'We all need to change our behavior': Wisconsin ranks 4th worst in country for 14-day COVID-19 trends

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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Wisconsin is approaching a COVID-19 threshold that doctors were hoping they'd never see again. 

"We do not have good news to report this week," Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said. "We remain in the extreme transmission category for COVID-19 cases per 100,000."

Those trends earned the state a not-so-great standing amongst the rest of the country.

"Wisconsin has risen to an unfortunate position today, ranking as the fourth worst for 14-day trends in both cases, as well as, hospitalizations," Dr. Ben Weston, an associate professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin, said. 

That's why, regardless of vaccination status, doctors are pushing people to get tested for COVID-19 if experiencing any upper respiratory infection symptoms. 

"Really, the threshold to get tested should be pretty low, and availability in most places to get tested is actually pretty high," Dr. Dan Shirley, an infectious disease physician with UW Health, said. 

Testing is still one of the biggest tools in slowing the spread of the virus, right next to wearing masks.

"No one enjoys wearing a mask. I don't. I'm sure that you don't, but we all had hopes just a couple of months ago that we were past them," Weston said. "This virus had a different course in mind."

A course that could easily be reversed, Weston said, if everyone who can be vaccinated, gets vaccinated.

"We all need to change our behavior, wear a mask, and make sure you are vaccinated, and encourage everyone you know to get vaccinated," Barrett said. 

Barrett said his focus is to get people vaccinated, but he's not ruling out another mask mandate quite yet. He recommends people wear them where health experts say is appropriate.

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