Labs across Wisconsin ran thousands more coronavirus tests since Wednesday than they have in any single day prior, as state health officials reported an increase of 472 new positive cases Thursday.

The 472 cases make up about 5% of the 9,410 tests processed since the day before. The previous record for tests in a single day was set Wednesday at just over 6,000.

It comes as no surprise, as the National Guard has fanned out across the state to conduct massive testing operations in hopes of diagnosing those who are ill and getting a better grip on how many in the state have the virus. Gov. Tony Evers also announced earlier this week that he would spend nearly $260 million on test kits and local health departments so they can conduct their own testing.

The percentage of positive tests announced Thursday is down slightly from Wednesday's 8% positive tests, which Department of Health Services secretary designee Andrea Palm called a good sign. The percentage of positive tests is one metric state health officials are watching to determine when the state could begin to reopen under Evers' former stay-at-home order.

To date, 177,123 Wisconsinites have now been tested for the virus, more than 163,000 of which have come back negative. On Thursday, 13,885 people had tested positive, and nearly six in 10 of those patients have recovered.

Four hundred and eighty-seven people have died as a result of complications from the virus, an increase of six from Wednesday.

Evers also announced on Thursday that he would infuse Wisconsin's long-term care facilities with $100 million in federal CARES Act funding, targeted at places most at financial risk during the pandemic. Of the state's 376 current investigations into facilities with outbreaks of the coronavirus, just under half of those are occurring in long-term-care facilities.

The Wisconsin Hospital Association reported Thursday that 398 patients across the state were currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 126 of them in the intensive care unit. The percentage of patients who have required hospitalization for their illness during the pandemic remains at about 16%.

On Thursday, the number of coronavirus cases in each county of the state stood as follows:

5,556 in Milwaukee County

2,177 in Brown County

1,166 in Racine County

921 in Kenosha County

576 in Dane County

527 in Waukesha County

493 in Rock County

316 in Walworth County

171 in Washington County

161 in Outagamie County

148 in Fond du Lac County

141 in Winnebago County

131 in Ozaukee County

121 in Dodge County

82 in Eau Claire County

78 in Grant County

77 in Sauk County

76 in Sheboygan County

67 in Jefferson County

61 in Calumet County

57 in St. Croix County

49 in Green County

47 in La Crosse County

45 in Chippewa County

36 in Columbia and Shawano counties

35 in Marathon County

34 in Door County

32 in Kewaunee County

31 in Oconto County

30 in Pierce County

29 in Clark County

28 in Manitowoc and Marinette counties

24 in Crawford County

22 in Juneau County

20 in Dunn County

19 in Waupaca County

16 in Lafayette and Monroe counties

15 in Douglas and Jackson counties

14 in Richland County

13 in Trempealeau and Vernon counties

12 in Green Lake County

11 in Barron, Forest and Iowa counties

Nine in Polk and Wood counties

Eight in Portage County

Seven in Sawyer and Waushara counties

Five in Buffalo and Vilas counties

Four in Adams and Rusk counties

Three in Bayfield, Lincoln and Marquette counties

Two in Ashland, Florence, Iron, Menominee, Price and Washburn counties

One in Burnett, Langlade, Pepin and Taylor counties

Note that state totals are frozen once a day and may not reflect numbers put out by local health departments.

Contact Madeline Heim at 920-996-7266 or mheim@gannett.com. Follow her on Twitter at @madeline_heim.

(Copyright © 2020 APG Media)

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