tv Wisconsin Gov. Evers Holds Coronavirus Briefing CSPAN May 15, 2020 5:43am-6:59am EDT
the house is also expected to debate and vote on house rules changes to allow for proxy voting on the house floor during the public health emergency. today's health session is expected to last late into the evening due to social distancing guidelines. watch live coverage on c-span, , or listen-span.org on the free c-span radio app. >> sconce and governor tony evers briefed reporters one day after the state supreme court struck down the governor's stay-at-home order. he addressed the court's ruling, saying the supreme court may have changed the rules for how we operate, but did not change how viruses operate. good afternoon, everybody, and thanks so much for joining us today. because of the good work you have been doing throughout this crisis to stay home as much as possible, practice good hygiene and social distancing, and where
face masks in public if you are able to, wisconsin was in a pretty good place in the battle against covid-19. we have reached most all of our criteria. on monday, we opened up 14,000 small businesses across the state, putting potentially 90,000 folks back to work. but despite that good work across the state, banding together and stayed safe, republican legislatures have convinced four that are supreme court justices to throw our state into chaos. when the last night tavern league of wisconsin urged its member's to open back up, and people flooded to bars across the state. instead of a comprehensive statewide approach to keep people safe, we are seeing new disabilities -- we are seeing municipalities across the state chart their own course. if you owned businesses in
multiple locations or have employees who live in a different community than the one they work in, things are going to get very confusing very fast. even with all of this chaos, we cannot let the court ruling undo all of the work we have done and all of the sacrifices wisconsin has made over the last few months. we need everybody to continue doing their part to give our families, our neighbors, and our communities safe by continuing to stay safer at home, wearing a mask in public if you can, practice social distancing and limit travel because folks, the supreme court may have changed the rules for how we operate, but it sure didn't change how viruses operate. this virus has killed more than 400 of our family members, friends and neighbors, and thousands more across our state are sick. because of the decision, many more people could get sick and overwhelm our hospitals, but not if stay the course and stay
home. if you do not feel safe leaving the house, you should stay home. if you feel safe enough to go out to a store or restaurant, but experience crowds or unsafe conditions that make you feel uncomfortable, you should go home. just because republicans said it can be a free-for-all, that doesn't mean we have to throw out good judgment out the window. i have already heard from a number of individuals and businesses who say they plan on continuing staying at home. i would like to read one message i received from a constituent who said this. we for me and my household, will continue to abide by the guidelines your office set, even if they are no longer required by executive order. i can still exercise my freedom of religion by practicing it safely at home. while i miss sitting down a restaurant, i still have the freedom to enjoy my favorite
restaurants food from carry out options. and while i love to bargain shop freely at secondhand stores, i can still do it safely and freely through online options or with just five people in the store. you didn't take away any of my freedoms. you are helping me protect them. and because of the good work and , if freedoms that we have you are not alive and healthy to enjoy them, they mean nothing. librarians, from grocery store workers, cancer survivors like myself, health-care workers, business owners, people all over the state support our efforts to stay safer at home and are hoping you will continue to stay at home also. their lives depend on it. now it is more important than ever to make sure we are focused on keeping everybody safe, and that we consider those who are most exposed and vulnerable when we make decisions.
we remain concerned and are working hard to keep people safe in our care, such as our health care facilities and correctional facilities, even though we understand how difficult it is right now for those individuals and their families. at this time, we do not have any diagnosed cases of covid-19 at our wisconsin veterans homes, which we attribute to the good practices we had in place and the protocols we added very early on. while the safer at home order is no longer in effect, in the interest of the health and welfare of our members and staff, we will continue to follow the guidance of the centers for disease control for our long-term care facilities and nursing homes by limiting visitation. i know that other long-term care providers are making the same kind of considerations. this pandemic hasn't gone away, and the threats to frail older
adults remains real and potentially dangerous. the department of health services and the provider community are working hard to develop options and strategies safelyw visitations to occur under certain circumstances and conditions. we all want visitations to occur and open up, but we don't want to thoughtlessly threaten the lives of older adults. know that folks are eager to visit their loved ones, and i understand that. i appreciate your patience and understanding as we all try to make sense of the situation and find solutions that will keep your loved ones safe. we also need to be diligent in our effort to keep our workers safe. comprehensive set of guidelines we developed in consultation with dhs, and i strongly urge every business to implement these best practices to ensure the safety of every workplace and every community.
