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COVID-19 Wisconsin Update #15 (3-20-20 AM)

Gov. Evers Confirms Two COVID-19 Deaths in Wisconsin

Last night, together with state health officials at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), Gov. Tony Evers confirmed two deaths in Wisconsin due to COVID-19. The first death was a male in his 50s from Fond Du Lac County. The second death was a male in his 90s from Ozaukee County.

“Our hearts go out to all the loved ones affected by these deaths, and to all those suffering from this virus,” said Gov. Evers. “We are committed to fighting the spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin and I want to recognize the hard work and bravery of our nurses, doctors, state health officials, and all those on the front lines in the effort to save lives. Together we will get through this historic health challenge.”

“We are very saddened by the death of these individuals and my heart goes out to the family, community, health providers and public health officials,” said DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm. “We are working nonstop with medical staff across the state to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and help protect the health and safety of Wisconsinites.”

(Link to release)

DHS Hosts Facebook Live Question & Answer Session

Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea and Dr. Ryan P. Westergard Chief Medical Officer and State Epidemiologist for Communicable Diseases at the Department of Health Services held a Facebook live update on the status of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wisconsin and actions the Administration is taking.

Sec. Palm and Dr. Westergard answered questions regarding why some businesses are being allowed to remain open and others, like restaurants, are being asked to close. Sec. Palm also noted the conversations taking place in the Administration, especially between her and WisDOT, to keep important infrastructure moving forward, while still containing the spread of the disease.

Link; https://www.facebook.com/DHSWI/videos/704619023677380/

Department of Health Services releases guidance documents on quarantine for Local Health Departments

BCD 2020-13, March 19, 2020:
Guidance for Local Health Departments, What to do when someone breaks quarantine
This memo provides guidance for Local Health Departments (LHDs) on What to do if someone breaks quarantine

BCD 2020-12, March 19, 2020: 
Updated guidance for local health departments and government partners about home isolation and quarantine for COVID-19
Discontinuation of Home Isolation for Persons with COVID-19.
While limited information is available to perfectly characterize the duration of viral shedding for persons with COVID-19, adoption of a common standard for discontinuing isolation recommendations is needed for making decisions about return to work and home isolation. The current recommendation is that discontinuation of isolation can occur without the need for follow-up COVID-19 testing (“test-of-cure”) if the following conditions are met:

    • At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and
    • At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

DHS supports adoption of this standard in community settings as well as health care settings, and can be used to determine when individuals are able to safely return to work.

When should individuals who are exposed to COVID-19 but who are asymptomatic be excluded from work?
At this time, DHS and CDC continue to recommend voluntary home quarantine and active symptom monitoring for all individuals who have a high risk or medium risk exposure to a person with laboratory confirmed COVID-19.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is in self-quarantine

In a statement shared Thursday, March 19, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett announced that he is in self-quarantine.

He issued the following statement:

“I have been informed I came in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.  I have consulted with public health officials and they have recommended 14 days of self-quarantine and therefore that’s what I will be doing. I am following best practices by self-isolating. In an effort to maintain social distancing the last several days, I have been continuing my duties and responsibilities by teleconference and videoconference and I expect to do the same during this time of self-quarantine.”

FOX6 News reported that he met the person last Friday, March 13 but would not say where. He found out March 19 that that person tested positive and is not symptomatic.

WisDOT public construction meetings are on hold

​Effective immediately, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is temporarily suspending all public involvement meetings and open houses for design and construction projects. This decision follows the public health directive to avoid meetings of 10 or more people as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19. WisDOT public meetings will be rescheduled as soon as possible. Additionally, WisDOT is reviewing options for alternative meeting formats. Projects will continue to rely on public input to take shape and move forward. (Link to release)

29,400 Unemployment Claims in WI so far this week

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that more than 29,400 new unemployment claims were made in Wisconsin from Sunday through Wednesday this week, according to preliminary claim filing totals from the U.S. Department of Labor. According to the article these are preliminary numbers and are subject to change.

  • Wednesday; ~14,800
  • Tuesday; ~8,400
  • Monday; ~4,000
  • Sunday; ~1,500

The article also notes this week’s four day numbers are six times higher than last week’s 5,200 claims.

Previous Wisconsin COVID-19 Updates

Previous COVID-19 Updates are archived here

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