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COVID-19 Wisconsin Update #26 (3-30-20)

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

  • The number of positive cases is up to 1,221 in Wisconsin, up from 1,112 in Sunday’s update.
  • 15,856 negative test results (DHS reported that Sunday’s reported numbers included duplicative results and results from other states, so no comparison data was available for negative test results today).
  • 14 patients have died in Wisconsin (13 deaths were reported on Sunday)

Please note this date is taken from the 2 PM daily data reporting on the DHS COVID-19 Outbreak page. Several Wisconsin media outlets are reporting more rapidly updated information that they are pooling directly from the various county health departments. We will continue to use the DHS data for our updates, but wanted you to be aware of the variation in data and sources.

Governor’s Media Availability

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers was joined by Secretary-designee Andrea Palm, DHS Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ryan Westergaard, and Ryan Nilsestuen, Chief Legal Counsel in the Office of the Governor for their Monday media briefing on the status of COVID-19 pandemic and Wisconsin’s reaction.

Of note in their remarks and the Question and Answer with reporters were the following points:

  • Governor Evers noted in his opening remarks on Friday, the Department of Workforce Development received 400,000 calls between 6:00 am and 10:00 am, averaging 160 calls per second.
    • The Biz Times reported that there 199,389 unemployment claims filed in Wisconsin since March 12th, the day after President Donald Trump’s Oval Office address and the NBA suspended its season. (Link to article)
  • Governor Evers said the April 7th Election should continue to move forward as scheduled, nothing has changed from his vantage point on that. He noted that there are several lawsuits pending, but encouraging people to request an absentee ballot and vote by mail.
  • Governor Evers said they are in the process of setting up meetings through the WI Paper Council to work with Wisconsin’s paper companies on potential PPE production.
  • Secretary Palm said that of all the people who test positive for COVID-19 in Wisconsin, about 20-25 percent have been hospitalized.
  • Secretary Palm noted that the new public-private partnership formed to increase COVID-19 lab testing capacity should double the number of tests conducted daily.
  • Secretary Palm discussed the 2:00 PM cadence of updating their numbers. They noted that DHS receives information from Local Public Health Departments up until 12:30 PM for their 2:00 PM reports.
  • Dr. Ryan Westergaard in response to a question said that DHS no longer identifies a county as having “community spread,” because it is safe to assume that all communities are now at a high risk for community spread.

The Media Briefing can be watched at this link:

Timing of COVID-19 Legislative Package: reported when asked about timing of a potential legislative session to address COVID-19, Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said the Assembly was committed to meeting “soon.” They also reported that Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) released a statement that said they are making progress working with the Assembly and the Administration on a bill, and said “we’re hopeful we can hit the floor with a bill that can address policy concerns in the next couple weeks through a virtual session of the Senate.”

(Link to

Gov. Evers Announces New Public-Private Partnership to Increase COVID-19 Laboratory Testing Capacity

Gov. Tony Evers today announced a new public-private partnership among Wisconsin industry leaders to increase Wisconsin’s laboratory testing capacity for COVID-19. Prior to today’s announcement, the Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene and the Milwaukee Public Health Lab were leading the Wisconsin Clinical Lab Network labs to bring additional COVID-19 testing online.

The new partnership now includes laboratory support from Exact Sciences, Marshfield Clinic Health System, Promega, and UW Health. These organizations, along with the Wisconsin Clinical Lab Network, will now share knowledge, resources, and technology to bolster Wisconsin’s testing capacity.

The Wisconsin Clinical Lab Network labs have been averaging completion of 1,500-2,000 COVID-19 tests per day. The expanded capacity from the state’s new public-private partnership is expected to double that capacity initially and continue to expand as additional platforms and supplies become available.

(Link to press release)

Governor Evers Releases Emergency Order #17

The Department may suspend the requirement for a nutrient management plan under Wis. Admin. § NR 151.07(3) for small and medium nonpermitted farms who seek permission to dispose of unused milk when the following conditions have been met:

  1. The farmer can demonstrate to the Department’s satisfaction that they do not have sufficient available storage capacity for unused milk;
  2. The farmer can demonstrate to the Department’s satisfaction that it cannot comply with the current nutrient management plan when land-applying the milk; and
  3. The farmer applies the milk in a manner that complies with all other applicable rules.

(Link to EO #17)

Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow Statement on Employee Fatality Related to COVID-19

Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow today made the following statement:

“We are very saddened to learn of the death of one of our employees today. My heart goes out to the family and loved ones of this individual,” said Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow. “The employee who tragically passed today did not work with members of the public. I ask members of the media to respect the privacy of family members at this time.”

(Link to Statement)

Number of Positive Results by County

Previous Wisconsin COVID-19 Updates

Previous COVID-19 Updates are archived here

Here is a comprehensive list of State of Wisconsin resources related to the public health emergency (LINK)

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