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Rise in COVID 19 cases tied to gatherings prompts state DHS to launch risk-assessing tool

MADISON, Wis. — With more positive coronavirus cases in Wisconsin linked to parties and other gatherings, state health officials have released a new tool that people can use to measure risk levels of different activities.

Positive COVID-19 cases tied to mass gatherings grew from 7% of cases in May to 21% in June and 20% in July. On Wednesday, state and county health officials recorded more than 500 new cases of the virus. Wisconsin’s lifetime total is now at 67,577 confirmed cases. The percentage of active cases continues to decline, however, as about 12% of people still have the virus.

In a news release, Gov. Tony Evers said the tool is meant to help people in making safe choices.

“I understand the pull to see family and do the activities we love to do, but we also need to protect ourselves and each other as much as possible,” Evers said in a statement.

The new tool allows people to answer a series of questions to determine the risk of certain behaviors. The health department also released guidelines for school districts to follow in preventing, investigation and controlling COVID-19 outbreaks.

“This tool is meant to empower people to choose safer activities whenever possible,” said DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm. “All activities involve some level of risk, and depending on the individual participating and the community where the activity is located, that risk is evolving and multi-dimensional. This tool gives people additional questions to consider when making decisions about which activities to participate in.”

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