MILWAUKEE -- As of Tuesday, March 31, there were 25 COVID-19 related deaths reported in Wisconsin; Milwaukee County remained in the lead among the state's 72 counties, with 12 deaths. Governor Tony Evers sent a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Tuesday requesting that President Donald Trump issue a major disaster declaration for the entire state of Wisconsin, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alderman Cavalier Johnson
"That's tragic not just for the community, but for those people, and for those families," said Milwaukee Alderman Cavalier Johnson.
As the coronavirus continued to spread across Wisconsin, with 1,413 positive cases as of Tuesday afternoon, the grief felt by families who have lost loved ones to COVID-19 was also being felt statewide.
"I think at the same time, too, we have to remain vigilant," said Alderman Johnson. "Stay inside. Shelter in place. Don't leave unless you have to."
Gov. Evers declared a public health emergency on Thursday, March 12 in response to the outbreak, which directed the Department of Health Services to take all necessary and appropriate actions to help combat the spread of the virus. Evers' "Safer at Home" order took effect Wednesday, March 25, as did Mayor Barrett's "Stay at Home" order.
Gov. Tony Evers
"Local governments and state governments are overwhelmed," said Alderman Johnson.
Alderman Johnson said Evers' request to FEMA was a fairly simple one.
"What the governor is asking for is for the president of the United States to implement the Stafford Act, which basically calls for an organized, orderly process for managing this disaster to be led by the federal government," said Alderman Johnson.
This came as state officials were also trying to manage a spike in unemployment claims.
"The governor I know has talked about Wisconsin's Department of Workforce Development receiving 60 calls in a second," said Alderman Johnson.
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COVID-19 related deaths in Wisconsin