Wisconsin reports record-breaking 5,262 new COVID-19 cases, 64 deaths

 (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

The state of Wisconsin shattered its records for both new COVID-19 cases and new COVID-19 deaths Tuesday. 

According to new state data from the Department of Health Services, 5,262 new COVID-19 cases were reported Tuesday. It was the first time the state has reported more than 5,000 new cases in a single day and beat the previous record from Oct. 20 of 4,591 by a significant margin. 

The new case surge comes as a result of more than one-quarter (25.7 percent) of COVID-19 tests statewide came back positive, another new state record. The 7-day case increase average is now 3,975. 

The state also set a new death record Tuesday with 64. The previous high was 48 deaths on Oct. 21. 

84 percent of COVID-19 hospital beds in the state are currently filled and 24 percent of those 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.