Calls for testing, action renewed as Wisconsin's virus cases rise

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) on Wednesday, Sept. 30 reported a record rise in coronavirus-related deaths and more than 2,000 new virus cases.

With regional coronavirus hospitalizations up 31% -- and nearly 82% of hospital beds in use state-wide, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar reminds everyone of the "three Ws:" wash your hands, watch your distance and wear a face mask.

"We are seeing high positivity rates of testing, we are seeing increased cases -- it's a call to action," Azar said, "If people recommit themselves to those individual behaviors, that's what can bring this in line."

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services on Wednesday reported 27 coronavirus-related deaths -- the highest single-day total to date.

Azar said, across the country, there are improvements.

"In April, if you were aged 70 or above, you might have a 32% chance of dying from contracting COVID," Azar said. "Now that's about 5.7%."

West Allis wedding photographer Serena Sperry does not see things getting better.

"We definitely need to get tests for Wisconsin. For sure. We need more tests," said Sperry.

(Photo by Yegor AleyevTASS via Getty Images)

The photographer said she went to the Aurora Urgent Care Center in New Berlin two weeks ago after experiencing a reoccurring cough.

"I was seen by a doctor and she checked me out and said, 'Everything is fine. You just have a cold, you can sleep it off,'" Sperry said.

Sperry worked that weekend at a wedding and traveled to Chicago and Indiana. When she got home last Monday, she lost her sense of taste and smell.

Drive-thru COVID-19 testing at the Waukesha County Expo Center

Sperry went to the Waukesha County Expo Center's National Guard testing site and said she tested positive for the coronavirus. She now wonders how many people she may have infected throughout the weekend, and that potential exposure could have been avoided had she been tested for COVID-19 at the urgent care center.

"If you feel like 'I need to get tested' -- find a place and get tested.  Always trust your gut," said Sperry.

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FOX6 News reached out to Aurora for comment on Wednesday afternoon, but did not hear back.

Wisconsin DHS launches new web tool as virus deaths climb

The data also show the latest on the spread, showing the areas to the north and west with the highest growth of COVID-19 cases.

Wisconsin DHS: 2,319 new COVID-19 cases, 27 deaths confirmed

The number of new deaths reported Wednesday is the largest single-day rise reported thus far, surpassing the previous high of 22 deaths on May 27.