Live: What To Know April 8 About COVID-19 In Wisconsin

New Coronavirus Cases In State Continue To Rise

A kit used to get a sample from a patient for testing of COVID-19
A kit used to get a sample from a patient for testing of COVID-19 is displayed at a newly opened free testing site operated by United Memorial Medical Center Thursday, April 2, 2020, in Houston. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. David J. Phillip/AP Photo

The number of positive cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin continues to grow.

The state Department of Health Services announced Wednesday there are 2,756 positive cases of COVID-19 statewide and 99 deaths. That doesn’t include two additional deaths reported by Milwaukee County officials, bringing the statewide total to 101.

As the response to the virus evolves, Wisconsin Public Radio will be keeping track of up-to-date happenings here, and in our broadcast and online coverage. If you have questions or concerns about COVID-19 — either about the virus, prevention or preparation — ask us and we’ll do our best to answer.

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For explanations for common questions and additional information about COVID resources, read WisContext’s story listing 10 things to know about the pandemic and public health in the state.

For a compilation of all WPR’s coverage, visit WPR’s Coronavirus In Wisconsin section.

Here are the latest updates on the new coronavirus in Wisconsin:

3:37 PM: Evers Calls For Legislature To Move On COVID-19 Relief Package

Gov. Tony Evers asked Wednesday for state lawmakers to take bipartisan action on a COVID-19 relief package to support Wisconsin residents and businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a news release from his office.

The Legislature has yet to take up two pieces of coronavirus-related legislation proposed by Evers, the release said. Republic leaders have shared an overview of a coronavirus relief package they’re expected to propose.

Evers cautioned that partisan politics shouldn’t play a role in coronavirus legislation.

“I’m asking for the Legislature to take politics out of this proposal so we can move forward on addressing the needs of our state,” he said in a statement.

3 PM: Lambeau Field To #LightItBlue In Support Of Health Care Workers

The Green Bay Packers announced Wednesday they’ll join landmarks across the country Thursday to #LightItBlue. The campaign aims to show support for health care workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

The video boards and marquee signs at Lambeau Field will be lit blue for at least an hour beginning at 8 p.m. Thursday, according to a news release from the Packers. The marquee signs and plaza lights at Titletown will also be blue.

The campaign started in the United Kingdom. On March 26, more than 130 buildings, bridges and landmarks participated in a #LightItBlue event, according to the release.

1:50 PM: DHS Reports 2,756 Positive COVID-19 Cases Across Wisconsin

The state’s number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increased by 178 Wednesday, according to the latest numbers from the state Department of Health Services. There are now 2,756 confirmed cases of the disease in Wisconsin.

DHS numbers show 99 people have died from COVID-19 complications. Milwaukee County officials reported two additional deaths Wednesday, bringing the statewide total to 101.

The hospitalization rate among patients who’ve tested positive for the virus remains at 29 percent.

More than 30,100 people in Wisconsin have tested negative for COVID-19.

Officials said Tuesday the state no longer has a backlog of coronavirus tests, but some Wisconsinites have said they’ve struggled to get tested.

12 PM: UW Health Says Rapid COVID-19 Testing Helps Conserve PPE

Through in-house processing, UW Health said it now receives some coronavirus test results in hours instead of days.

In its daily COVID-19 update, UW Health said rapid testing helps conserve personal protective equipment (PPE). Health care providers don’t need to wear as much PPE if it’s been confirmed a patient does not have the coronavirus.

Wisconsin has received hundreds of thousands of gloves and masks from the Strategic National Stockpile, state Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm said Tuesday. But Palm said it won’t adequately meet the needs of the state’s health care workers.

UW Health does not offer widespread rapid coronavirus tests. It’s limited to patients with symptoms and employees who may have come in contact with the virus.

11 AM: Milwaukee’s Pfister Hotel Temporarily Closes

The general manager of Milwaukee’s Pfister Hotel confirmed to the Milwaukee Business Journal that the hotel is temporarily closed.

Considered one of the city’s premier properties, it’s now joined other prominent Milwaukee hotels, including the Milwaukee Marriott Downtown and the Kimpton Journeyman Hotel, in closing its doors due to the new coronavirus outbreak.

The Pfister is owned by the Marcus Corp., which closed many of its properties in March.

10:48 AM: US Sen. Tammy Baldwin Calls For CDC To Release COVID-19 Demographic Information

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and 16 of her colleagues have signed a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requesting they publicly release demographic information relating to the new coronavirus.

The senators said data on access to tests, hospitalizations, ICU admissions and deaths should be broken down by sex, race and other available demographic information, including whether a patient is a health care worker.

Currently, the CDC is only releasing age group information.

A recent analysis out of New England shows African American patients may be less likely to be referred by their physician for COVID-19 testing than their white counterparts.

Milwaukee has the largest number of COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin by far. The black community on the city’s northwest side has been hit particularly hard.

8:53 AM: Fundraising Milestone Reached For Fauci Bobblehead

The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum in Milwaukee announced Wednesday it raised more than $100,000 and has received orders from all 50 states for a Dr. Anthony Fauci bobblehead, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The proceeds will help purchase masks for hospitals.

TUESDAY: 2,578 Positive COVID-19 Cases In Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is reporting 2,578 people have tested positive for COVID-19, an increase of 138 cases since Monday afternoon.

Statewide, 92 people have died from COVID-19, according to DHS. Milwaukee County reported 7 additional deaths.

DHS reported that 745 people have been hospitalized for COVID-19, which represents 29 percent of those testing positive.

As of Tuesday afternoon, 28,512 people had tested negative.

TUESDAY: Polls Open Across Wisconsin Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin voters went to the polls Tuesday in an election unlike any ever seen before in the state as officials and voters alike contend with new rules and procedures spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Voters weighed in on the Democratic presidential primary, a state Supreme Court race and a proposed amendment to the state constitution. There were also thousands of local offices on ballots across Wisconsin.

In-person turnout at the polls was expected to be lower than usual. Many voters opted to vote by mail and others expressed concerns about the risk of exposing themselves to the coronavirus at crowded polling places.

Tuesday’s vote came after weeks of legal tumult and partisan fighting over whether the election should proceed as the new coronavirus spreads in Wisconsin.

On Monday, Gov. Tony Evers attempted to push back the election to June with an emergency order, but the Republican-controlled state Legislature immediately made an appeal to the state Supreme Court, which ruled 4-2 to strike the order down in just a matter of hours.

Resources For Food, Housing Help And More In Wisconsin

Are you in need of food? Do you need someone to pick up groceries? Are you looking for ways to help during the COVID-19 pandemic? WPR is keeping an updated list of resources across Wisconsin. If you don’t find what you’re looking for here, you can search for services online at 211 Wisconsin, dial 211 on your phone, or text your ZIP code to 898211.