The Department of Health Services urges Wisconsin residents to stay home and follow best public health practices during the upcoming Fourth of July weekend. Wisconsin has seen a recent surge in cases with half of all positive cases coming within the past five weeks. Nearly 20% of total COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin have tested positive within the past two weeks. This spike in cases is driven in part by an increase in infections among younger people, and contact tracing by some local health departments has revealed that many of these cases can traced back to bars.
“This message is especially important for younger people to hear,” said Governor Tony Evers. “We know this is a time people like to celebrate with friends, but COVID-19 is still spreading in our state, and we need everyone to take the necessary precautions.”
While there were more confirmed COVID-19 cases during early May compared to early June, more than twice the percentage of cases (14% compared to 7%) reported attending a gathering or party or meeting up with people outside their homes within two weeks of getting COVID-19. 1% reported attending a protest or rally during early June.
“23% of our total cases in Wisconsin are people in their twenties,” said DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm. “Compare that to our cases in early April when 11% of positive cases were in their twenties. In order to help decrease the infection rate in our state, we need younger Wisconsinites to take more precautions like staying home, physical distancing, and wearing cloth face coverings whenever possible.”
Contact tracing, an integral part of Wisconsin’s response to the pandemic, has revealed that more and more individuals testing positive for COVID-19 have recently met up with people outside their household. As the weather continues to improve, DHS encourages Wisconsinites to consult guidance on how to participate in summer activities safely, which can be found on the DHS Avoid Illness webpage.
For up-to-date information about Wisconsin’s COVID-19 response, visit the DHS COVID-19 webpage. We also encourage you to follow @DHSWI on Facebook and Twitter and dhs.wi on Instagram for more information on COVID-19.