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COVID-19 Wisconsin Update #21 (3-24-20 PM)

On Tuesday afternoon, DHS released updated numbers on test results in Wisconsin:

  • The number of positive cases is up to 457 in Wisconsin, up  from 416 in Monday’s update.
  • 8,237 negative test results (7,050 were reported on Monday).
  • 5 patients have died in Wisconsin (no change since Monday)

The county by county break down is at the end of this update

Source: DHS COVID-19 Outbreak page

Governor Evers held a media availability on his “Safer at Home” Order and an update on the state’s response to the health crisis

Governor Tony Evers was joined by Secretary-designee of the Department of Health Services Andrea Palm, Dr. Ryan Westergaard, Chief Medical Officer of the Bureau of Communicable Diseases and the Governor’s chief legal counselRyan Nilsestuen, Chief Legal Counsel, Office of the Governor to answer questions about the state of Wisconsin’s response to COVID-19 in Wisconsin, the #SaferAtHome Order, and additional steps people can take to avoid illness.

(note press conference starts 16 minutes into video)

Safe at Home Order:

  • In his prepared remarks the Governor said that “We need to have folks limit their interactions to the same people not different small groups … shrinking your circle of interactions will help prevent the spread of COVID19.”
  • The Governor reiterated that “Folks do not need special permission to leave their homes” and that many stores will remain open, further noting that there is no need to run to the grocery store.
  • The Governor said the decision on the list of essential businesses was not finalized until this morning because they were concerned about missing points in the supply chain that would keep critical businesses open and operating.
  • The Governor was asked about the impact of the economy of the order, and he said the vast majority of businesses will remain open but recognized that especially small businesses will be hurt. He noted however that we “have to value human life higher.” Also noted work being done at the federal level to help those small businesses.
  • Local law enforcement will be in charge of enforcing the order, but no one will be required to carry proof of what they are doing. They are hoping for voluntary cooperation.
  • Secretary Palm suggested limiting your interactions to a total of 5 people, not 5 at one time, but 5 total.
  • Secretary Palm noted that models show without the limitations included in the order, Wisconsin could have 22,000 positive cases by April 8th and between 400 and 1,000 deaths.
  • DHS Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ryan Westergaard opened his remarks in the media availability by stating that a figure he shared on Monday was inaccurate.  He clarified that as many as 20 percent of those who have the disease in Wisconsin need hospitalization, he reported the number as 10 percent in Monday’s news conference. He said the discrepancy was based on the state collecting the information from the labs versus the hospitals.
  • Dr. Westergaard also noted that the actions we are taking now will not likely show up in the numbers this week, with the likely doubling of cases still occurring in the near term, but the hope is that by taking these actions Wisconsin hits its peak of new cases sooner and we see the reduction of new cases following that.

April 7th Election;

  • When asked about Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett’s request that the April 7th be conducted as a mail-in-only election, the Governor said that he remains in constant communication with local elected officials and election officials about the election but the election remains on for April 7th. He stressed that Wisconsinites should request an absentee ballot online at before the April 2nd deadline and vote that way, as he and his wife did.

Fees Waived For Wisconsin State Parks And Trails

Fees are now waived for all Wisconsin State Parks and Trails that continue to remain open to the public. In light of Gov. Evers’ Safer at Home order, the public should stay as close to home as possible and in their community. Parks, law enforcement and property staff will also continue to provide routine sweeps of state park system properties. (Link)

Number of Positive Results by County

  • Bayfield-1
  • Brown*– 3
  • Calumet-1
  • Chippewa-2 (+1)
  • Columbia*-5
  • Dane*– 72 (+11)
  • Dodge -2
  • Douglas-4 (+2)
  • Dunn-1
  • Eau Claire-4
  • Fond du Lac*– 18 (+2) 1
  • Green-1
  • Jefferson-4 (+2)
  • Kenosha*– 13 (+1)
  • La Crosse- 5
  • Marathon-1
  • Milwaukee*– 219 (+15) 3
  • Outagamie-2
  • Ozaukee-16 (+2) 1
  • Pierce- 3 (+2)
  • Racine-5 (+1)
  • Rock-3
  • Sauk-4 (+1)
  • Sheboygan- 6
  • St. Croix-4 (+2)
  • Walworth*-4 (+1)
  • Washington- 17 (+2)
  • Waukesha*– 31
  • Winnebago- 5
  • Wood- 1

Total:            457 (5)

  • * An asterisk indicates community spread has been identified (new this report is Fond du Lac.)
  • Green is a newly added county positive test result for this update
  • Red= deaths

Previous Wisconsin COVID-19 Updates

Previous COVID-19 Updates are archived here

Comprehensive list of state of Wisconsin to the public health emergency here

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