COVID-19 in Wisconsin: State reaches 6,000 deaths, but daily average continues to fall

(Wisconsin Department of Health Services)

The state of Wisconsin eclipsed 6,000 COVID-19 deaths over the weekend, but the daily death average is trending down. 

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services said the 6,000th death was recorded Friday. However, the rate at which Wisconsinities are dying from COVID-19 is in decline. The death increase average was 23 Sunday, which has been trending down since Jan. 22. 

Also trending down are the case increase average and the test positivity average. The test positivity average was 17.8 percent, the lowest since Jan. 5. The case increase average reached its lowest point since Sept. 13, dipping to 1,078. 

In hospitals, 79 percent of COVID-19 beds are full, leaving 2,210 open. 164 patients were in ICUs as of Sunday. 

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.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers announced an indoor mask mandate for people over the age of 5, which he extended.  Face coverings while indoors except at a private residence have been required since Aug. 1. However, on February 4, the state's legislature voted to repeal Evers' order. That same day, Governor Evers issued a new mask mandate order, keeping the mandate in effect.

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.