Wisconsin DHS Media Briefing for 9/29/2020 | WisCommunity

Wisconsin DHS Media Briefing for 9/29/2020

September 29, 2020 - 12:12pm

COVID-19 Media Briefing - 9/29/2020


  • Governor Tony Evers
  • Secretary-designee Andrea Palm, Wisconsin Department of Health Services 
  • Dr. Ryan Westergaard, Chief Medical Officer of the Bureau of Communicable Diseases   
  • Ryan Nilsestuen, Chief Legal Counsel, Office of the Governor

When: Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. 

Governor Evers discussed the single-day record of almost 3000 cases on Saturday and the general increase over the past week. "There are many across the state who are not taking this seriously".  "It's not slowing down, it's picking up speed." 

"If we are going to get this virus under control, wearing a mask is the very least you can do". He suggests that people should not be hosting backyard barbecues, eating indoors in restaurants, or holding in-person events. 

"Folks, it isn't safe".  "1283 Wisconsinites have lost the battle against this virus". "No party, no bar, no restaurant is worth it". 

Andrea Palm - there has been an increase of 2367 cases since yesterday, and 17 more deaths. "We've lost too many during this pandemic".  Although the recent increase was driven largely by young people, the number of young people being infected is dropping, but it is not dropping for other age groups. She emphasized the need to cooperate with contact tracers. 

Secretary-elect Palm discussed the recent grant to do antigen tests, and the DHS is considering ways to use a mix of different testing technologies in appropriate ways.

In response to a reporter question the Governor responded that one of the reasons that Wisconsin is doing so badly compared to other states is the recent State Supreme Court ruling about the emergency health order, which has limited the range of tools available to the state. He also blamed inconsistent leadership "from the top" on how serious the COVID-19 pandemic is.

Secretary-Designee Palm emphasized that the system is now being overwhelmed by new cases, and that the ability to contact trace is making it impossible to control the exposure of new people. It is now impossible to notify people who may have been exposed, creating a healthcare crisis.

Since we are now hitting the beginning of colder weather and the traditional time of the year for high virus transmission. It is likely that this will get much worse before it gets better.

Hospitals in some parts of the state are now approaching full capacity, making it difficult to treat COVID-19 patients and other patients.

Steve Hanson
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