MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The number of positive cases and deaths caused by COVID-19 continues to climb in Wisconsin Friday, with the governor and other state officials imploring residents to wear a mask and do what it takes to stop the spread.
State health officials said 24 more people have died from coronavirus complications since Thursday, bringing the death toll in Wisconsin to 1,972. Another 5,096 people have tested positive in the last day, bringing the state’s total cases to 220,092.
Currently 1,400 people are hospitalized with the virus.
Despite the climbing numbers, Gov. Tony Evers said local clerks and poll workers are prepared to handle voters on Tuesday.
“For those who are voting in person now, I believe it’s safe,” Evers said a virtual briefing Friday, adding that polling places have adequate supplies to protect voters.
Some 400 Wisconsin National Guard members will help staff the polls statewide, Evers added.
“If we want to do this right...and stop it in it’s tracks, we have to wear a freaking mask,” the governor said.
Evers said when political leaders don’t wear a mask, it sends a message that it’s not important, referencing campaign rallies by President Donald Trump, who along with his rival, Joe Biden, was stopping in Wisconsin Friday.
“I’ll bet you there will be more than a handful of people in the crowd that aren’t wearing a mask,” the Democratic governor said of the Trump rally in the Green Bay area.
He said the Biden campaign has dealt with the coronavirus in more proactive ways.
“One campaign is sure the hell safer than the other,” Evers said. Biden was to campaign in Milwaukee Friday evening.
(Correction: This story has been updated to correct the state’s total cases figure in the 2nd graf to 220,092.)