Tuesday was another record high day of COVID-19 infections and deaths in Wisconsin.
The Department of Health Services reported that 5,262 people tested positive for COVID-19 over the past 24 hours and that 64 people died from the disease. That’s once again a record number of both infections and deaths, and it has Governor Tony Evers urging people to stay home and limit interactions outside of their own households.
Today’s #COVID19_WI update shows new highs in reported deaths and hospitalizations. Please take steps to avoid illness and protect your community. Stay home if you can, stay 6′ from others, #MaskUpWisconsin, and wash your hands often. #YouStopTheSpread: https://t.co/azIna3TqRR pic.twitter.com/eTm56HQnXm
— WIDeptHealthServices (@DHSWI) October 27, 2020
“I see that the White House has given up on this issue, and they’re focusing on things that are down the road . . . which is allowing a lot of people to pass away. We’re not giving up here,” Evers said during a Tuesday media conference call to update COVID-19 numbers. “We can prevent the deaths of people in Wisconsin by staying home. If that’s considered a self imposed lockdown . . whatever it is, it’s important.”
There were 220 more people sent to Wisconsin hospitals on Tuesday, with 1,350 people hospitalized, and 329 people in intensive care. Department of Health Services Secretary designee Andrea Palm said five patients are currently being treated at the State Fair Park Alternate Care Facility in West Allis.
Palm acknowledged that people may be confused by conflicting court orders, such as the one that blocked restrictions on the size of public gatherings.
“The broader point remains that people should stay home as much as possible, order or no order,” Palm said. “It is the safest thing that we can do to stop the spread of this disease.”
The new record numbers come on the same day that President Donald Trump was scheduled to hold one of his signature outdoor mass campaign rallies, near La Crosse. Those events have had no social distancing, although increasing numbers of people in attendance appear to be wearing masks.
Evers was asked by a reporter on Tuesday whether he thinks people who refuse to wear masks or follow other public health recommendations “lack empathy.” The governor replied that he believes Wisconsinites “have tremendous empathy,” but that many of those positions of leadership, do not.
“My concern is that when leaders don’t act in an empathetic way, whether that’s at the federal level or the state level, people are going to follow that cue. They’re deemed to be leaders for a reason, because they influence peoples’ behaviors,” he said. Evers did not mention President Trump by name.
WRN’s Raymond Neupert contributed to this report