both customers and workers need to be confident in their safety, so we need everyone to be diligent in following best safety practices so that we can continue to move our state forward while keeping our neighbors, families, and communities safe and healthy. regardless of the political overtones of the supreme court decision, we still know what we need to do. the virus hasn't changed, and neither has the science. we will continue with our testing and contact tracing efforts around the state and will continue to ensure our critical workers have the equipment they need to do their job safely. i urge anyone who needs a test to go get tested at one of our community testing sites, and help protect your community and family from this virus. stay the course, wisconsin. i know you are up to this challenge. and now, before the secretary designee gives her daily update, i would like you to hear from
one of the health-care care workers on the front lines, laura anderson. laura? is laura anderson, and i am a family and women's health practitioner in deloitte. 18 clinic is one of community health centers in wisconsin providing access to basic health care services in communities that need them the most. our doors are open to everyone. families and children, farmworkers, the homeless, and those who are uninsured, on medicaid, or who have private insurance. we are usually located in the heart of a medically underserved and vulnerable community. prior to and during the covid crisis, we have offered comprehensive medical, dental, and behavioral health services. we provide innovative care that reaches beyond traditional
medicine. things that i cannot possibly prescribe for, like food, shelter, and utility assistance, our team addresses these very real issues. through the efforts of experienced and passionate staff, we have resources including social work, interpreters, insurance enrollment specialists, nutrition and diabetic health clinic andand an hiv case management through partnership with vw health. historically, community health systems have adapted quickly during the health crisises. sars, h1n1,emic, and today is no different. our patients have always been first and foremost the reason we are here. we were one of the first two author -- one of the first to offer virtual visits for all three of our service lines.
we provide access to quality care for people who do not require emergency or intensive care. we function as shock absorbers to overwhelmed hospitals. we have been on the forefront of testing, providing services to those most in need, including families of those affected by the covid-19 virus. according to the national association of community health centers, as of may 1, community health centers across the nation have provided over 350 6000 tests. among those tested, 59,000 work of racial or ethnic minorities, and in that group, 65 percent have tested positive. effective because of our connection with patients and their relationships with providers. they feel trust coming to a place they know is safe. develop and provide culturally appropriate health information.
we offer consultation and put fears to rest. as things start to open up, people are worried and asking what they should do. we are here to listen to them and offer sound advice about staying safe. this is what i want you to know most of all. we are all in this together. our health centers are uniquely sufficient to address the health disparities that become glaringly evident during this pandemic. these disparities are overwhelmingly affecting people who live in poverty and lack adequate housing or food, including many in our african-american, latino, and asian communities. that peopleervices wouldn't be able to access without us. our staff and our patients are part of our community, and you are a part of ours. thank you. and i am turning this back to department of health services secretary andrea palm.
>> thank you. good afternoon, everyone. i am the secretary designee at the wisconsin department of health services. you for joining us again today. i share governor reeves'-- share governor evers' disapp ointment in the supreme court ruling. it risks increasing our cases and deaths. in the face of this reality, i urge you to stick with us and continue to stay safer at home. to flatteningt the curve has helped protect our frontline health care workers, our most vulnerable neighbors, and the capacity of the health care system broadly, but there is more work to do. yesterday's ruling changes nothing about the science of this virus for the work we need to continue to do together to safely reopen wisconsin. -- and that his work have been doing together since we began our statewide response in early march. you can see our progress in the
criteria on our dashboard. as we have talked about many times, while you have been staying safer at home, we have been working to build up our health care and public health testing and contact tracing infrastructure to be able to detect positive cases quickly and help stop the disease from spreading further. but covid-19 remains highly infectious, and it is why our aunce back plan involves gradual reopening through three phases. this allows increasing amounts of interaction between and among wisconsinites in a way that will help us manage spread of the disease, reduce illness and death, and minimize the risk of a search that would overwhelm our health care system. physical distancing in this phased approach, along with aggressive testing and contact tracing, will help protect the health and safety of wisconsinites until there is an effective vaccine. what we have done so far together is working.
in the our partners statewide response will continue to do the work of protecting the health and safety of wisconsinites against this virus and safely reopen wisconsin. i am asking all wisconsinites to continue to do it with us. here is where things stand today. we have got 52 active labs running covid-19 tests with a daily capacity of 13,372 tests. tests, 122,598 negative which is an increase of 5487 tests over yesterday. there are now 11,275 confirmed cases of covid-19 in wisconsin, an increase of 373 over yesterday. our total deaths have now 434.ed we currently have a total of 295 facility wide public health investigations. now i will take your questions. >> thank you.
