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COVID-19 Wisconsin Update #71 (5-19-20)

Updated numbers released on Tuesday:

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

  • 398 Current Hospital Admissions (130 patients in ICU)
    • The total number of hospital admissions increased by 19 (+19) on Tuesday
      • (+13 in SE WI, +3 in SC WI, +2 in NW WI and +1 in W WI and NC WI, -1 in NE WI).
    • The total number of ICU patients increased by 3 (+3) on Tuesday
      • (+6 in SE WI, +1 in Fox Valley, +1 in NW WI and -3 NE WI, -1 W WI, -1 SC WI).
  • Cumulatively there have been 12,885 positive tests and 148,237 negative tests in Wisconsin:
    • There were 198 positive test results reported on Tuesday on 3,933 tests (5% positive rate).
  • Deaths from COVID-19 now total 467 in Wisconsin:
    • There were 8 deaths reported on Tuesday
  • 7,012 patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are listed as having recovered (55%), 5,215 cases are still considered active (41%) and 459 patients have died (4%). (last updated by DHS on 5/18)



Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) COVID-19 Situational Awareness Update site
DHS COVID-19: County Data;

Gov. Evers Announces $1 Billion Statewide Effort to support COVID-19 Testing, Contact Tracing, Operations, and Resources for Local Communities

Gov. Tony Evers today announced a $1 billion statewide effort to support COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, acquisition of needed supplies, emergency operations, and resources for local communities throughout Wisconsin. The effort is funded by $1.17 billion in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act dollars.

“As I’ve said before, regardless of the political overtones of the past week, we still know what we need to do to box in this virus and help keep people safe,” Gov. Evers said. “Our statewide approach to containing the spread of COVID-19 will continue with robust testing and contact tracing efforts in all corners of Wisconsin, resources that ensure our critical workers have the equipment they need to do their jobs safely, and direct investments in local communities and health providers. Wisconsin’s Safer At Home order may have ended, but our all-out war on this virus has not.”

How the $1.17 billion is slated to be allocated:

  • $260 million for testing efforts
    • $202 million to provide COVID-19 test collection kits to Wisconsin hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, local public health departments, and others at no cost to ensure that everyone who needs a test receives a test.
    • Approximately $3 million in funding (30,000 grants) to 96 local and tribal public health departments
    • $45 million in funding to local public health departments, occupational health providers, home health agencies, and health systems to conduct COVID19 testing in congregate, community and occupational settings.
  • $75 million for contact tracing
    • up to $50 million will be available to local and tribal public health departments to hire additional staff to perform disease investigation, contact tracing and monitoring.
  • $150 million for the acquisition of PPE.
  • $40 million towards the procurement of ventilators.
  • $445 million is being allocated to ensure Wisconsin hospital systems and communities are prepared to handle a surge of COVID19 patients over the summer and fall.
  • $200 million has been spent by state agencies across Wisconsin in support of getting emergency operations up and running and of providing important resources and assistance to local partners across the state.


Link to press release

Tuesday Media Briefing at the State Emergency Operations Center

Department of Health Services Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk and Wisconsin National Guard Adjutant General Paul Knapp conducted their Tuesday Media Briefing from the State Emergency Operations Center.

Of note in the briefing were;

  • Discussion regarding Governor Evers’ $1.17 billion spending announcement, noting that the announcement puts dollar figures around work that has already taken place as well identifying the amount that is being reserved to handle a potential surge in cases in the Fall.
  • One change of note is the discussion that DHS is having with local public health department officials about contact tracing and the state shifting from hiring the 1,000 contact tracers as state employees, to leveraging the existing local public health infrastructure helping reach the 1,000 additional contact tracers by growing out their capacity and having the state infrastructure and state contact tracers as backup.
  • General Knapp was asked about the Politico story on the National Guard’s currently scheduled June 23rd end of deployment. General Knapp noted that Governor Evers and other governors has asked for an extension for that end of deployment to the end of July. But General Knapp noted that they are in the mode of knowing that they will need to wind down the deployment at some point and hand off responsibilities back to the state and local health departments that they have been doing.


The media briefing is available here.

OCI Issues Notice to Insurers on Coverage for COVID-19 Testing

The Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) issued a notice to insurers today aimed at clarifying federal requirements detailed in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Corona Virus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES). Testing for COVID-19 must be covered by private health insurance, including cost-sharing like co-pays for office, urgent care, and emergency department visits, said Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner Mark Afable.

“We need folks to know that testing for COVID-19 is available and can be accessed without any out-of-pocket costs,” said Commissioner Afable. “Under federal law, most insurers cannot require cost-sharing like co-pays for office, urgent care, or emergency department visits. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with the disease, get tested.”

Link to full press release and notice to insurers.

Status of Local Authority Safer-At-Home Orders:

Based on news stories and the Wisconsin Association of Local Health Departments and Boards website,, here is the current list of health orders that have been rescinded and those that are in effect. This list changes frequently, so please check in with your local public health department for ultimate clarity.

Local Authority Health Orders
 that have been rescinded:


Local Authority Health Orders that are currently in place:

Local Authority Health Order in drafting:


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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