The number of positive coronavirus cases in Wisconsin has almost doubled in a month, and the state set daily records for new cases, deaths and hospitalizations this week.
Ten states on Thursday reported record increases in new cases, including Wisconsin with 4,000 new cases.
"Despite increased staffing and the assistance of the state contact tracing team, the number of people to be contacted has now exceeded the capacity of the Rock County Public Health Department", Rock County Public Health Director Marie-Noel Sandoval said.
The seven-day average of daily cases rose to about 1,338, from 965, over two weeks. The seven-day average positivity rate, 3.75%, was up from roughly 3% on September 30.
The United States reported 60,000 new infections on Wednesday, the highest since 14 August, with rising cases in every region, especially the Midwest. "Our numbers are high and they're growing rapidly", state Health Secretary-Designate Andrea Palm told a news conference. "Wisconsin is in crisis and we need to take this seriously".
To date, the state has had more than 162,000 confirmed cases and 1,553 deaths from the disease since the start of the pandemic. Hospital stays in those states reached a record high for a 10th consecutive day, as some hospitals began feeling the strain.
As of Thursday, the hospital had yet to admit anyone.
Attendees will be required to park more than two miles away and take shuttle buses to the rally, the sheriff's department said. There were almost 625 new cases per 100,000 people in Wisconsin over the past two weeks, which was the fourth-highest of any state.
Republicans and the Tavern League argue that Evers has overstepped his authority with the orders. Republican lawmakers and the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty have sued to end the statewide mask mandate.
Evers on Friday launched a television ad criticizing Republicans for inaction, and the state's second-largest school district said students wouldn't be returning for in-person classes until late January at the earliest.
Evers has faulted Republicans for fighting him in court and not coming forward with a plan of their own. "So, we have to step it up".