a reminder to maintain audio quality, to keep your phones on mute until it is time to ask your question, and in the interest of time, please only group.stion per we will begin today with scott bauer from the associated press. >> thank you again for doing this call. i wanted to get your reaction to speaker voss saying it may be ok to not have a statewide plan, to not enact a rule, and just allow local governments to decide what the policies ought to be. what is your reaction to that? i am also wondering about public health ramifications. gov. evers: that was part of our conversation today, actually. i thought both leaders felt very ,omfortable with the idea that and they were unconcerned about what i believe will be mas
confusion that will exist without a -- will be mass confusion that will exist without a statewide approach. statet imagine another that is in this predicament, where essentially, mile by mile, there may be different rules across all of the state of wisconsin. so disappointed that. not surprised in that. that was part of the mo right from the beginning. but i do see some contradiction here, and that is i remember receiving a letter shortly after -- it was dated may 1. i don't know when i received it. but it was from speaker voss and some of his colleagues. they made it clear to me that
>> now to mark leland. >> how many counties have enacted their own continuance of your stay-at-home order? are you reaching out to the others that haven't yet? are they legal if the state order was not? >> i can answer that for the governor. last i checked, there were at least five or six counties that had enacted their own orders, i suspect based on the amount of interest we have heard from local public health officers that there will be more
counties, more municipalities that will be doing so. legality, public health officers have very broad whileity under state law, legislative republicans and their allies on the supreme court overturned the state's effort to do so on highly ,echnical rule making grounds those same grounds do not apply to local health officers. see are going to patchwork of orders across the state. states authorized under law. >> i can add to that. i know he has asked for a follow-up question. to that first question, i would say that it is not necessarily a
weakness or a bad thing for control of public health to be, for those systems to be at the local level. we rely on local public health as a leading edge of our statewide response. in principle, that's a good situation, a good solution. the limitation, however, is that the resources required to contain this epidemic at the local level so very quickly outstripped our ability to do the things locally that needed to be done. so whereas the locals are in the best position to do the epidemiology, give quarantine orders, give support to make those local recommendations, this unfolded so quickly that we needed to have a statewide response to get on top of it. as we have been trying to build our next-generation public health system for the next year, we need to do that anyway that correlates the resources at the state level and builds up local public health in a way that really has not been there before.
local public that health departments need right now to respond to this epidemic is going to be here for the next year or two. the idea of us taking time, of us having a statewide response where we are trying to mitigate the epidemic on a statewide level is critical to make sure there is some uniformity in our response, but to give all this time to build the resources locally that we need to be able epidemics local and prevent them from being large, generalized epidemics. they need support to do this at a scale that really has not been needed to be done in our lifetimes. that's really the challenge and that's really why the state is such an important resource and support. >> thank you. now to mason. mason? >> thank you for taking this call. we have a had several business
owners in the wausau area make a facebook post or email saying that they are still trying to figure out how best to reimplement their businesses. they are concerned because a lot of their employees are currently making more money off of unemployment than they would have been while they were working. as the state doing anything to address the unemployment disparity? workers,vel of unemployment insurance is determined by in great part by the federal government. frankly, there is not much we can do as a state, especially now that we have no authority over this issue to do anything about lowering someone's workers'unemployment insurance. i think that would be very unpopular. even if we did have that authority, i would not support it. >> thank you.
now to rich kramer from wisconsin public radio. rich? a reminder, unmute your phones. >> sorry about that. thanks for taking the question. i'm just wondering, since it seems that the court order s some authority over the public school system, i am wondering if there is any timeline or date for when public schools may reopen? at least for the fall? >> we are working, along with the state superintendent, with lots of groups that are interested in helping plan that. two legislators are was with today also want to have a chance to have that conversation. it is ongoing.
no decision has been made. it is my preference it would be that in a k-12 world, it should be our goal to have school open next phone -- fall. ,e certainly must have a plan a, b, c, d. we arehe circumstances, not sure what things are going to look like in the fall but ongoing discussions are happening. >> now to jessica from up north news. jessica? >> yes, my question has to do with last night's ruling. i am wondering what the state and may be dhs specifically is still able to do to coordinate statewide efforts like dr. westergaard was discussing. what is the state still able to do to help build up local health departments? >> thanks, jessica.
important thing that we all need to stay focused on. the virus and the outbreak are the same today as they were yesterday. the work we need to do to defeat this virus and protect the health and safety of the people of this state remains the same. that is to continue to do the work of building up our testing, capacity at a good level. using all ofnot those tests on a daily basis. we need to continue to do the work of bringing on board contact tracers. our goal was 1000. we are wrapping that up. we are starting to onboard additional contact tracers next week. that is critical work to help local public health department across the state interview every possible case and all of their close contacts to stop the spread as quickly as possible. we continue to do the work of procuring necessary ppe. that continues to be a struggle for us and states all across
this country, to make sure we have the protective equipment necessary for frontline health care workers. and will continue to do the other work that is necessary as part of our statewide response to stop the spread of this disease. is why we are asking wisconsinites to stick with us, to continue to stay safer at home, to continue doing the important work they have been doing to give us the space and time to stand up this infrastructure, which are the tools that we need to stop the spread. it remains as infectious today as it was yesterday. that means that physical distancing is critical to not resulting in spikes of this disease and surges that can overwhelm the health care system. we have got to do the work that was the same today as it was yesterday. people need to remember that the virus is still just as infectious and circulating widely in public without practicing physical distancing, without staying safer at home
will encourage the spread of this disease. we are encouraging wisconsinites to continue to practice safer at home and help us stop the spread. >> thank you. ammie. c >> that afternoon. i am looking for specifics on your discussions with republicans today. who did you speak with? when did you speak with them, for how long, what was discussed? are any talks scheduled for the future? is there anyway the badger bounce back survive these talks? >> that is several questions. i cannot tell you the exact time. i was not keeping track. withked on the phone speaker voss and majority leader fitzgerald, some staff members, and some staff members with new. -- with me. promiset, unlike the
that was made in the supreme court case that there was a plan, didn't hear anything about that. it was obvious to me through the conversations that the majority leadership was pretty much unconcerned about confusion that andng multiple counties municipalities having different rules and regulations, they are pretty ok with that. they can speak to that. it was a respectful conversation. did notd before, there seem to be any interest in having a gradual and safe reopening. that was suggested in a letter to me not long ago. that said, we talked about the possibility of an administrative rule, which will take a long time, unlike what was stated in the court case. it is going to be 14 days minimum.
