They have watched with growing alarm as coronavirus cases have exploded. Three of the four metro areas in the United States with the most cases per capita were in northeast Wisconsin, and one hospital in Green Bay, the third-largest city in the state, was nearly full this week.

Daily statewide deaths because of the coronavirus hit a record on Wednesday when officials reported that 26 people had succumbed to the virus. On Thursday, hospitalizations were at a high since the pandemic began, and more than 3,000 new cases were reported, another record…

“I’m honestly not sure that anything we do right now will make a difference,” Ms. Palmeri said. “It’s too late.”

At a Kwik Trip in Oshkosh one afternoon this week, customers rushed in and out of the gas station, nearly everyone wearing face masks, as the state mask mandate requires. But officials said that they have been frustrated by a lack of compliance elsewhere, particularly when college bars in town close each night and dozens of people, drunk and maskless, pour into the streets.