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COVID-19 Wisconsin Update #171 (10-8-20)

Updated numbers from Thursday October 8th, 2020

  • 907 Current Hospital Admissions ( 228 patients in ICU)
    • Hospital admissions are up 34 (+34) since Wednesday. 
      • 907 current hospital admissions is a new one day high for the pandemic.
    • The total number of ICU patients reported increased by 9, (+9) since Wednesday.
      • 228 ICU patients is a new one day high for the pandemic.
  • As of Thursday, cumulatively there have been 141,830 positive tests in Wisconsin;
    • On Thursday there were 3,132 positive tests
    • The 7-day average for positive tests is now 2,381/day
  • Deaths from COVID-19 are at 1,424 in Wisconsin. 
    • On Thursday there were 9 deaths reported
  • 113,596 patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are listed as having recovered (80.1%), 26,774 cases are still considered active (18.9%) and 1,424 patients have died (1.0%). (last updated by DHS on 10/8) 


City of Milwaukee Health Department says its order is more stringent than Governor Evers, so will allow restaurants to operate at greater capacity

The City of Milwaukee Public Health Department put a press release noting that it will continue to enforce its local health safety order because they argue it is more restrictive than the Governor Evers’ Emergency Order #3 and that all businesses and individuals should continue to adhere to the Moving Milwaukee Forwards Safely Order instead of the Governor’s order.

From the release:

The Moving Milwaukee Forward Safely local order requires restaurants and bars to submit an a strenuous 80 point COVID checklist to the Health Department to operate. The checklist requires businesses to implement hygiene, cleaning, and protective measures, policies, and procedures.

The local order also requires businesses to facilitate remote work to the greatest extent possible and ensure individuals remain six feet from others whenever possible. As a result, even though the Moving Milwaukee Forward Safely Order permits a larger threshold of individuals in certain places than Emergency Order #3 allows, the additional restrictions listed under the local order do more to prevent COVID-19 transmission than Governor Evers’ Emergency Order #3

Link to press release

Legislative Leaders release multiple attorney memos on Governor Evers’ Emergency Order #3 

Late yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) sent a letter to Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm stating;

Because DHS did not comply with those procedures [Administrative Procedure Act’s emergency rulemaking procedures] before issuing this document, the order, in its current form, “is unenforceable.” Id. at 533. The attached memorandum from the nonpartisan Legislative Reference Bureau reaches the same conclusion. There is no serious argument to the contrary.

If DHS wishes to promulgate this document as an emergency rule, DHS should immediately prepare a finding of emergency, submit a scope statement to the Department of Administration and your office for approval, have that statement published in the state’s Administrative Register, and follow all other necessary steps as clearly outlined in Chapter 227. After these steps are taken, the rulemaking process can begin as provided by law.

Accompanying the letter was a memo from a Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB) Senior Attorney who responded to a question that a court following the reasoning of the Supreme Court ruling Wisconsin Legislature v. Palm “would likely require Emergency Order #3, which limits public gatherings, to be promulgated as a rule.”

Senate Minority Leader Janet Bewley (D-Ashland), followed up with an LRB memo from the same attorney that states the Emergency Order is enforceable until a court acts, DHS withdraws the emergency order or it expires.

Anyone who seeks to challenge the enforceability of an executive branch order of the type of Emergency Order #3—including a challenge to Emergency Order #3 that it is unenforceable under the Wisconsin Supreme Court opinion in Wisconsin Legislature v. Palm1—must do so by petitioning a court to decide the enforceability of the order. Wisconsin law includes specific procedures that contemplate allowing a party to obtain relief in circumstances where it appears that the party is entitled to judgment and it is necessary to restrain the actions of the other party stop a violation of the moving party’s rights.

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