Game day in Green Bay: Empty sports bars, full hospitals.

On Sunday, an N.F.L. game day when the Green Bay Packers were taking it to the Texans in Houston, the scene in the Packers’ Wisconsin hometown was noticeably subdued, as the coronavirus surged in the state and people mostly avoided the bars that are usually jammed when the Packers are playing.

“You can’t even really tell that there’s a game,” lamented Jon Cooper, a 31-year-old machinist who was having a beer with friends at Cropsey’s on State, an indoor bar about a mile and a half from Lambeau Field, where the Packers play home games. No one wore masks except the bartenders, and about 30 people crowded together around the bar, leaving most of the room empty.

Still, that was busier than most other places in town, many of which had a straggler or two watching the game on big-screen televisions in otherwise empty rooms.

The Great Lakes states are in the grip of a synchronized spiraling of the pandemic. Seven states that border the lakes, including Wisconsin, are at or near their all-time-worst daily case totals. And along with 16 other states, Wisconsin has added more cases over the last seven days than in any other weeklong stretch.

More than 41,000 people are hospitalized with the coronavirus in the United States, a 40 percent rise in the past month. Daily death tolls have not risen so sharply, but they are inching upward: The country is now averaging more than 800 deaths a day for the first time since mid-September.

Wisconsin, and the Green Bay area in particular, has reported some of the country’s most alarming data in recent weeks. Brown County, which includes Green Bay, has averaged more than 230 cases a day over the last week, up from about 50 a day at the start of September and around 10 in early June.

As of Sunday morning, the Green Bay metropolitan area ranked 15th nationally in recent cases per capita; seven other Wisconsin metro areas ranked even higher.

Source: Read Full Article