'Worst it's ever been:' Wisconsin sees record virus case increase

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, health officials are concerned -- especially because in Milwaukee County COVID-19 testing has decreased.

In addition to the National Guard sites in Milwaukee, CVS is expanding its COVID-19 testing to four new sites in the county including one in Wauwatosa.

On Thursday, officials reported that 2,034 COVID-19 cases were added in Wisconsin -- a new single-day high.

"This is the worst it's ever been in Wisconsin in terms of the number of new cases," Wisconsin DHS epidemiologist Ryan Westergaard said.

Not only does that blow past the previous single-day record by more than 400 cases, but it's also the first time numbers have surpassed 2,000 in a day.

"I think it's pretty clear it's the college campuses driving this more than anything," Mayor Tom Barrett said.

Quarantined dorms and virtual classes are becoming more common:

"We're seeing a significant spike in cases among 18-24 years. Every county except one in Wisconsin is at a high level of disease activity," said Stephanie Smiley, the Wisconsin DHS Interim State Health Officer.

Despite the record, experts say testing has decreased in Milwaukee County since July.  In an effort to inform and reverse that trend, the city is launching TestUpMKE.com which offers a directory of testing sites and resources.

sign about Milwaukee mask mandate

"The site is 100% informed and framed by people like you and me - community members who are living through this pandemic," Milwaukee Community testing initiative co-chair Allison True said.

Experts say Labor Day gatherings may also play a role in the state's record numbers.

"We would be starting to see those cases this week," Dr. Westergaard said.

And while the CDC still recommends face masks to stop the spread of COVID-19, the state's mask mandate is set to expire on September 28.  Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says that won't stop schools, stores, or even the city from continuing on with their own regulations.

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"Our [mask] mandate is not based in any way with the state mandate. It was done independently," Barrett said.

The interim state health officer is also encouraging mask-wearing, saying it's even important to wear a mask when you're outside and cannot keep physical distance.

The four new locations of CVS testing sites are located at:

  • 7550 West Perkins Place, Milwaukee
  • 3030 West Villard Avenue, Milwaukee
  • 7520 West Blue Mound Road, Wauwatosa
  • 7552 West Oklahoma, West Allis

Wisconsin DHS: 2,034 new COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths confirmed

It marks the first time that confirmed cases have surpassed 2,000 in a single day, surpassing the previous single-day high -- 1,582 cases.

  • Green Bay area teacher dies from COVID-19 The Howard-Suamico School District said in the statement Thursday, Sept. 17 Heidi Hussli died on Thursday morning after a brief hospitalization.