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Face Masks Urged In 7 Wisconsin Counties As U.S. Marks 1M COVID Deaths

Patch logo Patch 5/13/2022 Ethan Duran

WISCONSIN — Health officials advised residents to wear a mask indoors in public as seven Wisconsin counties shifted to "high" community transmission levels due to a rise in both cases and hospitalizations, health services data showed Friday.

Seven counties, including Racine and Kenosha, had "high" levels of spread across their communities, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. Federal officials advised people to mask indoors in counties with high community levels — based on a framework that watches hospitalizations and new infections.

A total of 45 counties had "medium" or "high" COVID-19 community transmission levels combined. Courtesy of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. © Provided by Patch A total of 45 counties had "medium" or "high" COVID-19 community transmission levels combined. Courtesy of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Meanwhile, case rates grew across the Badger State: The seven-day average for new COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin was 2,095 new cases per day, data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services showed. There were 2,517 new cases reported on Thursday.

There were 356 people occupying hospital beds for complications related to the virus on Thursday, nearly 100 more patients recorded than May 6.

1 Million Americans Have Died From COVID-19


Video: Mask mandate returns to Whitefish Bay schools (WISN Milwaukee)

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On Thursday, President Joe Biden marked 1 million COVID-19 deaths in the United States since the pandemic began more than two years ago. The United States has the highest death toll from the virus in the world. In Wisconsin, 14,502 people have died of the disease, according to state data.

President Biden has urged Congress to pass additional COVID-19 funding so the nation can continue fighting the virus as new variants emerge. The administration has requested $22.5 billion to keep tests, vaccinations and certain treatments free for people who don't have health insurance to cover the costs. The funds would also support the purchase of additional booster shots, especially if the nation needs variant-specific boosters in the future, the White House said March 15.

The administration and Democratic leaders hoped to pass COVID-19 funding alongside Ukraine aid, using the $40 billion package for Ukraine as leverage for additional funding against the virus. But Republicans balked, saying they wouldn't approve pandemic funding without a vote on President Biden's decision to end certain border policies from President Donald Trump's term.

Ultimately, President Biden and Democrats chose to decouple the two bills, which sends the Ukraine package closer to the Oval Office but leaves federal COVID-19 funding in the balance.

"We cannot allow our shipments of assistance to stop while we await further Congressional action," President Biden said of the Ukraine package. "We are approximately 10 days from hitting this critical deadline."

Josh Bakan, Patch Staff, contributed to this report.

The article Face Masks Urged In 7 Wisconsin Counties As U.S. Marks 1M COVID Deaths appeared first on Milwaukee Patch.

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