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Wisconsin Reports its Highest Daily Increase in COVID-19 Cases

FILE - People line up for a free COVID-19 test in a parking lot in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, May 11, 2020.
FILE - People line up for a free COVID-19 test in a parking lot in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, May 11, 2020.

Health officials in the midwestern U.S. state of Wisconsin reported a record number of new COVID-19 cases Thursday, two weeks after the state Supreme Court struck down a state-wide stay-at-home order issued by the governor and enacted by the state health department.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported 599 new known COVID-19 cases Wednesday, with 22 known deaths, the highest recorded daily rise since the pandemic began. The department reports the state had more than 16,460 known cases and 539 known deaths as of Wednesday.

The previous state record number of new coronavirus cases was 528 a week earlier.

The department also reported the state issued a record number of test results Wednesday with more than 10,300 tests conducted.

On May 13, in a 4-3 ruling, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled the state’s stay-at-home order during the pandemic was "unlawful, invalid, and unenforceable" after finding that the state's health secretary exceeded her authority.

While some Wisconsin municipalities continued to enforce their own COVID-19-related restrictions, some bars and restaurants were filled with customers within hours of the ruling.

Some local officials, including those in the cities of Milwaukee and Madison, have since instituted their own regulations.

The order that was struck down had directed all people in the state to stay at home or at their places of residence, subject only to exceptions allowed by the health secretary, the ruling said. The order, which had been set to run until May 26, also restricted travel and business, along with threatening jail time or fines for those who didn't comply.

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