we talked about some possible things to happen that that have in that -- to have in that process. so nothing, no fireworks, just making clear that they were very pleased with the results and they were ok with having confusion. it was a respectful conversation. we will probably meet again next week. >> now to emily. emily? still plan to introduce a new statewide plan with republican leaders, even though they seem to be leaning towards a county by county approach? speaker voss says he wants to move quickly on new rules for businesses to follow. can you discuss what that might be? >> they seem to be into getting that i believe and that's the conversation or public statements that they are pleased with the w edc's work in this
area. the supreme court made it clear. this is not our gig. what we were going to be continued to focus on is making sure we have contact tracing and massive testing to make sure we have equipment for those frontline workers. and that we attack and deal with any surge that will happen, because of this discussion -- or decision by the state supreme court. >> thank you, emily. >> now to riley from the wisconsin state journal. riley? >> thanks for taking my call. governor givers, can you please describe -- governor evers, can you please describe the bare minimum restrictions that you are willing to accept and that republicans are willing to accept in this emergency world? >> we made no decisions on that
today. >> thank you, riley. >> now to glenn from the wheeler report. glenn? >> governor, can you say what you plan to advise state employees to do? will you make any changes with the state parks or opening and closing of the state capital? >> state parks, we have opened them up. i don't see any changes there. i have not had a chance to talk to the secretary and a couple days about that. things seem to be working out just fine. employees, wee are continuing with as many opportunities for people to work from home as possible. of course, a lot of them are busy figuring out how to make cuts in their operation costs. that's tough work. they are busy doing that. frankly, all of our
agencies are doing work in making sure that the people of wisconsin are cap safe, no safe, what venue -- kept no matter what venue they are in. the state capitol building remains closed for the time being. >> thank you. in milwaukee. >> hi, governor. listen, just a quick question for you. kind of your opinion on this. we heard republican lawmakers say that we need to trust our business owners to reopen responsibly and safely and to ensure that their customers are physical distancing. but you referenced those bars where crowds gather in a matter of minutes. do you think wisconsin can remain safe without a statewide
plan? >> i think it's going to be very difficult. clearly, there was not any physical distancing going on from what i signed those pictures -- what i saw in those pictures. i was not there so i guess i cannot make a final decision. if you are not doing the bas ics, of course there is going to be increased numbers. there is very few certainties in this world of covid-19. this one a certain. the more people you put in a small space, the greater the chances that you will get the disease. if businesses do not do that, or do not create opportunities for people to be physically distant from each other, it's going to be a problem. >> thank you. nbc 26 inathan from
green bay. jonathan? >> yes. mentioned that as part of his first statement and context of the veterans homes in the state, it was my understanding the center for procurement of medical services and cdc issued the nursing home visitation restriction for the long-term care facilities. outside of any county or municipal order that was just recently created in response to the supreme court decision, is there anything else the state can identify that people cannot do now, despite the safer at home being overturned? >> as it relates to long-term care? i mean just across the board. is there anything that is off-limits now above and beyond the long-term care, no visitation? >> i think i can probably answer
that question. is the governor -- as the governor mentioned, part of the challenge with the supreme court decision and legislative republicans assuming over this but not having a plan b is that it does take away a statewide approach. there will be limited situations, whether it's long-termacilities -- care facilities, whether on the federal level or state level, but one of the challenges with there being no plan b in place being offered by the republican legislative leadership is that it is creating this patrick approach -- patchwork approach. you are going to see different regulations and different rules in place in different counties. people are going to have to be cognizant of which local public health officer overseas their area and what specific rules are
in place for their specific area. think the i administration is going to continue moving forward, regardless of the decision from the court yesterday to make sure that people have best practices and best guidance. we are going to look at what tools we have available. unfortunately, with the court's decision and the lack of a backup plan from the other side, it does create this patchwork situation that we are in now. >> thank you, jonathan. .ow to annie >> thanks for taking my question. i noticed that our testing capacity within the state within the last -- within the state has gone down recently. i wonder if you can explain why that is and how quickly that capacity could be increased if it was needed? >> i assume you're talking about the fact that we dropped from 13,800-ish down to about
13,200 and some change if i remember my numbers correctly. it sounds like we have a couple of labs that are experiencing summary agent shortage -- some reagent shortage. that is reflected in the decrease of 700-800 test on a daily basis. we track those things closely with lab partners so we understand what our data capacity is. those numbers can fluctuate on a daily basis depending on the status of supplies at each of our labs that are participating with us. >> thank you. now to steve. steve? >> thanks for taking my question. this is a question for the governor. , nowwondering if in the
that the state supreme court has basically negated safer at home, if you now believe that you should have taken a different such as goingis, through the rulemaking process from the start, even if it would have taken a couple of weeks to start? or having a different plan possibly in mind to work with the legislature to enact if the order was in fact negated, as happened yesterday? >> well, no, i don't have any regrets for what we did. in a short four or five week span, we have created a system in a major rate changed the face -- major way changed the face of public health in wisconsin. we have massive testing going on. we are getting to a place now
where contact tracing will give us a chance to really corral this virus. we are getting much better support from the federal government finally on the issue of equipment. no, we still might be going through the rulemaking process if we had done that. frankly, that's assuming that the decision that they made was an accurate one and it was not. they made things up and cut sentences out of the legislation to meet their needs. it was a wrong decision. we did the right thing. i suggested those justices did the wrong thing. that's why we are in that position, this position today. >> thank you, steve. now to emily. ? emily? -- emily? >> thank you for taking my call. i wanted to clarify.
