From reporting by Post Crescent, a recent climb in the availability and usage of COVID-19 test kits has case numbers ticking up across Wisconsin. While it’s important to note that more testing, will, of course, result in more cases being discovered, there are certainly indications around the state that don’t bode well for progress.

According to the piece, May was marked by an upward creep in Wisconsin’s hospitalization rate, a metric that’s seeing a downward tick across the country, based on CDC data “that tracks about 10% of the U.S. population.” On May 23rd, Wisconsin saw 409 new COVID-19 hospital admits with another 208 inpatients waiting on their test results. Weekly reporting on COVID-19 via the CDC showed Wisconsin as a major U.S. outlier on that very day.

The piece also notes Wisconsin came up alarmingly high in “another metric used by epidemiologists to track the coronavirus’ spread: outpatients treated for flu-like illnesses.” Local experts on infectious disease, such as UW-Madison’s Nasia Safdar, remark that these numbers don’t necessarily indicate a dire trend, so long as they remain isolated. However, if they spread to a wider population and start to appear more communal, we may be looking at a more prolonged crisis.

You can read more about the potentially ominous case numbers in Wisconsin and what they might indicate amid the national conversation here.