COVID-19 in Wisconsin: 15 new deaths reported Wednesday, percent positive weekly average lingers at 11%

The state of Wisconsin's percent positive rate of COVID-19 tests dipped to 9.7 percent Wednesday, bringing the weekly average to 11.7 percent after a spike Tuesday. 

Overall, 857 new positive tests were reported Wednesday out of 8,871 total tests. Tuesday, the percent positive rate spiked to 17.5 percent

15 Wisconsinites died from COVID-19 in the last day, according to new data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, bringing the death total to 1,183. 

7.4 percent of positive cases have been hospitalized with the virus to date and 88.8 percent have recovered from it. 

COVID-19 infections can often go undetected and be asymptomatic, laboratory-confirmed tests only represent a fraction of actual COVID-19 cases. A study from the Journal of the American Medical Association estimated that actual cases in some instances were six to 24 times greater than reported cases.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers announced last month an indoor mask mandate for people over the age of 5. Face coverings while indoors except at a private residence are required as of Saturday, Aug. 1.

Evers extended the state's stay-at-home order until May 26, but on May 13, the state Supreme Court blocked the extension, effectively opening all establishments in the state. Hours later, images emerged of packed bars across the state, leading the Governor to call his state "The Wild West." Evers' original "Safer at Home" order went into effect on March 25. 

On April 4, President Donald Trump approved a disaster declaration for Wisconsin due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This declaration allows for federal funding to be allocated to state, tribal and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations that were impacted by the virus.

If you have questions or immediate needs related to COVID-19, you can Text COVID19 to 211-211, visit 211Wisconsin.org or call 211. Call volumes are high, so officials are asking people to be patient and try to use the text or online options first. 

If you are experiencing signs and symptoms of COVID-19, health officials advise you to call your health care provider.