It was another record setting day for new coronavirus cases in Wisconsin on Thursday.

The state Department of Health Services reported 7,497 new confirmed cases — the third consecutive day the state has confirmed more than 7,000 cases. The positive test rate was just over 33 percent. The seven-day positive test rate rose to 36.4 percent, also a new record.

The number hospitalized COVID-19 patients was 2,077 — that was 25 fewer than Wednesday. But the 14 patients at the State Fair Park alternate care facility was a record 14. DHS reported 58 deaths, for a total of 2,515.

Hospitals  are facing a crisis brought on by record numbers of COVID-19 patients. “What we have heard consistently from our hospitals is the biggest issue is staff. They have beds, they don’t have staff. And that is true in long term care, and that is true in hospitals,” Department of Health Services Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk said Thursday.

Willems Van Dijk said hospital staff may be sick, or in quarantine, and DHS is exploring a number of ways to assist hospitals. But she says the best way to help is to prevent new coronavirus infections.

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