For the third day in a row, the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases in the state per day has hit a record high. Today's report from the Department of Health Services shows a new high of 926 cases reported in the state. Although it is true that the number of tests being done in the state has increased greatly the percentage of tests that are positive also has been rising over the last few days, with over 8% of the tests done in the past 24 hours reported as positive. This is a disturbing trend, likely indicating that the opening of businesses in the state is increasing the number of cases. 

Locally, Dunn County reports 54 confirmed cases today, the same number as yesterday, but an increase of six since three days ago. Eau Claire County is now reporting a total of 332 confirmed cases, an increase of nine since yesterday. In Chippewa County, a total of 132 positive cases is being reported, the same as yesterday.

Although Wisconsin is not currently a huge hotspot of infection, some of the indicators paint an ugly picture. Some counties are now struggling with implementing stricter controls, particularly on the issue of face masks. In Dunn County the current health advisories from the county are recommendations, not mandates. Face mask wearing is very inconsistent in public places.  In some stores almost everyone is wearing a facemask, and in others almost nobody is.  Any casual glance through social media in the state shows a group of people who are determined not to wear masks as a matter of "freedom" while others deride these people as irresponsible. 

The school year is quickly coming up on all of us, and it seems impossible to see how in-person classes will be possible in many areas while the case load in the state continues to increase. Our advice? If you want to see your kids back in school for in-person instruction, practice social distancing, wash your hands, and wear a mask in public.  if we do not do these simple things we either will not be able to have in-person classes in the fall, or we will start them and have to shut the schools back down again when the spread of the virus becomes impossible to deal with. The state can do this, but we all need to pitch in.

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Steve Hanson

Steve is a web designer and recently retired from running the hosting and development company Cruiskeen Consulting LLC. Cruiskeen Consulting LLC is the parent company of Wis.Community, and publication of this site continues after his retirement.

Steve is a member of LION Publishers and the Local Media Association, is active in Health Dunn Right, and is vice-president of the League of Women Voters of the greater Chippewa Valley

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