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Evers announces new partnership for COVID-19 tests, new site to find child care for essential workers

(KOSA)
Published: Mar. 30, 2020 at 9:59 PM CDT
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State health officials are taking action to work with communities across Wisconsin to produce more critical supplies for health care workers, and create possible isolation centers to handle a surge of people with COVID-19.

That information was announced during the briefing given by Governor Evers and state health officials Monday afternoon.

Officials add they're happy people are staying at home, but the worst is yet to come.

So far, 14 people have died statewide from COVID-19, and more than 1,200 people have tested positive for the coronavirus, while another 15,800 have tested negative, according to health officials.

Some other counties are reporting more deaths and positive cases, which aren't included in that data.

"We can and should learn lessons from other communities. Listen to the science, be prepared, act swiftly and save lives," said Gov. Evers.

He announced a new public-private partnership Monday, which doubles the testing capacity in the state to nearly 4,000 tests per day.

They say there's still no backlog of testing, but health officials continue to prioritize the fastest test turn-around to health care workers, people in hospitals and long-term care facilities.

"The supply chain for testing materials is extremely fragile, due to this worldwide pandemic," says Andrea Palm, Secretary-Designee for the Wisconsin DHS.

While the ability to test more people will likely increase numbers, the state is now starting to talk about its surge teams, and creating what the governor calls voluntary isolation centers.

"We're also working with the Army Corps of Engineers to ensure that field hospitals and facilities will be ready when the surge of acute cases begins to hit our health care systems in the coming weeks," said Evers.

"We're very actively working on a number of locations, and will be providing guidance to locals on how they can do that for themselves, so regionally and locally they have the capacity to deal with this," says Palm.

In addition, health officials said Monday they are working to get better data for the public regarding how many people are hospitalized with COVID-19, and they estimate between 20 - 25% of people who test positive end up being hospitalized at some point.

He also spoke more about child care options for essential workers, and the Department of Children and Families launched

, which shows day cares and contact information around the state.

to request for care through the new website.

to view the child care provider map.

A little more than a week from the election, Evers also added Monday that nothing has changed, and it will go on as planned.