i don't want to make any assumptions based off the previous questions. office ate governor's the pop to act in this pandemic -- have the power to act in this pandemic. either the from governor's office or ghs are still impressed as part of the legal authority that both offices have to tackle this pandemic? >> i can answer that question. in terms of the orders issued by the governor, solely one of the that were tied to the public health emergency, which of the legislature refused to extend. in addition to extending some of --se orders, a number of those provisions have expired. in terms of orders issued under
the secretary's authority, the court only addressed safer at home. that was the only order at issue. all of these are unique circumstances and you have to take a look at the specific order in terms of its applicability going forward, but i think this raises the challenge that i have personally with the supreme court decision. it is a majority decision. while it made it clear that safer at home is no longer in step, they did not provide any guidance whatsoever in terms of what the dhs authority is. the purpose of the supreme court is to interpret the law, provide clarity on the law, and they completely avoided that in the situation where they recklessly struck down safer at home, did not provide any transition period. they did not provide any clarity in terms of what dhs's authority
is. we will have to rely a lot on public health officials to combat a global pandemic on a local level. we are going to be moving forward with rulemaking. statement to do today. i think the court did a great disservice to the state by not providing clarity in terms of what that role could accomplish. >> now to jeremy from milwaukee. journey? -- jeremy? >> will dhs be doing anything with regard to tracking the local orders? will there be any guidance on what should be included in them? we startedy, engaging in conversations with our local public health partners last evening, as folks have looked to us for guidance and help and thinking through those
-- what they might want to do at the local level. we will continue to have those conversations. if folks wouldly find it helpful, we would certainly be open to making sure that there is a source of information that tracks that kind of information you're asking about. we have not gotten that far in our conversations yet. >> thank you, jeremy. now to morgan from nbc 15 in madison. morgan? thank you for taking our questions. there is a lot of talk right now about support. we no longer have the safer at home order in place. teams are playing again if there
-- can teams play again if their organizations chose to? >> we have to first figure out whether those events are going to happen before we make a comment about who is going to attend those events. time, i know in the school districts and the university and ncaa and the w iaa, all those organizations decisions arehose in the process of discussing them and coming to some conclusion. it is premature for us to say we don't want people to go to a football game when we don't know what football game is going to happen. >> thank you. now to stephanie. stephanie? >> good afternoon. thank you for having this call. my question is for governor evers. -- foru still issued the
an emergency rule today and what will that proposal look like? >> we have really stood -- we have released it. i have to make sure everybody understands what a scoped statement is. it is a long document that meets some legislative need around the potential rules. it is an overall statement. it is available now. you should be able to get it anyplace. i certainly don't have it memorized. that scoped statement will be published. it is available now. it will be published monday and there is a 10 day waiting time before we can even talk about and put together a rule. today,what we discussed the process of it, with the legislative leaders, and what that statement might mean.
it is one thing i did not memorized coming in. one thing i would like to say and this is off topic, so i am not -- i don't want people to say, where did this come from? it is my understanding that senator tiffany just released a statement saying that is calling andrea palm or to resign -- palmer to resign. senator tiffany, please, just relax. insane statement. we talk about trying to tone down the rhetoric. i have done everything i can today to do that. to make a statement like that about someone who has dedicated her life to saving lives, please, sir, give us a break!
