WISCONSIN (WQOW) - Wisconsin continues to see record-breaking deaths and case increases and now DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm is discouraging gatherings of any size.
Just Wednesday, the state saw the highest single-day covid death count to date at 48 and now 68 out of Wisconsin's 72 counties are reporting a 'very high' activity level, including Eau Claire, Chippewa, and Dunn.
That, mixed with substantial community spread and lack of contact tracers statewide is why Palm is urging Wisconsinites to keep their interactions within their households.
"When activity level is this high and the trajectory of our cases is growing, gatherings of any size are not safe. Interacting with people outside of your household can easily spread the virus, and once the chain of transmission starts, it can lead to serious infections and hospitalizations," Palm said.
Hospitalizations continue to skyrocket as well. In the northwest region alone, which holds most of the Chippewa Valley, hospitalizations have gone up by 52% this past week.
Eau Claire County Health Director Lieske Giese says Chippewa Valley hospitals are still in a good place and people need to take precautions to keep them running smoothly, but this data shows those preventative steps aren't being taken.
"(t's not a good sign," Giese said. "Once we get to the point where hospitalizations go up and deaths go up, we know we're in a place that we are not slowing the spread. We are not doing those common-sense things in our community to keep from those at-risk people and the general public from getting sick."
Eau Claire County has now seen 103 people ever hospitalized due to COVID-19 and roughly 50 new positive cases are coming in each day.