Wisconsin sees highest COVID-19 case growth in the U.S. over last 2 weeks

COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin. Sept. 21, 2020. (Wisconsin Department of Health Services)

The state of Wisconsin has seen an 88 percent increase in new COVID-19 cases over the last two weeks, which is the highest rate in the nation, according to new data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. 

The 1,271 new positive cases reported Monday means the state has gone seven straight days with more than 1,200 new cases and 11 of the last 12 days, too. The average percent positive rate during that time is more than 16 percent, a new high. 

86,822 of the COVID-19 cases have recovered from the virus, 6,692 have been hospitalized and 1,244 have died from COVID-19 to date. 

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 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.