Updated numbers from Thursday November 19th, 2020
- 2,104 Current Hospital Admissions, 427 patients in ICU, 17 patients at the Alternate Care Facility
- Hospital admissions are down 113 (-113) since Wednesday.
- The total number of ICU patients decreased by 1 (-1) since Wednesday.
- The total number of patients at the ACF increased by 5 (-5) since Wednesday.
- Cumulatively there have been 338,472 positive tests in Wisconsin:
- 6,635 new positives reported on Thursday.
- The 7-day average for positive tests is now 6,440/day
- Deaths from COVID-19 are at 2,876 in Wisconsin.
- 83 deaths were reported on Thursday
- 259,953 patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are listed as having recovered (76.8%), 75,580 cases are still considered active (22.3%) and 2,876 patients have died (0.8%). (last updated by DHS on 11/19)
- DHS COVID-19: County Data; https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/county.htm
- WHA COVID-19 Situational Awareness Update: https://www.wha.org/Covid-19Update
Wisconsin Hospital Association Urges Unity, Calls for Significant Resources from State COVID Legislation
Wisconsin Hospital Association President and CEO Eric Borgerding today sent a letter to Governor Evers and the state’s legislative leaders detailing the stress placed on the state’s hospitals and health systems by uncontrolled COVID-19 community spread across Wisconsin and suggesting specific legislative action to combat the pandemic. Borgerding acknowledged previous efforts that have taken place, some of which have been nullified in the courts, and called on all lawmakers to come together on a statewide mitigation strategy.
In his letter Borgeding detailed the troubling statistics Wisconsin has encountered;
- Our state had 2,274 COVID patients sick in hospital beds – double what it was just four weeks ago and six-times what it was eight weeks ago.
- Wisconsin saw a net increase of 174 COVID patients in hospitals – the single largest one-day increase, so far, and the third new single day record in past several days.
- Our intensive care units (ICUs) had 456 COVID patients, another awful new record and over four-times what is was just two months ago. The capacity to serve our sickest patients in Wisconsin is shrinking by double-digits nearly every day.
- Most concerning, yesterday 92 COVID deaths were reported, by far the largest single day number, and total COVID deaths reached 2,741, more than doubling in just two months.
WHA urges lawmakers and Governor Evers to take the following actions [excerpted from the letter];
- Slowing the Spread of COVID-19: “This could include things like a statewide mask policy, taking steps to affirm the authority of counties and municipalities to adopt their own strategies, considering legislation to implement an updated version of WMC’s Back to Business Plan, or a combination of all the above.“
- Addressing Immediate Care Capacity & Workforce Needs: As proposed this week by Governor Evers, we strongly support providing $105 million in additional resources to bolster the frontline hospital workforce and increase care capacity.
- Establishing More Alternate Care Facilities for Hospital COVID and Other Patients: Wisconsin needs to open additional/regional ACFs in other parts of the state that are closer to surging patients. The most significant limitation on greater utilization of the West Allis ACF is the reluctance of patients to be transferred to a facility that for many is too far away from their home. By opening additional/regional ACFs we can free-up precious hospital capacity in other overwhelmed areas of the state so they can continue providing care to both COVID and non-COVD patients.
- Maintaining & Expanding Testing Capacity & Contact Tracing: The State needs to sustain and expand its public health and community testing and contact tracing throughout the state to prevent further spread of COVID-19. We need thousands more contact tracers to more effectively mitigate spread. Further, to maintain community testing sites, the Governor and leaders of the Assembly and Senate should request the Trump Administration continue federal deployment of the National Guard at 100% federal funding for COVID-19 testing for at least another six months.
- Medicaid/Regulatory Reform – Aligning State and Federal Policies: Wisconsin’s Medicaid program, like the Medicare program, should reimburse hospitals for health care services provided in all hospital outpatient department settings and for swing-bed (post-acute) level services provided by rural and urban hospitals.
- Permanently Removing Licensing Barriers for Health Care Workforce, Including Recently Lapsed or Out-of-State License Holders; Currently, out-of-state health care license holders have been granted the ability to be licensed in Wisconsin quickly through a streamlined licensure process. This process should remain in place as hospitals use all tools to meet workforce demands and ensure we have the frontline health care workers when needed most. The Department of Safety and Professional Services’ waivers currently in place are slated to expire on January 20, 2021, unless the federal public health emergency is extended. The DSPS process makes sense not only during a public health emergency, but also under normal circumstances as the licensure process continues to be a barrier to care.
Link to release
Speaker Vos Statement on WHA Letter
Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) released the following statement about the communication from the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA).
“I agree with the Wisconsin Hospital Association that more must be done to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Wisconsin needs more COVID testing, contact tracers and other solutions to help ease the strain on our healthcare facilities, decrease the rate of transmission and ultimately save lives.
“Because my Assembly Republican colleagues and I are in continuous contact with WHA, local healthcare providers and public health officials, the issues brought forward in the letter do not come as a surprise. I look forward to partnering with WHA to address these important concerns.
“Wisconsinites are forever grateful for the tireless efforts of our healthcare workers during these demanding times. Their dedication on the frontlines of the pandemic is unparalleled.
“I join the call for unity in Wisconsin and hope my Senate colleagues and the governor can join me in putting aside partisan differences to find bipartisan answers.”
Link to Press Release
Legislative Fiscal Bureau Releases Summary of Governor Evers COVID legislation
The Legislature’s budget agency, the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, released its summary of the Governor’s COVID-19 state response legislation. According to their analysis the bill would increase GPR appropriations for 2020-21 by $541 million.
Here is a link to the summary which details each of the proposed initiatives.
Governor Evers’ Weekly Radio Address Provides an Update on Statewide Public Health Emergency
Hello, Wisconsin. Governor Tony Evers here.
Nearly two months ago, we issued our current public health emergency on September 22nd.
Back then, our 7-day average of daily new positive cases was around 1,800.
Unfortunately, things have worsened quickly since then.
We’ve now more than tripled our 7-day average, averaging now 6,400 new positive cases per day.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has tripled—we have now almost 324,000 positive cases in Wisconsin and our total number of COVID-19 deaths is 2,741.
And our current public health emergency expires this Saturday, November 21st.
But it’s clear based on where we’re headed, we cannot afford to stop or have a gap in some of our only mitigation efforts we still have in place.
That’s why I will be declaring a new state of emergency this week and extending our public health emergency until January of next year.
We will also be reissuing Emergency Order #1 requiring face coverings in public places.
We’ve got a long road ahead of us, Wisconsin, but we need to buckle down and get through this together until then.
As always, please, stay home. Wear a mask if you have to go out, and otherwise stay home.
Call it what you want—flattening the curve, stopping the spread, staying safer at home… I’m going to call it what it is—saving lives. Thank you.
Link to release
Link to audio