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RACINE – The City of Racine on Tuesday reported a 20.7 percent increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases from Friday. The Racine Health Department statistics showed 1,057 confirmed cases, up from 838 confirmed cases on Friday – before the start of the Memorial Day weekend.

The Wisconsin National Guard conducted 2,500 community-based tests at Festival Hall from May 18 through May 26.

The new numbers came on the same day that the City of Racine launched “Forward Racine” that allows restaurants, bars, retail stores, and other businesses to operate under guidelines to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Many City of Racine businesses had been closed or strictly limited in operation since mid-March.

“We remain concerned about the rate of community spread,” Mayor Cory Mason said in a Tuesday afternoon live Facebook message. “These precautions are just as true today as they were yesterday. We need everyone to stay safe…Just know that coronavirus continues to be a serious concern here in the City of Racine.”

On Tuesday, Racine County reported 1,553 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 218 probable cases and 27 deaths. Of the COVID-19 tests performed to date, 8,554 were negative. The percentage of positive tests was 15.3%. That was well above the Wisconsin statewide average of 3.6 percent, according to daily figures compiled Tuesday by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS).

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Racine County continued to rank third statewide in confirmed COVID-19, according to Tuesday’s DHS statistics. Milwaukee was in first place at 6,517 cases; Brown County was second with 2,249 cases. Kenosha County had the fourth-highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases at 1,008.

A community testing site for COVID-19 continues through Saturday at Festival Hall, 5 Fifth St., Racine. The hours are 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. through Friday. Saturday hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Testing is free. People wishing to be tested from their vehicles are asked to drive to Festival Hall via 11th Street to the east and then north on Pershing Drive. Community COVID-19 testing was offered last week (May 18-22) in Racine and the previous week (May 11-15) in Burlington. The tests have been conducted by Wisconsin National Guard personnel.

Editor’s note, this version of the story corrects the percentage increase in cases at 20.7 percent. Racine County Eye regrets the error

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Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...