Milestone day: Outbreak kills more Americans than in Vietnam War
More than 50 people who either voted in person or worked the polls in the April 7 election have tested positive for COVID-19.
Specifically, 52 people contracted the virus, according to the Associated Press. Given the election was held three weeks ago and symptoms of the virus typically present within two week, a state health official said it is unlikely there will be many more election day cases.
“We are getting to the point where the door will be closing on those,” said Julie Willems Van Dyke, deputy secretary of the state Department of Health Services. “After the first week of May we will no longer be asking that question about the April election.”
Gov. Tony Evers unsuccessfully tried to suspend the election until June 9 over concerns social distancing would be difficult to maintain and the health of voters could be compromised. Republican lawmakers brought a legal challenge against that attempt to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. A ruling was made the night before the election to let the election proceed as planned on April 7.
While the state has likely seen the peak of election day-related COVID-19 cases, another surge continues in Brown County.
The massive coronavirus outbreak at a Green Bay-area meat processing facilities shows no signs of stopping. Yet JBS Packerland, the company whose plant is tied to more than a third of Brown County’s cases, has stopped testing its employees, a Brown County health official said Tuesday.
The alarming news came as Brown County surged past 900 confirmed cases on Tuesday, and a third resident died. Of the approximately 1,200 employees at JBS Packerland, at least 255 have coronavirus and 79 additional cases in the county have been linked back to the plant, according to county health strategist Claire Paprocki.
The number of confirmed cases among workers remained stagnant from Monday to Tuesday, but that may not be representative of the true scope of the outbreak.
“Since JBS shut down, I don’t believe they’re doing testing right now,” Paprocki said during a call with reporters Tuesday afternoon.
Statewide the number of positive cases is 6,289 and 300 deaths. Of those who contract the virus, 1,456, or 26 percent, require hospitalization. Roughly 63,500 residents have tested negative, according to DHS.
More than 1 million Americans now have been infected and more than 3 million worldwide. The U.S. death toll on Tuesday exceeded the 58,220 Americans who died in the entire Vietnam War.
The first American coronavirus death was recorded less than 3 months ago.
Jonathon Sadowski contributed to this report.