Live: What To Know March 28 About COVID-19 In Wisconsin

Number Of Total Cases Of COVID-19 In State Is Rising

A person crosses an empty downtown street
A person crosses a downtown street Tuesday, March 24, 2020, in Salt Lake City. Rick Bowmer/AP Photo

With more testing available, the number of positive cases of COVID-19 in the state continues to grow.

The state Department of Health Services announced Saturday there are 989 positive cases of COVID-19 statewide, as well as 15,232 negative tests. However, the number continues to grow as counties announce positive cases. As of Saturday, the statewide death total due to COVID-19 was 17.

Saturday marks the first weekend day of the Evers administration’s safer-at-home order. The order prohibits non-essential travel, with some exceptions. For more information on that order, read this story answering frequently asked questions.

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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.

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:

2 PM: Waupaca County Confirms First COVID-19 Death

Waupaca County confirmed its first death due to the new coronavirus on Saturday. In a press release, the county said the first death was also its first confirmed case.

“We are saddened by this death and our hearts go out to the family, friends, and community,” wrote Jed Wohlt, county public health officer. “We strongly encourage our residents to stay safer at home unless activities are essential.

That brings the statewide death total to 17.

1:50 PM: 989 Confirmed COVID-19 Cases In Wisconsin

The state Department of Health Services announced Saturday there are 989 positive cases of COVID-19 statewide, as well as 15,232 negative tests. However, the number continues to grow as counties announce positive cases.

According to figures from DHS and local health officials, 17 people in Wisconsin have died of COVID-19 as of Saturday afternoon. There has been one death each in Dane, Fond du Lac, Iron, Sauk and Waupaca counties, three in Ozaukee County, and nine in Milwaukee County.

Between Friday and Saturday, the number of positive cases jumped by 147, and the number of negative test results increased 2,092.

1:15 PM: Bucks Players To Take On Mavericks Players In Virtual Matchup

Players from the Milwaukee Bucks and Dallas Mavericks will take to the virtual court Sunday, for a 3-on-3 matchup of NBA 2K20, a basketball simulation video game.

The game will be streamed live on beginning Sunday at 2 p.m. on Twitch, a video livestreaming platform often used for video games.

The Bucks’ Donte DiVincenzo, D.J. Wilson and Cam Reynolds will play the Mavericks’ Seth Curry, Antonius Cleveland and Dorian Finney-Smith in a best-of-five series.

DiVincenzo and Curry will serve as captains for each team and will provide commentary on camera throughout the games.

The Bucks were originally scheduled to play the Mavericks in Dallas on Sunday prior to the NBA hiatus.

10:50 AM: State Legislative Fiscal Bureau Estimates Wisconsin Could Get $2B In Federal Aid

The nonpartisan state Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) has released a memo estimating the amount of funding the state of Wisconsin and its largest metro areas could receive from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The $2 trillion stimulus package was signed Friday by President Donald Trump.

The LFB estimates, based on 2019 population information, the state of Wisconsin could receive $2.26 billion in federal funds.

Because of their larger populations, the city of Milwaukee, Milwaukee County and Dane County could receive designated funds, with an estimated total of $360 million. The city of Milwaukee could receive an estimated $102.7 million, Milwaukee County could receive an estimated $164.5 million, and Dane County could receive an estimated $93.4 million, according the memo.

The rest of the federal money would be available to the state government.

9 AM: Counties, State Ask For Donations Of Personal Protective Equipment

Some counties in Wisconsin, including Dane County and Rock County, are asking residents to donate any personal protective equipment (PPE) they may have to health care workers or first responders.

They are seeking donations for any masks, face shields, and paper or cloth gowns in order to meet the needs of a possible shortage of this equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state has also set up a PPE donation and buyback web portal, and suggests donations of 50 items or fewer should be given to local health care organizations.

8:30 AM: Guidance Issued For Volunteers During COVID-19 Pandemic

Serve Wisconsin, Wisconsin’s branch of AmeriCorps, has created guidance for how volunteers can help people affected by the spread of COVID-19 while following the guidelines established in the state’s safer-at-home order.

