(FOX 9) - The 7-day COVID-19 case increase average in the state of Wisconsin dipped lower yet Thursday, hitting 1,731.
The sharp decline brought the key metric to its lowest point since Sept. 20. The 7-day COVID-19 test positivity average also continued its decline Thursday, reaching 22.4 percent.
The 7-day death increase average held steady at 45 Thursday and hospital capacity statewide also remained about the same, with 82 percent of COVID-19 beds remaining full. 1,975 beds are available statewide.
The pandemic so far
The state of Wisconsin said it has discovered a COVID-19 variant in a patient. According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the strain, referred to as B.1.1.7, was identified in a Wisconsin patient Jan. 12.
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.
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.