Wisconsin (March 27, 2020) – The state Department of Health Services announced Thursday there are 707 positive casesof COVID-19 statewide, as well as 11,583 negative tests. However, the number continues to grow as counties announce positive cases.
According to figures from DHS and local health officials, 10 people in Wisconsin have died of COVID-19 as of 2 p.m. Thursday. There has been one death each in Fond du Lac, Ozaukee and Dane counties, and seven in Milwaukee County.
Between Wednesday and Thursday, the number of positive cases jumped by 122, and the number of negative test results increased 1,494.
Gov. Tony Evers issued a “stay-at-home” order Tuesday in an effort to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. The order went into effect at 8 a.m. Wednesday, and restricts travel and the operation of non-essential businesses, until April 24.
Without further restrictions on movement, DHS officials said they believe 22,000 residents would test positive for COVID-19 by April 8, and 440 to 1,500 people would die from the disease.
DHS Secretary Andrea Palm answered questions about the “stay-at-home” order during a Facebook Live event on Thursday. Many viewers asked why businesses that aren’t considered essential under the order are still open. Several people asked how they can report non-essential businesses for not complying.
Palm said her office tried to be as specific as possible when writing the order, which she encouraged viewers to read on the DHS website.
“If we detailed every single scenario, that thing would have gone on for hundreds of pages. And so we couldn’t, in an order, answer every single question,” Palm said during the event. “Our colleagues at the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. are taking additional specific questions as businesses and employers are trying to sort through the order and decide about whether they are essential or not.”
Palm said the order is enforceable by local law enforcement, but did not say how people can report businesses for violating the restrictions.