The guidance is:

  • “Those interested in serving from home can provide assistance in many ways, such as helping out on one of several projects over the phone or computer, making different items for others, or finding ways to check-in on neighbors or those potentially in need.”
  • “Those interested in donating food, supplies, or blood should check on Volunteer Wisconsin and with local agencies regarding current needs and for protocols to safely donate these items.”
  • “Those interested in doing in-person volunteering for activities such as meal/food distribution, delivery of needed supplies to homes, child care for health care and other critical workers, or other projects should only volunteer if they or the people they live with are not showing symptoms of COVID-19 and they are able to follow all social distancing requirements.”

FRIDAY: UW-Madison Health Officials Ask Students Who Traveled On Spring Break To Self-Quarantine

The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s University Health Services (UHS) have asked students who traveled on spring break to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Dr. G. Patrick Kelly, the UHS interim medical director, said in a statement Friday that “if you traveled for Spring Break, whether or not you have symptoms, it is imperative that you observe a 14-day self-quarantine.”

Kelly advised students who traveled not to report to work or travel to a different location. He said that they should remain at their current location.

He said students experiencing any symptoms identified with COVID-19 should follow the school’s instructions for self-isolation. He added that if symptoms worsen or if they have questions, to contact their primary care provider or call UHS at 608-265-5600.

FRIDAY: Milwaukee County Medical Examiner Announces Another COVID-19-Related Death

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office announced Friday night that a 55-year-old Milwaukee woman had died from complications of COVID-19.

Officials said that the woman died shortly after arriving at a local hospital Thursday, and that tests confirmed she had COVID-19.

The woman’s death brings that statewide death toll related to COVID-19 to 15, including nine deaths in Milwaukee County alone.

FRIDAY: Governor Issues Order Simplifying Health Care License Renewals

Gov. Tony Evers and the state Department of Health Services issued an order Friday afternoon that would simplify health care license renewals during the COVID-19 public health emergency and encourage recently retired professionals with expired licenses to re-enter practice.

The order allows practitioners who are licensed in a different state to practice in Wisconsin without first requiring an in-state credential.

The order also provides some flexibility to physician assistants, who had previously called for emergency action from the administration.

The order is effective immediately and will remain in effect through the duration of the public health emergency.

FRIDAY: 842 Confirmed COVID-19 Cases In Wisconsin

The state Department of Health Services announced Friday there are 842 positive cases of COVID-19 statewide, as well as 13,140 negative tests. However, the number continues to grow as counties announce positive cases.

According to figures from DHS and local health officials, 14 people in Wisconsin have died of COVID-19 as of Friday afternoon. There has been one death each in Fond du Lac, Iron and Dane counties, three in Ozaukee County, and eight in Milwaukee County.

Between Thursday and Friday, the number of positive cases jumped by 135, and the number of negative test results increased 1,557.

FRIDAY: Governor’s Order Suspends Evictions, Foreclosures

Gov. Tony Evers and the state Department of Health Services have issued an order suspending evictions and foreclosures during the public health crisis.

The order, which will last 60 days, prohibits landlords from evicting tenants, except in cases where failure to proceed with an eviction will result in an imminent threat of serious physical harm to another person. It also prohibits mortgagees from beginning civil action to foreclose on real estate.

Wisconsinites who are able to continue to meet their financial obligations are urged to do so.

“Evictions and foreclosures pose a direct and serious threat to the health and well-being of Wisconsinites,” Evers said in a press release. “Ensuring they are able to keep a roof over their heads and those in social services can prioritize assisting those who currently do not have shelter is critically important.”

FRIDAY: Gov. Evers Asks Legislature To Send Absentee Ballots To All Registered Voters

In a video announcement on Twitter, Gov. Tony Evers asked the state Legislature to take action to send an absentee ballot to every registered voter in Wisconsin. Wisconsin has an election on April 7, which includes the Democratic presidential primary, a state supreme court race and local races.

“I know this is a difficult time, and I know everyone is doing the best they can to stay safe. The bottom line is that everybody should be able to participate in our democracy, period,” Evers said in the video.

The governor’s request comes one day after Wisconsin’s Republican leaders criticized county clerks in Madison and Milwaukee for telling voters they could indicate they are “indefinitely confined” when filling out an online form to request a mail-in ballot. This would allow people to bypass state voter ID requirements.

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.

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