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COVID-19 Wisconsin Update #67 (5-14-20 PM)

Updated numbers released on Thursday:

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the Wisconsin Hospital Association released updated numbers on Thursday:

  • 352 Current Hospital Admissions (120 patients in ICU)
    • The total number of hospital admissions increased by 9 (+9) on Thursday.
    • The total number of ICU patients decreased by 2 (-2) on Thursday.
  • Cumulatively there have been 11,275 positive tests and 122,598 negative tests in Wisconsin:
    • There were 373 positive test results reported on Thursday on 5,860 tests (6.4% positive rate).
  • Deaths from COVID-19 now total 434 in Wisconsin:
    • There were 13 deaths reported on Thursday
  • 4,348 patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are listed as having recovered. (last updated by DHS on 5/6)

Sources: 

Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) COVID-19 Situational Awareness Update site
DHS COVID-19: County Data; https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/county.htm

Thursday Media Briefing

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm, DHS Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ryan Westergaard, and Ryan Nilsestuen, Chief Legal Counsel held a briefing for the media today.

In addition to the update on Wisconsin COVID-19 related cases, of note in the media briefing were the following points:

  • The Governor urged Wisconsinites to continue to stay home and that even though the Supreme Court ended Safer-At-Home the virus is still present the same as it was yesterday.
  • In a response to a reporter’s question Legal Counsel Nilsestuen because there is no Administrative Rule process at the local level, local public health authority to implement the orders is not impacted by the Supreme Court decision.
  • Governor Evers said the state capitol will remain closed to the public and state employees will still be required to work from home following the Supreme Court decision.
  • Governor Evers responded to a press release from State Senator and Congressman-elect Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) calling on Sec.-designee Andrea Palm to resign. In the release Tiffany states “New data shows us how we can make a targeted response to the Wuhan virus, but Ms. Palm will hear none of it. A native New Yorker, ally of Hillary Clinton’s, and Washington, D.C. insider, Ms. Palm understands very little of our Midwestern values or how her decisions have devastated our way of life. Ms. Palm came here as Governor Evers’ hired gun, and she will leave with Wisconsin’s corpse if she continues.” Evers responded during the press conference, stating  “To make a statement like that about someone who has dedicated her life to saving lives, please sir give us a break. You’re headed to Washington, D.C. I know you’re better than this.”
  •  When asked whether the Evers Administration would issue any more emergency orders, the Governor said no, that the Supreme Court made it clear that Emergency Orders are “not their gig.” He said they are going to focus on testing, contact tracing and making sure there is enough PPE and capacity for a potential surge in the Fall.
  • When asked about schools reopening, Governor Evers said there is a team working on that, including the Superintendent of Public Instruction and some lawmakers. His preference would be for the schools to be open in the Fall, but they are also preparing to have a plan A, B and C if that doesn’t work.
  • When asked about concerns about UI benefits could creating a disincentive for some to return to work, the Governor said that the UI benefit levels are a federal issue and that he believes it would be very unpopular to lower them and he would not support that.

Link to video:

 

Governor Evers and Legislative Leaders Meet

Governor Tony Evers, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) met via telephone this morning to discuss moving forward following the Wisconsin Supreme Court decision last night ending the extension of the “Safer-At-Home” order.

Leader Fitzgerald tweeted the following statement regarding the meeting:

In an interview with the Associated Press, Speaker Vos re-emphasized the direction from his and Leader Fitzgerald’s statementlast evening the rules they hope to work with the Evers Administration on are more forward looking, to address future outbreaks, and not necessary to address immediate needs;

In the afternoon media briefing Governor Evers said the call with the Legislative leaders was respectful, but that the Republican leaders don’t seem interested in a statewide response to the Supreme Court decision and appear to be comfortable with local public health officials creating different rules for different areas of the state.  The Governor said that he didn’t believe Wisconsin could be safe without a statewide order. The Governor believes there will be a follow-up meeting with the lawmakers next week.

How local authorities are handling:

We will continue to monitor and report on how local authorities are reacting to the Supreme Court decision.

Local Authority Health Orders that have been issued thus far include:

Guidance but No Orders:

Wisconsin Safety Council Releases 8 Step Guide to Keep Employees Safe

The Wisconsin Safety Council – the state’s leading provider of safety training and products – on Wednesday released a guide to be used by employers in an effort to help keep their employees safe. The new publication is meant to summarize guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and National Safety Council (NSC) on how to safely open and operate businesses.

Wisconsin Safety Council Executive Director Aaron Huebner released the following statement in releasing the guide;

“Keeping workers safe is the priority for businesses all across Wisconsin. While COVID-19 is a new type of challenge, it doesn’t change our shared goals or our shared commitments. This publications will help our state’s employers and safety professionals plan for a safe transition as employees begin to return to work.”

You can view the publication here.

Updated Charts

 

Daily Numbers:

Cumulative Numbers:

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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