you are headed to washington, d.c. i know you are better than this. >> thank you, stephanie. now to victor from cbs 58 in milwaukee. victor? >> good afternoon. and thank you for taking the phone call. you beat me to the punch. i was going to ask about tiffany. going on the negotiations with republican leadership and majority of the legislature, i wanted to get your reaction if you believe that based on your discussions thus far, if you believe that they are being done in good faith. do you think they are being seductive? >> yes, yes -- productive? >> yes, yes. made it very clear that having multiple jurisdictions operating in this environment is a good thing. i made it very clear that there
is no interest in a gradual thatning of the economy was asked of me and that was our plan and that is what we were doing as recently as may 1. of those things are clear -- all of those things are clear. i am not saying it in a derogatory way. we have a disagreement that. do i think we will be -- disagreement there. we put together a statement today that we released on we will continue to have discussions about what is going to be in that opportunity to have some things for the legislature to look at. >> thank you. now to will. will? afternoon. this question is part the site -- is for the secretary or the
doctor. you talked about how the work you need to do, testing in contact tracing, remain the same, but the conditions under which you are doing that work have massively changed overnight with the end of the safer at home order. i'm wondering what specific ways, if any, your strategy is with regard to testing or contact tracing have shifted or will shift in the coming weeks? >> i appreciate the question. i think fundamentally, things have not changed. this is a pandemic that we have been working to get an infrastructure up and running to deal with. wisconsinites have been unbelievable partners in helping us do that. it's really important, now more than ever, that they continue to help us do that, whether there is an order or not.
we obviously will be tracking and looking at our data on a daily basis as closely as we have been so we can spot potential outbreaks, so that we can understand where things might be headed in a world where there might be less physical distancing. the fundamental work that we are doing and that we continue to do with our partners across the is only more urgent and we will continue to do that work so we can protect the people of the state moving forward. >> i think with the data, i agree, our strategy is exactly the same. we have pretty clear goals and what we need to build the system to do. the system is a collaboration between our public health system and our health care system.
the goal is for everyone who has symptoms of covid-19, which are very broad, any respiratory infection, could be covid-19. anyone who has those symptoms gets tested. right now, we are at a small fraction of that. the other one is that everyone who is diagnosed as positive gets very prompt engagement with a contact tracing interview to understand where they have been and who they have been exposed to. that's been our goal for the last two months. that's still our goal. we are working at it as urgently as we possibly can to build the capacity to do that with a high level of effectiveness in copper handsomeness. we are making progress but we are not there yet -- comprehensiveness. we are making progress but we are not there yet. we don't have the system we need yet to be able to prevent small local outbreaks to become larger outbreaks. that's why we need a partnership with residents to work with us
to to keep themselves safe, participate in these processes, to support local institutions to make sure that we have a close eye on where these outbreaks are, that we can contain them quickly and prevent them from spreading. that's been our strategy the whole time. we just need to do it bigger, stronger, and faster, and we are not giving up on the. >> thank you, will. now to briand o'reilly. briana reilly. brianna? we are going to move on to ben we are going to move on to. >> good afternoon. >> is your administration actively encouraging county health departments to put in meeir own safer at ho orders or extensions? is the next best thing having as many counties as possible have orders?
we have received a number of requests from public health officers for guidance on this. so we provided information, including examples of what they can look at. this will be a local decision. it's going to be dependent on local public health officers knowing what is happening in their communities, seeing what is happening across the state. looking at over 10,000 people having tested positive. they will have to make a decision accordingly. it is not something the state is mandating, not something the state is requiring but it is something that we are seeing a number of communities around the state proactively reaching out asking for information and taking action due to the very significant and very deadly risk that covid-19 presents two people in their communities, especially after the court reckless decision yesterdays. >> thank you.
now to casey nelson. casey? >> thanks again for taking the call. republican leaders were telling us that they had tried to develop a plan with the governor but he told them to wait for a while. knowing that the court could overturn the ruling, why was there no backup plan in place? blame really kind of at for something like that, not having that backup plan? >> we had a plan. they didn't. that's the answer. the idea that i wanted to wait for the supreme court, it's just not an accurate statement. to mee met, it was clear that senator fitzgerald absolutely did want to wait. and so i said, i guess we will wait. we were not without a plan. we had a plan. we had a plan that was working.
to supreme court decided throw that plan out on very shaky grounds, and the republicans now on the. i don't -- own that. i don't know what else to say. we had a plan, they didn't. the court didn't agree with our plan on shaky grounds. it simple as that. i hope that the next question i am asked about this, i give the exact same answer, but it's getting repetitive. >> now to eric from wisconsin examiner. eric? thank you for taking my question. i want to go back to your response, the announcement from tiffany. that both thened state and another state, the
rhetoric has gotten ramped up? legislature,an they canceled the meeting today because of concerns. are you concerned with the way the rhetoric has gotten ramped up around wisconsin as well as elsewhere around these issues? and it is reflected in the supreme court ruling language as well? >> yes, i am very concerned about that. dna to respondy in kind. occasionally, i have to do that in order to make a point. what does concern me about that is that weetoric tend to forget about the extraordinary work that is being done in the state of wisconsin, and frankly, our country, to rid us of this virus.
