The state of Wisconsin is reaching a crisis point in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Particularly in northeastern Wisconsin, hospitals are filling up and cases continue to spiral out of control. Follow our updates on the impact of COVID-19 in the Milwaukee area and around the state of Wisconsin.
BY THE NUMBERS: Tracking coronavirus cases in Wisconsin
Get daily updates on the Packers during the season.
RELATED: Cases around the United States and world
5:45 p.m.: Wisconsin Hospital Association forms coalition
The Wisconsin Hospital Association and a coalition of health care and business organizations have formed a coalition to encourage people to wear masks and take other precautions to check the surge in COVID-19 infections in the state.
“What we know is that masks work,” said Eric Borgerding, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Hospital Association. “And whether it’s through a mandate or through very vigilant use and encouragement of using masks, we know that it works.”
The planned campaign comes at a time when the state has seen a record number of COVID-19 cases and deaths from the coronavirus.
Borgerding did not comment on the opposition by Republican leaders of the state Legislature to Gov. Tony Evers’ statewide mandate requiring people to wear masks in public places when not a safe distance from others.
Read the full story from Guy Boulton.
5 p.m.: State reports second-highest coronavirus case count ever
Wisconsin on Friday reported 2,988 new coronavirus cases — the second-highest daily total ever, behind only Thursday’s record-shattering case count of more than 3,000.
The state Department of Health Services also reported 16 deaths due to the virus, bringing the death toll to 1,440.
The massive volume of cases reported since early September has had a significant impact on Wisconsin’s burgeoning health crisis.
Of the more than 144,000 confirmed cases in Wisconsin since the pandemic began, nearly half have come since Sept. 1, according to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel analysis.
In the first eight months of the year, Wisconsin reported about 75,000 cases. In the roughly six weeks since Sept. 1, it has reported about 69,000 cases.
Read the full story from Sophie Carson here.
2:12 p.m.: Oconto County feeling strain of virus spread, hospitalizations
Oconto County Public Health officer Debra Konitzer called on residents act to stop the spread of COVID-19.
The “uncontrolled spread” has led to an increase in hospitalizations and is straining health care systems, which are operating at crisis capacity, according to a statement Friday from Konitzer, Christopher Brabant, president and CEO of HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital, and James Dietsche, CEO of Bellin Health Oconto.
“It is extremely important that our communities remain vigilant in their actions and how they contribute to the spread of COVID-19,” Brabant said. “If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been