“We’re by no means out of the woods.” That from Wisconsin’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ryan Westergaard on Thursday, in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have a percent positive rate, statewide of between three and five percent. Overall it is good. In certain communities that have percent positive rates of 20 to 30 percent, that’s a big problem. Because we know how quickly a community area hotspot, if not contained can spread into a larger community or regional hot spot.”

Four percent of more than 12-thousand new COVID-19 tests were positive on Thursday. That’s the highest percent positive in five days, but overall, the percent of positive tests has been trending down since testing began in the state in early May.

“This disease is still prevalent in communities . . . it is still spreading,” DHS Secretary Andrea Palm said during Thursday’s media conference call. “You can see that in the hundreds of positive cases we are getting on a daily basis.”

The Department of Health Services reported 10 more deaths Thursday, bringing the total number to 626 since the pandemic began. Confirmed cases increased by 492, for a total of 19,892.

Westergaard added that infections in nursing homes remain a concern. “Until we have a really low level, where infections in those settings are rare, I don’t feel like we’re going to feel like we’re anywhere close to being out of the woods. In fact we need to really double down now, to make sure that the number of facility investigations have all the resources they need to prevent them from spilling out to a wider community or regional epidemic.”

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