obviously, a vaccine is a long way off. we have thousands of people in our state that our front-line workers that are doing just a hell of a job, and they deserve better than what they are receiving from the rhetoric. gainse made significant in the state of wisconsin, significant gains in meeting some very specific and high standards of metrics. instead of celebrating that, we fromhis kind of stuff state senator who is headed to washington, d.c. we are better than this. we are better than this. i know we are. that's why going forward, we understand we lost this. we lost another very, i think,
incorrect decision-making. with that said, we are moving forward as a state. we are going to spend our time as a state making sure that people that are doing that artwork get the equipment they need -- hard work get the equipment they need. we are going to continue to do testing, contact tracing, all the things that will help us. the rhetoric aside, we are going to be focused as a laser on these issues. >> thank you, eric. now to dan from spectrum news one. dan? spectrum news? took, we will move on melissa. melissa? melissa kim? ok, moving on to dylan. dylan?
>> thank you. dr. westergaard, do you think there is any difference between voluntary guidelines and mandatory public health orders? we have a situation where a county is under say fred home still but another has sort of -- safer at home still but another has sort of voluntary guidelines. can mandatory guidelines work? what is your opinion about that? >> i guess my opinion on my experience comes from taking care of patients. i have had many situations where i've had to give advice to a patient about a treatment or vaccine that they disagreed with. i never once told them you are going to go to jail if you don't do this. all of hard conversations start the same way, which is, as your doctor, i care about you as a person.
whether you take my advice or not, i am going to continue to care for you as a person and give you the best advice that i can. you are ultimately in charge. my job is to give you advice, information that empowers you to help keep yourself safe. i translate that same philosophy to public up. we in public health -- public health. we in public health care about our neighbors come our community community.s, our i don't think that the threat of punishment makes people make any better decisions. i think i have every faith that advice, if they are coming from a place of concern of their well-being from a public health agency that is itsted, my hope would be would have every much as affect. that's my hope now. you.ank now to joe.
-- jonah. jonah? >> this is shelley. i know we have been talking a lot about the supreme court decision. i wanted to turn to nursing home data released yesterday. i am wondering if you can explain a little more about what active investigations look like? >>. the investigation itself. >> yes. , investigation is the term we use for when we have suspected or a positive case. it is that contact tracing, it is that offering of assets under resources, and this case, toy facility --re facility.term care
making sure they have the staffing and resources they need to protect and serve all the residents who live there. making sure they have adequate isolation capacity within the facility or otherwise. making sure that we are giving good technical assistance on infection control. that is long-term care's best defense, is good infection control on the front-end to prevent outbreaks. we are doing lots of work, as long-term care is doing everything they can in individual facilities to prevent outbreaks and positive cases. this term investigation really is that public health work that is triggered by a positive case or the suspicion of a positive case that gives us the signal that we need to focus on that facility in partnership with the leadership and local public health to do what is necessary to stop the spread in that
facility. >> thank you. now to rachel in milwaukee. rachel? >> hello. theare now advocating stay course after say fred home has been deemed unenforceable -- safer at home has been deemed unenforceable? how long should we stay the course? this fall, if we get a large spike, will there be plan? >> of course. even in this new environment that we inherited yesterday that people staying at home as often as possible, not traveling a lot, you know, mitigating, helping mitigate this virus is always dutch has always been a voluntary thing -- has always been a voluntary thing. we did not have secret police corralling people when they left
their homes. oven to work.te i know people will continue to stay at home. they may leave more often now than before because there are more opportunities to react -- to interact. we believe we can keep people say fred home. if there is a surge, that is why -- safer at home. if there is a surge, that is why we are doing what we are doing. the testing, contact tracing we are doing, having proper equipment will help us if and when a surge happens this fall. >> thank you, rachel. now to emily from milwaukee public radio. emily? >> hello. my question is for secretary palmer. now that more businesses like ars andants, b
salons are reopening, how are you anticipating that that will impact contact tracing? if an outbreak is connected to one of those businesses, will that information be released to the public? >> first off, we would encourage folks to stay safer at home. six green.at it would not be say practice for bars, restaurants, and salons to open. having said that, if businesses hasse to do that, wdc offered a number of guidelines in consultation with our experts in public health. it is why it is critical for our contact tracing assets to grow to that thousand target number that we articulated. because we certainly want every time there is a positive case to be able to quickly do a contact
tracing interview and then have it to all of the close contest pivot to all of the close contacts of the positive case. staying safer at home is a critical part of allowing the contact tracing assets, the hospital capacity that we have not to be overwhelmed by a surge in positive cases. but it is why badger bounce back envisioned a phased reopening. socialcould increase the and physical interaction of people and then be able to watch the data and make sure that it was at a safe level and we could continue to do the work we needed to do a protected health care system and then turn it a little tomorrow -- a little bit
