People with protective suits and mask respirators outdoors, coronavirus concept.

By Shereen Siewert

Three additional cases of COVID-19 are being confirmed Wednesday in Marathon County, bringing the total up to seven, according to a news release from local health officials.

Of the new reported cases, one person is hospitalized, and the two others are close contacts to a case reported earlier, the release states.

Portage County also confirmed a second case early Wednesday.

“This is an indication that we have community spread and need every person to practice social distancing to stop the spread of COVID19.” said Judy Burrows, Public Information Officer for the Marathon County Health Department. “We have community spread in our area and we recommend all residents follow the Governor’s Emergency Order #12 and stay safe at home and limit travel to essential travel only.”

Johns Hopkins University is reporting 1,423 cases statewide as of early this morning, with 26 deaths.

New data show the number of daily deaths in Wisconsin attributed to coronavirus will peak around May 1. The latest projections show the peak will happen sooner than in earlier projections, but increases the overall number of deaths in Wisconsin from about 850 to about 925.

Burrows is urging residents not to go into public places for anything other than essentials such as groceries, medicine, gas and items needed to maintain a safe home. Shopping trips should be limited to about once per week or less.

“Plan ahead, make a list of needed items, send only one person per household, and limit your time in the store to reduce your risk,” the release states. “Always practice social distancing and hand washing after your shopping. Essential travel is to obtain supplies, travel for health care, and travel to work if you work for an essential business.”

The Marathon County Health Department will no longer issue news releases for each case. Statewide figures are updated at 2 p.m. daily at this website.