Jeramey Jannene

842 COVID-19 Cases in Wisconsin, “Crisis Within A Crisis” in Milwaukee

Evers acknowledges disparate racial impact in Milwaukee, says CDC is studying matter.

By - Mar 27th, 2020 02:23 pm
COVID-19. Credit: U.S. Army.

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

There are now 842 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin, but one of the state’s top health officials warns that the number of unconfirmed cases push the actual number as high as 8,420.

“We don’t think everyone should get tested because we need to preserve resources,” said Dr. Ryan Westergaard, Chief Medical Officer of the Bureau of Communicable Diseases, during a Friday afternoon media briefing. He said the state needs to find the “sweet spot” in the number of people it can test. “Right now we are prioritizing people that are hospitalized.”

Approximately 2,000 tests a day are being processed across the state in 40 different labs said Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm.

“We do continue to see some potential shortages in some of the ingredients that are necessary for these tests,” said Palm. “It is certainly safe to assume there are more than the cases we are seeing based on the prioritizing we are doing,” Westergaard said based on different models of countries that have had an outbreak longer the total could be as much as 10 times higher.

Palm and Governor Tony Evers reiterated Friday that the number of new cases, which again broke a record with 135 new cases, is a lagging indicator.

“I want to stress something that we talked about earlier this week, without implementing ‘safer at home’ our models show us we would have 22,000 Wisconsinites with COVID-19 by April 8th,” said Palm. “The number you are seeing today and in the near term are people that were infected before we started ‘safer at home.'” The state lab, which can process over 400 tests a day, has a one to two day turnaround once it receives a test said Palm. “We are not in a backlog situation… but we do need to continue to expand capacity to test.”

“The best case scenario is that we would see a peak in the next two to three weeks and that’s what we’re really going for,” said Westergaard.

“You’re safer at home,” said Evers. “There have been reports of a few bad actors. Those folks will be held accountable.” Milwaukee Health Commissioner Jeanette Kowalik said the city’s complaint line has seen heavy call volumes in recent days.

The state reported 13,140 individuals testing negative Friday, an increase of 1,557 over Thursday’s report. The positive and negative case totals are current as of 9 p.m. the night prior.

There have been 13 deaths from COVID-19 in Wisconsin as of Friday at 1:30 p.m.

Crisis Within a Crisis

Governor Evers publicly acknowledged the extent of the outbreak in Milwaukee and its African American community Friday.

“The severity of the disease within the African-American community is a crisis within a crisis,” said Evers in his opening remarks during a media briefing.

Local officials including Kowalik and Mayor Tom Barrett have repeatedly stated that everyone is equally vulnerable to contract the disease.

Evers said a team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is in the city studying the outbreak. “We hope to learn more from them in the coming days and weeks,” said the Governor. Evers said the team is here for “various purposes.”

Urban Milwaukee reported yesterday that a nationwide study of metro areas found that Milwaukee has the sixth-highest case rate per 100,000 residents.


All statewide case data are laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported as of 9 p.m. the previous evening.

Charts and Maps

Wisconsin COVID-19 Test Results

Test Results Number of People
Negative 13140
Positive 842
Deaths 13

Number of Positive Results by County

Wisconsin County Total Cases Total Deaths
Bayfield 2 0
Brown 5 0
Calumet 1 0
Chippewa 3 0
Clark 2 0
Columbia 6 0
Dane 133 1
Dodge 6 0
Douglas 5 0
Dunn 2 0
Eau Claire 7 0
Fond du Lac 18 1
Grant 1 0
Green 3 0
Iowa 3 0
Iron 1 1
Jefferson 6 0
Juneau 2 0
Kenosha 23 0
La Crosse 14 0
Marathon 1 0
Marinette 1 0
Milwaukee 411 6
Monroe 1 0
Outagamie 4 0
Ozaukee 30 3
Pierce 4 0
Portage 1 0
Racine 9 0
Richland 2 0
Rock 12 0
Sauk 8 1
Sheboygan 7 0
St. Croix 4 0
Vilas 2 0
Walworth 5 0
Washington 27 0
Waukesha 61 0
Waupaca 1 0
Winnebago 6 0
Wood 2 0
Total 842 13

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Categories: Health

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