MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin’s daily count of COVID-19 cases hit its second-highest total to date on Thursday, while the seven-day average topped 1,900 for the first time.
To date, Wisconsin has seen more than 108,000 positive cases of the coronavirus and 1,265 deaths, the state Department of Health Services reported.
The 2,392 new cases reported Thursday was second only to 2,533 new cases reported less than a week ago on Sept. 18.
The seven-day average was 1,939. That was nearly three times the seven-day average of 665 a month ago.
Over the past two weeks, the rolling average number of daily new cases in Wisconsin has increased by 1,081, an increase of 122%. There were 389 new cases per 100,000 people in Wisconsin over the past two weeks, which ranks third in the country for new cases per capita.
People hospitalized with the virus is also up, with 509 patients with 140 in intensive care as of Wednesday, according to the Wisconsin Hospital Association. The total hospitalized is the highest it’s been since the outbreak started and is up by 139 patients over the past seven days
Gov. Tony Evers and state Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm on Thursday urged people to wear masks, stay home when possible and keep a six-foot distance from others when out. Evers earlier this week extended the statewide mask mandate until Nov. 21.
Evers blamed Republicans who control the Legislature with not taking the virus seriously. Republicans successfully sued Evers this spring to end his “safer at home” order, allowing businesses to open more quickly. The Democratic governor called on lawmakers to take action to help slow the spread of the virus.
Evers said had the “safer at home” order remained in place, the state’s numbers would be lower.
Palm encouraged people to get a flu shot to help reduce the number of people who will be hospitalized with the flu this fall and winter.
Evers also said he was concerned about people gathering to watch the University of Wisconsin home football season opener on Oct. 24, even though fans will not be allowed in Camp Randall Stadium. Evers called on the Big Ten Conference, UW, city of Madison and Dane County to all work together to prevent mass gatherings.
“We can watch those games at home. I plan to,” Evers said. “Let’s get everybody involved in solving the problem before it comes one.”