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Wisconsin Health Officials: Coronavirus Testing Down, 'The Pandemic Is Not Over'

Jack Hurbanis
A COVID-19 testing sign at the Miller Park grounds.

As a coronavirus vaccine gets closer, state health officials want Wisconsin residents to remember that the pandemic has not gone away. In a media update Tuesday, officials urged people to recommit themselves to practices that help stop the spread of the virus — like staying home, limiting trips outside to just the essentials such as the grocery store and the pharmacy, and avoiding interacting with people you don’t live with.

Department of Health Services’ Secretary-designee Andrea Palm said we also need to recommit ourselves to testing.

She said the number of people seeking out tests in Wisconsin is down. "The past seven days our average daily number of tests is about 29,500; two weeks ago, that average was over 39,000. Our current positivity rate remains quite high which is an indication that we are not testing enough to gain an accurate picture of the prevalence of COVID-19 in Wisconsin," Palm said.

If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus, even if you don’t have symptoms, get tested, she said. And while you wait for results, remember to isolate and let your close contacts know they may have been exposed.

Palm stressed that if you’ve been exposed — but you get a negative test result — you still should isolate and monitor for symptoms. And if you test positive, she said you should isolate yourself within your home and away from family members or roommates.

On Tuesday, Wisconsin reported more than 4,000 new coronavirus cases, bringing the state total to more than 418,000. More than 3,800 people have died.

Teran Powell joined WUWM in the fall of 2017 as the station’s very first Eric Von Broadcast Fellow. She became WUWM's race and ethnicity reporter in 2018.
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