Jeramey Jannene

Evers Doesn’t Believe Wisconsin Will Need “Shelter in Place” Order

COVID-19 cases rising exponentially, now at 206, state working on supply shortages

By - Mar 20th, 2020 02:15 pm
COVID-19. Credit: U.S. Army.

COVID-19. Credit: U.S. Army.

UPDATE: On March 23rd, 2020 at 9.34 a.m. Gov. Evers tweeted that he would be issuing a “#SaferAtHome” order. Read more about the Stay At Home order here.

Governor Tony Evers does not believe he will need to issue a “shelter in place” order.

The order, which would require residents to stay at home unless absolutely necessary, is being put into place in California and New York. The Chicago Tribune expects Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker to announce a lockdown order for his state later today.

“I believe we will be able to avoid that,” said Evers in response to a question during a Friday afternoon media briefing.

He said Wisconsinites have responded to his request to stay home whenever possible. “We will follow the science on that,” said Evers.

He reiterated that in response to a follow-up question.

“We do not have plans to shelter in place, we think what we have going right now works,” said Evers.

Evers said 10,000 Wisconsin National Guard members were ready to help in a variety of ways in the emergency, including transporting supplies and providing support to emergency personnel. “Members of the National Guard are our friends and neighbors here in Wisconsin,” said Evers.

Cases Growing Exponentially

The number of positive and negative tests continues to grow exponentially. Wisconsin is now at three deaths, 206 positive cases and 3,544 negative tests.

That’s a one day jump of 55 positive cases and 1,352 negative tests, both of which are the biggest one-day jumps since the pandemic reached the state.

“This has been hard and I’m sorry to say we do expect the situation to worsen,” said Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm during a briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state announced its first two deaths from the virus last night. Evers and Palm both cautioned that they won’t be the last.

Cases have now been confirmed in 29 of the state’s 72 counties. The biggest one day jump in the number of counties. “As testing expands, you’re going to see cases all across the state of Wisconsin,” said Palm. She expects each county to record cases.

State and local officials have now raised repeated concerns about the fragility of the testing materials supply chain and the need to triage which tests are actually processed.

Palm said federal supplies have begun to arrive, but they won’t be enough. “The Governor and I continue to look for ways to mitigate the shortage,” said Palm. “This is obviously very concerning.”

Evers said the state was working with Wisconsin companies on how to address the supply issue. Palm said a number of companies have come forward.

The Governor expressed frustration with how so much was previously being done by press conference at the federal level. “I believe it was a step forward for the federal government to pass this off to regional medical folks,” said Evers. “Now we have actual people that are on our side in the federal government. I think that’s a step forward.”

“We do have shortages pending here. Everyone is struggling with them,” said Palm of testing equipment. Palm said a variety of different reagents are used depending on the test and supply can fluctuate.

Dr. Ryan Westergaard, Chief Medical Officer of the Bureau of Communicable Diseases, said different labs have different supplies and have been sharing. “We are in good shape for at least the next week,” said Westergaard.

Wisconsin COVID-19 Test Results

Test Results Number of People as of 3/20/2020
Negative 3455
Positive 206

Number of Positive Results by County

Wisconsin County Total Cases as of 3/20/2020
Bayfield 1
Brown* 2
Calumet 1
Chippewa 1
Columbia* 5
Dane* 32
Douglas 1
Dunn 1
Eau Claire 1
Fond du Lac 14
Green 1
Jefferson 1
Kenosha* 4
La Crosse 4
Marathon 1
Milwaukee* 85
Outagamie 2
Ozaukee 7
Pierce 1
Racine 3
Rock 1
Sauk 2
Sheboygan 6
St. Croix 2
Walworth 3
Washington 3
Waukesha 15
Winnebago 5
Wood 1
Total 206

* An asterisk indicates community spread has been identified.

Everyone Is At Risk

Based on data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through March 16th, up to 31 percent of individuals with confirmed cases could require hospitalization as the pandemic grows. “Anyone can contract the virus,” said Palm. Hospitalization has been required across every age group, but the rate increases with age.

Community transmission of the disease, where a new case can’t be traced back to a prior one, is only confirmed in four counties: Brown, Dane, Kenosha and Milwaukee.

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More about the Coronavirus Pandemic

Read more about Coronavirus Pandemic here

Categories: Health, Politics

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