Coronavirus: Wisconsin Now Has 106 Cases; Milwaukee VA Veteran Tests Positive

Mar 18, 2020

For the most up-to-date information, read WUWM's latest coronavirus post.

Updated at 7:31 p.m. CT

On Wednesday, state health officials reported 106 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin — that’s up from 72 people on Tuesday — with 47 of those in Milwaukee County. It was also announced that a veteran inpatient at the Milwaukee VA Medical Center tested positive for the coronavirus.

>>The Latest WUWM & NPR Coronavirus Coverage

The Milwaukee VA says the veteran is in isolation and being cared for by specially trained staff. It also says "the risk of transmission to staff and other patients remains low."

"VA is screening veterans and staff who present with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath who meet the CDC criteria for evaluation of COVID-19 infection," the Milwaukee VA wrote in a news release.

Gov. Tony Evers has declared that "community spread" of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, is taking place in Wisconsin. That means that people are testing positive without having traveled to a location where the coronavirus is prevalent, and without knowingly having been exposed to someone who's tested positive for COVID-19.

The COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin by county:
Milwaukee County: 47
Brown County: 1
Dane County: 23
Fond du Lac County: 12
Kenosha County: 4
La Cross County: 1
Outagamie County: 1
Pierce County: 1
Racine County: 1
Sheboygan County: 4
Waukesha County: 5
Washington County: 2
Winnebago County: 3
Wood County: 1

Evers ordered Wisconsin day cares to scale down on Wednesday. Now, centers can’t have more than 10 staff or 50 children present at a time. The restriction in size goes into effect Thursday at 8 a.m.

“Child care is an essential service for many of the folks working on the frontlines to provide health care and vital services to our communities during the COVID-19 outbreak,” Evers said in a statement.

Child care providers are being asked to prioritize children of health care and essential service providers. Those who can and aren’t on the frontlines are being asked to keep their kids at home.

Also on Wednesday, it was announced that a doctor at Children's Hospital in Milwaukee has tested positive for COVID-19. The person was exposed to someone who tested positive after traveling outside of Wisconsin before travel restrictions were put into effect. The doctor has mild symptoms, is quarantined at home, and is recovering.

A doctor at the Milwaukee Children's Hospital of Wisconsin has tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
Credit Chuck Quirmbach

"We have seen this happen at health care organizations across the nation, and we knew it was only a matter of time before we had a confirmed case on our team," the hospital wrote in a statement.

The hospital’s infection prevention team is identifying any staff or patient families who came into contact with the doctor. The team is distributing instructions and offering support. Based on CDC guidelines, staff will take next steps that include monitoring symptoms, self-quarantine or testing.

For the time being, WUWM's Bubbler Talk is focusing on the coronavirus and its impact on the Milwaukee area. If you have a question, submit it below.

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