3/23/2020 UPDATE: Gov. Evers, DHS give updates on coronavirus in Wisconsin


Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers addresses a joint session of the Legislature in the Assembly chambers during the Governor’s State of the State speech at the state Capitol Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019, in Madison, Wis. Behind Evers is Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Tyler August, left, R-Lake Geneva, and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)

MONDAY 3/23/2020 1:30 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) – Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers says that, after an overwhelming response, he will order all nonessential businesses to close in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Gov. Evers says he didn’t want to make the decision to impose the ‘Safer At Home,’ but he believes it is necessary to “flatten the curve” in the state. More details on the order are expected to be released on Tuesday. Local law enforcement will be responsible for enforcing this order.

Related: LIST: States that have issued stay-at-home orders during the coronavirus pandemic

According to Gov. Evers, many officials and business owners have urged him to enact this order, despite announcing on Friday that he did not believe a shelter-in-place order was necessary. Gov. Evers says he has been speaking with governors from Michigan and Minnesota regarding their responses to the virus and, according to Gov. Evers, they are all on the same page – asking residents to stay at home.

According to Gov. Evers’ office, a large number of businesses will remain open during the new order. It is unclear which businesses are considered essential, but, according to Gov. Evers’ office, grocery stores, bars, and restaurants will remain functional as they are.

Related: Are you an essential employee during the coronavirus pandemic?

Due to recent research showing patients who are asymptomatic can transmit the virus, Sec. Palm says it is even more necessary for people to remain at home.

The governor says multiple steps were made over the weekend, including asking FEMA and members of the private sector for assistance. Gov. Evers says task forces are currently coming together in preparation for the Safer at Home order.

Related: THE LATEST 3/23: 416 positive cases of coronavirus confirmed in Wisconsin

More than 300 National Guard members are deployed in Wisconsin to assist in the battle against coronavirus, according to Major General Paul Knapp, Wisconsin’s Adjutant General. Two major missions, according to Maj. Gen. Knapp, included returning the Wisconsinites trapped on a cruise ship home and assisting a Grafton senior living facility.

The National Guard has also created a website in order to buyback or receive donations of PPEs throughout the state. These PPEs can then be distributed to first responders and other medical professionals who need them. According to Maj. Gen. Knapp, items needed include N95 respirators, face mask, gloves, gowns, coveralls, and thermometers.

Related: UPDATE: Third case of coronavirus in Brown County confirmed

According to Sec. Palm, Wisconsin is estimated to receive the following supplies from the Federal Strategic Reserve. Included in that shipment, according to Palm, is:

  • 54,709 N95 respirators
  • 130,326 surgical masks
  • 24,816 face shields
  • 20,233 gowns
  • 104 overalls
  • 72,044 gloves

Sec. Palm says the first order has been received and deliveries of those supplies will be completed on Monday. Gov. Evers has requested additional supplies from FEMA over the weekend.

When asked if any of these PPEs would be distributed to poll workers on the April 7 election. Gov. Evers says many municipalities do have supplies necessary to protect those poll workers.

Related: Appleton, Green Bay, Neenah mayors hoping for alternative voting method ahead of April 7 election

There is a task force in place to assist Wisconsin on election day by providing necessary materials such as cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, and ballots. According to the Gov. Evers office, voters are encouraged to register for an absentee ballot for the upcoming election.

At this time, Sec. Palm says officials statewide are working to prepared for a surge capacity system, should it occur. Sec. Palm says surge locations that would house additional coronavirus patients have not been determined at this time.

Related: Ledgerock Distillery in Fond du Lac announces production of hand sanitizer

According to Dr. Ryan Westergaard, Chief Medical Officer of the Bureau of Communicable Diseases, about 10 percent of patients with coronavirus are being hospitalized, both in the state and nationwide. There is no firm number on how many of Wisconsin’s cases have been hospitalized. Sec. Palm says the state lab is no longer alone in testing for coronavirus – Children’s Wisconsin, Froedert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, and the UW Hospital are also assisting in testing.

When asked about people making masks for area hospitals, Dr. Westergaard says there is no research to show homemade masks are effective. Despite this, Dr. Westergaard says homemade masks are a possible alternative, but the best choices are the N95 masks or surgical masks at this time.

Related: How the grocery industry is dealing with the country’s demands

If Wisconsinites are going to grocery stores, Sec. Palm recommends maintaining social distancing. According to Gov. Evers, stores are being asked to assist in slowing the spread by offering hand sanitizer to customers upon arrival.

More details regarding Gov. Evers’ Safer At Home order are expected to be released on Tuesday. WFRV Local 5 will provide that information as it becomes available.

Original Story: Gov. Evers, DHS giving update on coronavirus in Wisconsin

MONDAY 3/23/2020 12:20 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) – Governor Tony Evers is expected to participate in a media briefing to provide an update on the status of Wisconsin’s coronavirus response at 1:30 p.m. on Monday. He will be joined by Major General Paul Knapp, Wisconsin’s Adjutant General; Secretary-designee Andrea Palm of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, and Dr. Ryan Westergaard, Chief Medical Officer of the Bureau of Communicable Diseases.

The briefing comes hours after Gov. Evers tweeted that he would be issuing a ‘Safer At Home’ order on Tuesday. He is expected to give more details during Monday’s briefing.

Related: “We’ll get through this together”: Favre, current Packers deliver social media messages

Gov. Evers’ order is expected to result in the temporary closure of non-essential businesses. During Friday’s briefing, Gov. Evers directed Sec. Palm to issue updates to the previous order prohibiting mass gatherings of 10 or more people. This resulted in the closure of hair salons, day spas, nail salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, body art establishments, and tanning facilities.

Related: Are you an essential employee during the coronavirus pandemic?

In the same briefing, Gov. Evers stated that he didn’t believe a statewide shelter in place order was necessary, citing that he trusted Wisconsinsites to heed his previous orders to slow the spread of the virus.

Real-time tracking of COVID-19 cases across Wisconsin, the United States, and Worldwide

More details regarding his latest order are expected to be revealed during this briefing.


WFRV COVID-19 Coverage | Confirmed cases in Wisconsin
Tracking coronavirus | Local health experts talk coronavirus
Stimulus check calculator| Local businesses hiring during outbreak


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