COVID-19 in Wisconsin: 2,988 new confirmed cases, 16 deaths reported Friday

The new confirmed COVID-19 case totals by date in Wisconsin. (Wisconsin Department of Health Services)

As COVID-19 cases continue to surge in Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported 2,988 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, making it the second-highest single day total since the pandemic began.

Thursday's total of 3,132 cases set a record as the highest single-day total. The 7-day case increase average now sits at 2,416.

Statewide, only 16 percent of immediate hospital beds are available. 80 percent of cases have recovered from the virus and more than 8,000 cases (8,199) required hospitalization. 

State health officials also reported 16 deaths Friday. Since the pandemic began there have been 144,818 confirmed cases and 1,440 deaths.

According to the New York Times's Upshot analysis of metro areas in the United States with COVID-19 outbreaks, the Oshkosh-Neenah area has seen the highest average daily cases over the last two weeks. Appleton is third on that list and Green bay is fourth. 

Marinette (7th), Manitowoc (12th), Sheboygan (13th), Platteville (17th) and Fond Du Lac (19th) are also on the list.

Sheboygan has also seen the sharpest increase in cases over the last week in the nation, according to the Times's analysis.

Gov. Tony Evers' administration issued a new order Tuesday limiting the size of public indoor gatherings as COVID-19 spreads unchecked across the state, in a move certain to alienate Republicans as well as tavern and restaurant owners.

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 an indoor mask mandate for people over the age of 5, which he extended Sept. 22.  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 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.