Rockford, Illinois News

Wisconsin officials urge people to celebrate Fourth at home as COVID-19 cases surge

MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin health officials are asking residents to celebrate the Fourth of July as cases of COVID-19 are on the rise.

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. Officials say the 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 Gov.Tony Evers said. “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.

“Twenty-three percent of our total cases in Wisconsin are people in their twenties,” Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm said. “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.”