MILWAUKEE — Wisconsin tallied the highest one-day increase in COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began on Thursday.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Service recorded a record-shattering 2,034 confirmed cases, by far the largest number of cases counted on any day since the department began counting.
The spike raises the percent of positive cases to 17.8 percent, not a record but still one one the largest jumps recorded. That percent comes after the DHS tallied 19.7 percent last Monday, and 20.5 percent on Sunday.
The average percent positive over the last 14 days also inched up to 14.3 percent on Thursday, also not a record. However, if the percent positive is tracked over the last seven days - it is. DHS tallied a record-breaking seven-day percent positive of 14.2 percent on Thursday.
A graph from the DHS strikingly illustrates Thursday's coronavirus numbers:
Meanwhile, DHS recorded three new deaths due to COVID-19, raising the total death toll in Wisconsin to 1,231. Sixty-eight people were hospitalized from the virus on Thursday, raising the total number of confirmed hospitalizations to 6,522 since the pandemic began.
The most recent spike began in early September - just as schools across the state began to reopen. While many districts have kept to strict virtual-learning, the majority either allow all in-person or follow a hybrid model.
Major universities in our area, including UWM and Marquette, already are dealing with rising cases, often connected to gatherings of students on and off campus. The largest outbreak among students has occurred at the UW-Madison, Wisconsin's largest university.