7 Wisconsin counties are now at ‘High’ levels of COVID-19, triggering mask recommendation

MADISON, Wis. — A total of seven Wisconsin counties have now reached “High” levels of COVID-19 community spread, the level at which the CDC recommends everyone wear masks indoors.

The seven counties identified by Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services are Kenosha, Racine, Vernon, Monroe, La Crosse, Rusk and Barron counties.

In southern Wisconsin, Dane, Rock, Columbia, Sauk, Iowa, and Green counties are in the “Medium” level of spread as defined by the CDC. Several counties in the area, including Richland, Crawford, Grant, Lafayette, Jefferson and Dodge counties are still in the “Low” level of community spread.

The CDC recommends everyone in communities seeing High levels of spread wear a mask indoors, as well as stay up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccinations, get tested if they have symptoms, and take extra precautions if they are high-risk for severe illness.

In communities with Medium levels of spread, those who are high-risk should talk to their doctor or healthcare provider about whether they should be wearing a mask indoors and if any additional precautions are needed.

Wisconsin has seen its seven-day average of the percent of positive test results rise in the last month, reaching 13.7 percent on May 12, with 1,863 positive tests recorded.

While the case numbers have been increasing, the number of deaths and hospitalizations are not increasing at the same rates. DHS says the current seven-day average is about 4 new deaths being recorded per day.

A total of 64 percent of Wisconsinites have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 61.1 percent have completed the initial vaccine series, but only 34.3 percent of residents have received a booster dose.