COVID-19 in Wisconsin: 7-day average shows more than 1/3 of tests return positive

New COVID-19 cases over time in the state of Wisconsin. (Department of Health Services)

The state of Wisconsin reported new highs in both its 7-day COVID-19 test positivity rate and its 7-day case increase average Sunday as the pandemic rages. 

According to data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, an average of 34.4 percent of all COVID-19 tests are returning positive statewide over the last seven days. 

Additionally, the state saw a pandemic high 5,506 case increase average in the same timeframe. 

The 7-day average of new deaths was 38 Sunday. 

Statewide, 88 percent of COVID-19 hospital beds are full Sunday, leaving 1,355 available. 21 percent of the hospitalized patients are ICU patients. 

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 until November 21.  Face coverings while indoors except at a private residence have been required since 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. In October, a judge did however allow Evers' mask mandate to remain in effect.

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.

For more information, go to the state health department's website.

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.