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Governor Declares Health Emergency in Response to COVID-19

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Gov. Tony Evers (Photo by A. David Dahmer)

From our content partner, Channel3000:

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers declared a public health emergency Thursday in response to new cases of COVID-19, according to a release.

The Department of Health Services will be able to use all resources necessary to contain the outbreak. Wisconsin has had five new cases of COVID-19 and Illinois and Minnesota has seen more cases.

Wisconsin also has 37 residents returning to Wisconsin from the Princess Cruise Ship who might have been exposed and will be in self-quarantine for 14 days.

“We have been working aggressively to slow the spread of COVID-19, and this declaration allows us to get the resources we need to continue to be proactive when it comes to protecting Wisconsinites,” said Evers. “It is the latest step in the work our state agencies have been doing around the clock with our health care partners to prepare for the possibility of COVID-19 becoming a global pandemic.”

The governor signed an executive order that allows DHS to take all necessary and appropriate measures to respond to COVID-19. The department can purchase, store or distributed medications, regardless of insurance or health coverage, to respond to the emergency. State funds can also be used to support local health departments with costs related to isolation and quarantine. It also allows for use of the Wisconsin National Guard.

The first case of the coronavirus in Wisconsin was found in early February in Dane County.

“This can be a frightening time, but our state has incredible health professionals who are working to contain the spread,” Evers said. “We cannot do this alone, we need all hands on deck to protect the public from COVID-19.”