MADISON — Together with state health officials at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), Gov. Tony Evers confirmed Thursday, March 19 two deaths in Wisconsin due to COVID-19. The first death was a male in his 50s from Fond Du Lac County. The second death was a male in his 90s from Ozaukee County.
“Our hearts go out to all the loved ones affected by these deaths, and to all those suffering from this virus,” said Gov. Evers. “We are committed to fighting the spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin and I want to recognize the hard work and bravery of our nurses, doctors, state health officials, and all those on the front lines in the effort to save lives. Together we will get through this historic health challenge.”
Working with the Centers for Disease Control and Wisconsin public health officials, Gov. Evers declared a state of emergency on March 12, 2020. This action allowed DHS to use all available resources to respond to and contain the outbreak.
“We are very saddened by the death of these individuals and my heart goes out to the family, community, health providers and public health officials,” said DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm. “We are working nonstop with medical staff across the state to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and help protect the health and safety of Wisconsinites.”
Testing for COVID-19 is being done in Wisconsin through both the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and at the City of Milwaukee Health Department, as well as private labs throughout the state.
Right now, Wisconsin is prioritizing testing for COVID-19 because of a shortage of ingredients needed to run the tests. It is important that we reserve our testing capacity for individuals who are critically ill and healthcare workers on the front lines. This will help us keep our healthcare workforce safe and healthy and help stop the spread of the virus. Many states across the country are grappling with this same problem. We have been working with our partners in the federal government, in the private sector, and our public universities to try to get the ingredients needed to run these tests.
DHS is working with our local and tribal health officers, health care providers, and other partners to adjust the response to COVID-19 as needed. As always, the public should follow simple steps to avoid getting sick, including:
Practicing social distancing.