COVID-19 in Wisconsin: State reports 3rd straight day with 1,300+ new positive tests

The state of Wisconsin reported 1,353 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, another higher-than-normal total as the state as increased testing.

The percentage of positive tests dropped Saturday but still remained in the double-digits at 11.6 percent. There were 12 new COVID-19 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, bringing the pandemic total to 1,209.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in the state of Wisconsin is now 87,603. 6,309 of those cases required hospitalization and 76,909 have recovered from the virus so far.

The new cases on Saturday marked the third time in as many days that the new case total has been beyond 1,300. Before Thursday, the state had only reported a total greater than 1,300 once before on September 4 -- which officials said had been a reporting issue that had been fixed. Before that, the single-day high had been 1,165 on August 8.

The higher than normal totals have come as the state has increased its testing capacity to 38,530 possible per day. However, the total number of people being tested per day has remained mostly stagnant.

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. 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.