(FOX 9) - The state of Wisconsin's 7-day COVID-19 case increase average continued its sharp decline Wednesday, getting down to 3,247 after peaking at more than 6,500 about one month ago.
Nov. 18, the 7-day case increase average reached 6,563, the highest of the pandemic. Wednesday, the state reported only 2,402 new cases, which is closest to the levels seen at the beginning of the spike in early October.
In addition, the 7-day test posivitity rate average and the 7-day death increase average both continue to decline as well, although slower than the case increase average. The test positivity average is now 27.5 percent and the death increase average is down to 44 Wednesday.
The state says 84 percent of COVID-19 hospital beds are full as of Wednesday, leaving 1,820 available. 331 ICU patients are among the hospitalized, or 23 percent.
The pandemic so far
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 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.