MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) – Governor Tony Evers announced Friday that, although Wisconsin now has over 200 cases of coronavirus, he doesn’t believe a statewide shelter in place order is necessary.
The governor also says he believes the upcoming April 7 will not be moved back, but encourages Wisconsinites to register for absentee voting.
Gov. Evers says he spoke with Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich and an unidentified few in the Fox Valley regarding their concerns about potentially moving back the April 7 date or finding alternative methods. Gov. Evers says he believes moving the date will not improve the situation, but officials are currently working to ensure this is a fair election.
Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm and Dr. Ryan Westergaard, Chief Medical Officer of the Bureau of the Communicable Diseases, also provided updates on the coronavirus situation in the state.
According to Sec. Palm, Wisconsin hospitals are working to convert as many beds to areas for an expected surge of coronavirus patients. She adds that Wisconsin currently has 620 ventilators on hand, but more are expected to arrive 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 they anticipate additional supplies, but supply totals are based on preliminary estimates of what Wisconsin needs by the Federal Strategic Reserve.
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Dr. Westergaard says he believes there is enough testing material to last through next week, despite Gov. Evers announcing on Thursday that there are a shortage of certain materials needed for testing.
Following Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s announcement on Friday that the Trump administration had decided to push the income tax filing date to July 15 from April 15, Gov. Evers says the Wisconsin Department of Revenue is currently working through the tax forms that have already been submitted and looking at alternatives for state taxes.
Local 5 Digital Producer Addy Bink asked the panel how many patients had recovered from COVID-19, but officials weren’t able to provide an exact number. While Wisconsin is currently experiencing over 200 cases of coronavirus, Dr. Westergaard says there is no firm number of how many have recovered in the state.
According to Dr. Westergaard, an average of 80 to 90 percent of patients who test positive for coronavirus will recover. To be considered a recovered patient, Dr. Westergaard says they must be fever-free for three days and symptom-free for at least seven days.
Dr. Westergaard says he hopes Wisconsin is able to produce a higher average of recoveries rate of those infected by coronavirus.