State Has 1,221 COVID-19 Cases, Exploring Field Hospital Locations
State says data on hospitalization coming soon.
Wisconsin now has 1,221 positive cases of COVID-19 and state officials are preparing for many more people to be infected.
“I’m sure many of us would like to wake up from this nightmare tomorrow morning and say it never happened. But the responsible thing is to prepare for the worst and hope for the best,” said Governor Tony Evers in a briefing Monday afternoon.
Part of preparing for the worst is identifying facilities that could hold large numbers of people if the outbreak grows exponentially. “We have been exploring setting up isolation facilities in a number of places around the state,” said Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm.
Wisconsin Center District President and CEO Marty Brooks reported Monday morning that the Army Corps of Engineers was evaluating the Wisconsin Center, UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena and Miller High Life Theatre for suitability. He said they were coming from a similar evaluation of Wisconsin State Fair Park. “I assure you that are we doing anything we can to make our facility available to any local, county, state or federal agencies that can help us all,” said Brooks during a committee meeting.
The total of negative cases actually fell in Monday’s report to 15,856, but that’s a result of cleaning up the data said DHS officials. “The number of people with negative test results for [COVID-19] now reflects Wisconsin residents only and excludes duplicate lab results,” said DHS on Facebook. The change in data makes it hard to ascertain the number of tests processed on a state level for the past couple of days.
But the state says it is working to double testing capacity. The state is working with Exact Sciences, Marshfield Clinic Health System, Promega, and UW Health to share knowledge, resources and technology to increase testing capacity. “We do anticipate as a daily number that we will double what we had previously,” said Palm. But that won’t immediately change who can get tested. “Testing will still require a doctor’s order and these partners are not a testing site themselves… The supply chain for testing materials is extremely fragile.”
Evers and Palm asked citizens to continue to follow the “safer at home” order. “It’s hard work, but I know it will pay off,” said Evers of the effort to social distance by Wisconsin residents.
A total of 20 deaths have been reported by local offices across the state, including 10 in Milwaukee County. The state’s aggregated total currently stands at 14.
One of the things missing from the state’s daily report is the number of individuals with COVID-19 that are hospitalized. “That information is on the top of our list to clean up and be able to provide,” said Palm. She estimated that 20 to 25 percent of the positive cases are in the hospital.
“We are working very hard to clean up that data,” said Palm. “It comes from a variety of sources and often when someone tests positive they aren’t in the hospital until a few days later.”
Dr. Ryan Westergaard, Chief Medical Officer of the Bureau of Communicable Diseases, said the data is getting better. He said the federal government issued guidance this week to hospitals to better report that data. “We will have a lot clearer picture on that on a real time basis hopefully this week,” said Westergaard.
All statewide case data are laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Charts and Maps
Wisconsin COVID-19 Test Results
|Test Results||Number of People|
Number of Positive Results by County
|Wisconsin County||Total Cases||Total Deaths|
|Fond du Lac||21||2|
*Milwaukee County reported 10 COVID-19 deaths as of 3/29/2020 at 3:41 a.m. which brings the total deaths connected to COVID-19 to at least 18.
*On 3/29/2020 it was reported that a Waukesha County employee’s death was connected to COVID-19.
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