The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) has updated the Wisconsin Electronic Disease Surveillance System (WEDSS) to allow positive COVID-19 test results to be automatically imported into the system. This change is intended to support the efforts of local and tribal health departments (LTHDs) to manage the large influx of positive tests resulting from the ongoing surge driven by the highly contagious Omicron variant.
As a result of this new auto-import process, DHS expects COVID-19 data to be temporarily elevated over the next few days while this process occurs and back-logged cases are brought into the live system. This change will help DHS provide the most accurate and up-to-date data moving forward. In the meantime, we encourage you look at seven-day averages, which help to smooth out day-to-day fluctuations in data, as well as data by date of symptom onset or diagnosis to more accurately track disease activity in Wisconsin.
Positive COVID-19 tests will be imported using the same logic that was used to manually import cases from WEDSS, ensuring that DHS and LTHDs are adhering to the current COVID-19 case definition and maintaining data integrity. This update does not change what the data has already been showing us over the past several weeks, which is that Wisconsin continues to experience an unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases driven by the Omicron variant. Our hope is that by further automating this process, it will reduce the burden on LTHDs and help to keep their workload manageable.
The time it takes for a record to enter WEDSS does not affect a person being notified of their test results. Results are communicated by the testing entity as soon as they are available. Due to increased demand for testing, it may take longer for you to receive your results. However, if you have waited more than 3 days, contact your health care provider who ordered the test, or call 211 for assistance.