased number of cases. We will continue to work with Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) and our local partners to make sure our community remains safe and healthy,” said Gary Garske, health officer with the Portage County Division of Public Health.

In Waupaca County, officials say the patient who tested positive has been under self-quarantine. They did not release any further details on the patient.

“We have been preparing and anticipating for a confirmed case in Waupaca County. We will work closely with Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) to ensure we are taking all of the appropriate next steps.” said Jed Wohlt, Waupaca County health officer.

Map courtesy of Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering

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