MADISON, Wis. — Seven months into the coronavirus pandemic and it sounds a lot like March and April.

But this time the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths are hitting record levels.

“Stay home,” Gov. Tony Evers said Tuesday. “Don’t have people at your home who are outside of your immediate family or household. Don’t host or go to gatherings outside of your immediate family or household. Limit your social interactions to a circle of five. That means five total, not five at a time.”

His call comes after the state saw 64 deaths and 5,262 new cases in a single day, with no let up in sight.

“One hundred thousand cases in 36 days in an environment where we think the large majority of people have not been exposed to the virus, it’s a nightmare scenario,” said Dr. Ryan Westergaard of the Wisconsin Bureau of Communicable Diseases. “This could get quite a bit worse in the next several weeks or months before it gets better.”

State leaders are urging people across the state to wear masks, keep their distance, avoid groups and only go out when necessary.

“We have to go back to the things we were doing in that early spring timeframe if we’re going to get to a place where our case growth and escalation is not that intense, very high, activity level that you’re seeing right now on our map,” said Andrea Palm Department of Health Services Secretary-designee. 

The uptick is stressing some hospital capacity and staff while the number of people sent to a COVID-19 field hospital near Milwaukee has increased to five. Palm expects that facility will be needed as the pandemic drags on.

Evers said people who want to support local businesses, like restaurants, can use curbside pick-up and health and wellbeing matters can be handled - as much as possible - through telemedicine.

“We’ve heard story after story of folks who wish they would have taken serious precautions sooner,” he said.”They thought it couldn’t happen to them, and then it did. So please don’t risk it.”