Gov. Tony Evers announced Tuesday that the Wisconsin State Emergency Operations Center is opening two voluntary self-isolation facilities on Wednesday to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. One will be at a Super 8 hotel in Milwaukee near Mitchell Airport; the other at the Lowell Center in Madison. Together, the locations have about 250 beds.
“They will provide a valuable resource for those who have mild symptoms of COVID-19, leaving valuable hospital space available for others who need it, and they also provide a safe place for people to stay so they don’t spread COVID-19 to others," he said in a press release.
Wisconsin Emergency Management spokesperson Andrew Beckett says the state believes some people don’t have the ability to safely self-isolate at home. “There was a need identified in some of the larger populated areas in the state to make sure there are facilities for individuals who want to avoid putting their family at risk or possibly being exposed to the virus themselves," he says.
Those suspected to have COVID-19 and those who have confirmed cases can voluntarily stay at the sites but must be referred by a medical provider or public health official. They can expect to stay 14 days or 72 hours after symptoms dissipate, according to the press release.
Wellness checks on the site will be done by phone every four hours, during the day and at night if needed. Beckett says no doctors will be there to help patients.
“They’ll have clean linens brought to them. They’ll have food brought to them, and there will be some basic first -aid on site. But in terms of active medical care, they will need to refer to their doctor for that," he says.
If you think you have COVID-19 based on typical symptoms — fever, dry cough, tightness of chest, and fatigue —you should call your medical provider. They can help instruct you on whether you need to get tested or self-isolate at home.
For communities outside of Madison and Milwaukee seeking to open voluntary self-isolation centers, here are guidelines.
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