The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) reported on Saturday, March 21, the number of positive tests for COVID-19 in the state is 281.

Just the day before, Friday, March 20, DHS reported 206 positive.

Of the 4,909 COVID-19 tests processed in the state so far, 4,628 have been negative and 281 have been positive.

DHS also reported four deaths.

The DHS is reporting “community spread” — the virus is being spread within the community versus an outside infection — in six counties: Brown (3 positives), Columbia (5 positives) Dane (49 positives), Kenosha (5 positives), Milwaukee (126 positives) and Waukesha (20 positives).

Other counties that have reported positives include Bayfield, Calumet, Chippewa, Douglas, Dunn, Eau Claire, Fond du Lac, Green, Jefferson, La Crosse, Marathon, Outagamie, Ozaukee, Pierce, Racine, Rock, Sauk, Sheboygan, St. Croix, Walworth, Washington, Winnebago and Wood.

There have been no positive tests reports in Sawyer County and neighboring counties of Washburn, Barron, Rusk, Price and Ashland.

Douglas and Bayfield counties to the north have each reported one positive result.

During a briefing with Gov. Tony Evers on Friday, March 20, DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm predicted there would eventually be positive cases reported in every county.

On Tuesday, March 17, Gov. Evers directed DHS to issue an agency order prohibiting mass gatherings of 10 people or more to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The order made exceptions for areas for transportation, educational institutions, childcare, hotels, military, law enforcement, food pantries, hospitals, long-term care facilities, grocery stores and convenience stores, utility facilities, job centers, and courts.

Restaurants and bars can only offer take-out or delivery.

On Friday, Evers directed DHS to issue another order closing down hair, nail and day salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, body art establishments and tanning facilities.

The DHS orders are meant to create “social distancing” — encouraging people from gathering in the proximity of others (at least 6 feet) to prevent the virus from spreading person to person.

In the briefing on Friday, Gov. Evers said one of the best things residents can do to flatten or slow the growth of the pandemic is to stay home.

(Copyright © 2020 APG Media)

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