About Calumet County Public Health Data

What is a COVID-19 probable case, and how we classify and report probable COVID-19 cases?

With the growing use of antigen tests, especially in group and outbreak settings, there will be an increase in the number of Probable Cases reported as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Public health works with PCR or molecular tested patients, Antigen tested patients, and COVID-19 diagnosed patients the same regardless of the method in which the diagnosis was determined. Calumet County Public Health follows up on probable cases in the same way that follow-up is conducted for laboratory-confirmed cases. 

A case is counted as a probable case of COVID-19 if they are not positive by a confirmatory laboratory test method (for example, a PCR or molecular test), but have met one of the following criteria:

  • Tested positive using an antigen test method
  • Have symptoms of COVID-19 AND known exposure to COVID-19 (e.g. is a close contact of someone who was diagnosed with COVID-19)
  • COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 is listed on the death certificate as an underlying cause of death or a significant condition contributing to death but WEDSS has no record of confirmatory laboratory evidence for SARS-CoV-2.

How do we classify and report COVID-19 deaths?

COVID-19 deaths reported by Calumet County Public Health and on the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (WI-DHS) website are deaths among cases of COVID-19 that meet the vital records criteria set forth by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) case definition. 

A COVID-19 death must have a death certificate that lists COVID-19 disease or SARS-CoV-2 as an underlying cause of death or COVID-19 is a significant condition contributing to death. Deaths associated with COVID-19 must be reported by health care providers or medical examiners/coroners, and recorded in WEDSS by local health departments in order to be counted as a COVID-19 death. 

The process of verifying that a death is a COVID-19 death can take several days to several weeks to confirm depending on individual case circumstances. Calumet County Public Health will not report preliminary deaths in our daily reports until confirmed by vital records in our effort and commitment to provide accurate data, and out of respect for those grieving the loss of a loved one. If a death certificate indicates cause of death was a result of reasons not related to COVID-19 (e.g. death related to an accident, overdose, or other non-COVID-related conditions) and COVID-19 is not listed on the death certificate as contributing to the death, the case is not counted as a COVID-19 death.

Deaths among probable cases are those that meet one of the following criteria:

  • A probable case of COVID-19 is reported to have died from causes related to COVID-19.
  • A death certificate that lists COVID-19 disease or SARS-CoV-2 as an underlying cause of death or a significant condition contributing to death is reported to DHS but WEDSS has no record of confirmatory laboratory evidence for SARS-CoV-2.