Wisconsin Governor says state is facing 'near-exponential growth' of COVID-19 cases

The latest data showing the new confirmed COVID-19 cases and the 7-day average in Wisconsin. (Wisconsin Department of Health Services)

Wisconsin saw another single-day case count of more than 2,500 confirmed COVID-19 cases on Friday. State officials reported 2,504 new cases, which is the second-highest on record, only behind last Friday's total of 2,533 cases.

15,079 total tests were completed in the previous day, making the positivity rate 16.6%. Governor Tony Evers is calling on people to follow safety guidelines as the virus continues to spread throughout the state.

"Wisconsin is now experiencing unprecedented, near-exponential growth of the number of COVID-19 cases in our state," said Governor Tony Evers in a video message. "A growth that's primarily been driven in large part by the unprecedented number of infections among 18 to 24 year olds, who have a case rate five times higher than any other group."

Friday also reported nine new deaths connected to coronavirus, bringing the total to 1,274 deaths. There have been 110,828 total COVID-19 cases statewide, 15.5% percent are still active cases.

Earlier this week, a New York Times subsidiary that analyzes data determined the state of Wisconsin has six metro areas in the top 20 in the U.S. in both average daily cases and where cases are increasing the fastest.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers announced an indoor mask mandate for people over the age of 5, which he extended Sept. 22.  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 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.