STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WAOW) - Portage County reported it's the largest single-day increase in Coronavirus cases on Sunday. The total case number for the county has steeply risen since the beginning of September.
Averaging an increase of 22 cases each day, the Portage County Health and Human Services Director Ray Przybelski said, "Outbreaks have been associated with just activity, whether its weddings, funerals, baby showers."
Przybelski noted spread is likely due to lack of masks and social distancing at those gatherings.
That issue was clear over labor day weekend, not only the record-high case number but disregard for CDC guidance. At fairs and festivals across the county, few people wore masks and practiced social distancing.
"This helps us protect not only ourselves and our families but others in our community," said Stevens Point Mayor Mike Wiza.
The battle against COVID-19 is personal for Wiza, his daughter and wife both showed symptoms and tested positive for the virus. "I did have to take my wife to the ER once but they were not hospitalized," said Wiza. "It was severe, they both said it was the worst experience they'd ever had, and I'm sure neither one of them want it again."
So, Wiza explained, it frustrates him to see the number of cases in his county rise.
Meanwhile, the Health and Human Services Director said the uptick is "a lot of work," and he's prepared for more to come.
The county is constantly looking for new contact tracers and, if the trend continues, they'll need to lean on the Wisconsin Department of Health for more assistance.