Wisconsinites are again being urged to take action to slow the spread of COVID-19. Health Services Secretary designee Karen Timberlake on Monday issued a statewide advisory in the face of rising new cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
“We each have a role to play, and we are at a point where, whatever you thought you were doing to make COVID-19 better, we need everyone to do a little bit more,” Timberlake said.
#DHSWI is advising all Wisconsinites to take immediate action to prevent hospitalizations and death due to #COVID19, and to prevent overwhelming our already strained health care system. Get details: https://t.co/OYyWuoaJvf pic.twitter.com/EiWMriaPuT
— WIDeptHealthServices (@DHSWI) December 20, 2021
That means getting vaccinated, getting a booster shot, wearing a mask in public spaces, and getting a COVID test before gathering for the holidays.
“We’re in a very dangerous place, and we need people to contribute in any way that they can to save the lives that we are in grave danger of not being able to save,” said Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Ryan Westergaard.
The state is averaging over 3200 new daily cases, still mostly the Delta variant, although Omicron has been confirmed here.
Marshfield Clinic Health System Chief Medical Officer, Dr. William Melms joined Westergaard and Timberlake on Monday’s DHS media briefing.
“Greater than 90 percent of the COVID deaths in our facilities have been among the unvaccinated. We just went through a four week period at our main hospital in Marshfield, where we had 35 patients die of COVID,” said Melms.
“Something’s got to give. The message that I have is to strongly urge people to get vaccinated. If you’ve had your two shot series, please get the booster. We know that that helps provide additional protection against not only Delta but also against Omicron.”
Melms and Westergaard also stressed the importance of wearing a facemask in public spaces, something that’s widely practiced in Madison and Milwaukee, but which is far less common in the rest of the state.
“I have to say that I’ve grown weary of being in our local home improvement store, and I’m the only one wearing a mask,” Melms said.
“If you’re someone who’s decided or declined to wear a mask in public, please hear this message,” Westergaard said.