As COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to mount in Wisconsin, Governor Tony Evers is again urging everyone to wear a mask when out and about.
“But we also need need folks to understand that wearing a mask is not a substitute for social distancing. It’s not a substitute for limiting exposure, and it’s not a substitute for staying safer at home,” Evers said during a media briefing on Tuesday. “I want to be crystal clear, if we’re going to get this virus under control, then wearing a mask is the absolute least that we need you to do.”
Evers’ remarks came as the state recorded 17 additional deaths due to COVID-19, the most in a single day since May. The state Department of Health Services also reported more than 2300 positive test results. Sixty seven additional hospitalizations bring the total number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients to 640, with 173 in intensive care.
Today’s #COVID19_WI update:
⏺ Another day with more than 2,300 reported cases
⏺ 17 deaths, with Vernon County reporting a life lost for the first time
⏺ 67 people hospitalized
— WIDeptHealthServices (@DHSWI) September 29, 2020
It was the highest single day coronavirus death toll in the state since May 30, and comes at the start of colder weather and increased respiratory illness in general
“The rising cases, particularly as the increased transmission affects larger populations is likely to result in an increased number of deaths,” said Dr. Ryan Westergaard, Wisconsin’s Chief Medical Officer, who said right now the state is in a crisis.
AUDIO: Dr. Ryan Westergaard 1:53
“This is what the virus does when you let it do its thing. This virus is highly transmissible. It spreads from person to person very effectively. And when it gets into a person who’s vulnerable to severe infection it can cause severe illness, hospitalization and death. We can expect more of that to happen, unless we do things to flatten the curve.”
Public health officials continue to stress the critical importance of mask wearing, avoiding crowded indoor spaces, social distancing and good hand hygiene in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.