Editor’s note: This story has been updated with information from Marathon County.
By Shereen Siewert
Wisconsin is reporting 1,063 cases of confirmed COVID-19 in Wisconsin, up from 989 24 hours earlier and a 179 percent increase over last week’s figures.
The death toll statewide, according to Johns Hopkins University, now sits at 17, up from 13 on Saturday. The total number of positive cases and deaths is a combination of data reported by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and individual county health departments and officials.
Oneida County reported its second case on Sunday. The latest Oneida County case is being reflected in the overall total reported but does not yet appear in the Johns Hopkins tracker. Many Wisconsin counties have been releasing confirmed cases independent of the state.
Marathon County reported a second case on Sunday, though the number of pending tests was not released on Sunday.
During a news conference on Friday, Dept. of Health Services Secretary-Designee Andrea Palm said the newest cases being reported are people who were infected before the state enacted the Safer at Home order.
“Assuming that we are all implementing Safer at Home well, it will likely be several weeks before we are able to start to see the results of those efforts, and that is because of the lag time between infection to symptom on-set and to a positive test result,” Palm said.
More than 15,000 negative test results have been reported.
As of Sunday morning, there were a total of 124,686 confirmed cases and 2,191 deaths in the U.S., according to tracking data from Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center. At least 2,612 people have recovered.
Meanwhile, efforts continue to secure equipment for Wisconsin hospitals. Gov. Tony Evers’ office plans to purchase 10,000 ventilators and 1 million protective face masks to assist with the state’s response to the outbreak. That decision comes one week after Evers presented a proposed $700 million legislative package that would address health care needs related to the respiratory disease, ramp up health care staffing and extend the statewide public health emergency indefinitely until it is revoked by the Legislature.
The legislation also would waive the state’s voter identification requirement for the April 7 election, as well as extend the online registration deadline and waive the witness signature requirement for voters casting absentee ballots.
In a Friday email to legislative leaders, DOA Deputy Secretary Chris Patton urged quick action to secure equipment.
“As we have relayed to you consistently during our daily calls, time is of the essence,” Patton said in the email. “We do not have the luxury of weeks or months to respond to this crisis. The public’s health and safety must be our top priority, and we must have the ability to adapt quickly to the changing circumstances that COVID-19 presents.”
Wisconsin has so far procured more than 100,000 respirators, 260,000 face masks, 48,000 face shields, 40,000 surgical gowns and 70,0000 pairs of gloves, but state and health care officials say more supplies will be necessary in the coming weeks.