(Image by Shutterstock)
(Image by Shutterstock)

Evers calls on health department to brief state’s top officials as one possible new case pending

Gov. Tony Evers has asked state health officials to brief legislative leaders, including health committee members,  Wednesday concerning the spread of the coronavirus.

Evers made the request Tuesday, a day after two new possible cases were identified in Wisconsin and officials with the UW System have brought or are in the process of bringing home 223 students from studying abroad programs, according to a spokesman for the system.

On Tuesday, one of the cases was determined to be negative. Results for the other are still pending, according to a spokesperson with the state Department of Health Services.

Most UW schools have established the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Level 3 warning as the standard for canceling study abroad programs. That standard recommends all non-essential personnel to avoid traveling to those areas, as they are thought to be at high risk for a pandemic.

The decision was made to bring home students studying in South Korea and Italy late last week after the CDC raised the threat level in those countries to a level 3. All non-essential personnel are to avoid traveling to  Level 3 counties due to the high risk of a pandemic.

Those actions follow the cancellation of programs in China, which were cancelled earlier this year because of fears about an outbreak of the virus.

Test results on the two cases are pending, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. The individual with the first confirmed case of the virus in Wisconsin has fully recovered and is no longer in isolation, according to the department.

While there was one confirmed case of coronavirus in Wisconsin, Evers and DHS Secretary designee Andrea Palm emphasize that the risk to the general public “is very low.”

The state health department website emphasizes washing your hands, covering your mouth when you cough and staying home if you are sick as best practices to avoid contracting the virus.