FEMA stops in SE Wisconsin to see how operations to combat COVID-19 are playing out

MILWAUKEE -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is shipping tons of personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing supplies to Wisconsin to help combat COVID-19. A team was on the ground on Wednesday, May 20 to see the work being done.

James Joseph

FOX6 News was able to connect with FEMA Administrator James Joseph at UMOS. The testing location on Milwaukee's south side has conduct hundreds of coronavirus tests each day it has been in operation.

FEMA has played a crucial role with the help fo the state, Wisconsin National Guard, and other organizations to get centers ramped up after a slow start to testing.

Joseph said there was a challenge early on to secure materials to combat COVID-19. Worldwide, everyone needed the same products in different quantities.

COVID-19 testing location on Milwaukee's south side

Now, FEMA is working to source and procure testing material directly to each state -- including Wisconsin.

"This week alone, there's about 300,000 N95 masks that will be delivered to Wisconsin. There's over 50,000 swabs to support the testing operations and over 20,000 vials of transport media to allow the state to continue the testing goals that they've established," Joseph said.

From Milwaukee's south side, FEMA went to the Milwaukee County House of Correction to recognize the completion of an alternate care site.

FEMA is working to ship 14-day supplies of PPE to nursing homes across the nation. The first shipments to Wisconsin are beginning this week.