Wisconsin reports nearly 6,000 new COVID-19 cases, setting record in back-to-back days

The state of Wisconsin reported almost 6,000 new COVID-19 cases, setting the single-day case increase record for the second straight day Wednesday. 

5,935 new cases were reported Wednesday one day after 5,771 were reported. The 7-day case increase average now sits at a high of 4,839, due in part to a record high 31.1 percent test positivity rate. 

COVID-19 daily case tracker from the state of Wisconsin. (Department of Health Services)

54 deaths were also reported statewide Wednesday, the third highest total of the pandemic. 

1,336 COVID-19 hospital beds are available as of Wednesday. 88 percent of total beds are currently filled with patients, 360 of which are ICU patients. 

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 Sept. 22.  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. 

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.