more and more. workll be to work -- the we continue to do. it will continue to be what we recommend. >> thank you, emily. now to janelle from nbc nightly news. janelle? six, unmutestar your phones. janelle richards from nbc not mean is -- nightly news? >> can you talk about the hospitalization rate -- infection rate and any attempt to get the word out to residents? >> we here in wisconsin, one of our significant success stories is our testing capacity. we have some amazing partners in the private sector and across the state in our clinical labs and have a daily testing
capacity that fluctuates between 13000 and 14,000 tests a day, which exceeds our goal of 85,000 tests per week. we have come as you suggest, been executing or actually doing fewer tests than we have the capacity to do on a daily basis. . we have expanded our criteria for testing and are encouraging everyone needs a test to get one, even with the mildest of symptoms. we have increased our messaging around the broadening of symptoms that the cdc recently released so that people have a better understanding of the kind of symptoms that you might want to be on the lookout for in order to get a test. we also have dramatically increased our targeted testing as a relates to outbreaks. we are focused on our partners in long-term care and making sure that all residents and staff have access to tests over
the next month. our partnership with the national guard continues to expand so that we have community testing in a variety of communities all around the state so that we can continue to drive daily testing numbers closer and closer to our daily target of 12,000 tests a day. >> thank you. now to bill from the chicago tribune. bill? >> yes, thank you. the case as you know, levels in northeast illinois on the chicago region have been much higher than in wisconsin. a lot of businesses in lake geneva opening today. how concerned are you about those folks and this influx across the state lines? what is your reaction to todayent trump's tweet lauding the court decision and applauding how the state has been -- in the last 12 hours or
so? >> a quick comment on the tweet. we were following his lead on this. apparently, he does not think much of the criteria and the metrics that he set out several months ago. that is exactly the metrics that we are using in order to reopen the state of wisconsin. apparently, he has abandoned that also. the comments about people coming in from illinois, this has been an issue from the get-go. i have heard comments from havee up north the concerns about people coming up to their second homes and what sort of impact that is laying on the, as far as supporting additional people in the counties. it's going to be a big deal. we will have people coming from minnesota and michigan and illinois to wisconsin because we
have opened haphazardly and without much thought. that is going to be a problem for us because of the surrounding states have a higher caseload or higher percentage per capita of covid-19. bring an increase for us. >> thank you, bill. now to molly from the milwaukee journal sentinel. molly? >> thanks. in yesterday's decision, the majority wrote you have to be able to address emergencies like forest fires. i am wondering how you are interpreting that. what constitutes a forest fire health emergency under the court ruling, in your view? at that point, could you issue a new order outside of the rulemaking process? >> i will address that.
earlier, one of the things that is so problematic about the majority decision is that despite the decision overall being 161 pages, we saw from seven justices i believe there were seven different decisions or opinions. the chief justice concurred with her on majority opinion. the majority opinion itself provides a complete lack of clarity in terms of how the state can respond going forward. while the governor still has the ability to declare a state of emergency when there is a wildfire or other things like that my think the most problematic thing besides their reckless decision to take down safer at home when there is no plan b offered by legislative republicans, when they have not offered their plan despite saying they have one for weeks. the court did not provide any
clarity or guidance on how to move forward. whether it is dealing with a global pandemic or you are dealing with a forest fire, sitting down issuing a statement toa thursday and then having wait until next monday for it to be published and then waiting 10 tos before you can put pen paper and then having to spend however many days it takes to draft a rule and then getting it published, i don't think anybody would agree that that is efficient oregon process in order -- or a good process. that is why every state in this country has laws similar to what dhs has. that's why the legislature originally enacted these laws. as the governor said, despite claiming to be -- in applying the law, frankly, they did a -- they had to do some creative editing to the statute to get to the result they wanted.
they didn't provide any guidance on how we can move forward. i think that is what is most problematic with this decision. as the governor indicated, we are going to continue focusing on contact tracing and testing and providing guidance for folks on how to best act. the lack of that clearly is very clarity is very problematic. >> thank you. our final question goes to tim. tim? >> hi. thanks for the question. several county leaders have set in the past 24 hours that they dc guidelinest we to decide on how to help their businesses reopen. many have also reached out to the administration for further guidance. this sounds like an official statewide plan is not happening anytime soon.
is the administration considering issuing any statewide guidance? >> we will work with all the counties that ask art advice. has done a great service in providing those recommendations. we feel that we will continue to do that. our main goal is to make sure that our public health system continues to be strong and do great jobat -- do the -- continue doing the great job that they are doing around testing and making sure that we have the proper equipment and contact tracing. >> c-span has unfiltered coverage of the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic with white house briefings, updates from governors and congress, and our daily calling program "washington journal." if you missed any of our live
coverage, watch anytime on demand at c-span.org/coronavirus. ♪ c-span has unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public-policy events, from the presidential primaries through the impeachment process. and now, the federal response to the converse. you can watch all of the public affairs programming on television, online, or listen on our free radio app. the part of the national conversation through "washington journal." c-span, created by america's table -- cable television companies as a public service and brought to you by your television provider. ♪
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