Wisconsin called on for unity in staying at home
Gov. Tony Evers took to the air waves Nov. 10, delivering a primetime address, calling for unity and working together in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The governor’s address comes as Wisconsin had yet another record-breaking day in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
The state had reported more than 7,000 new cases, 66 lives lost and 291 people hospitalized, because of COVID-19. During his address, Evers pointed to projections from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).
The IHME’s projections indicate that, based on current data, approximately 5,000 Wisconsinites could die from COVID-19 by Jan. 1, 2021, if no further actions are taken to slow the spread of COVID-19. That would mean an additional 2,500 Wisconsinites, who would not make it to New Year’s Day.
“I know I don’t have to tell you, that this year has been one of major challenges,” said Evers. “Our optimism has been battered, our resilience strained and our character tested.”
As COVID-19 continues to surge across the state, Evers announced Executive Order 94, which includes new measures to combat the spread of COVID- 19. The order advises Wisconsinites to stay home, urges precautions people should take to stay safe if they have to leave their home and encourages businesses to take additional steps to protect workers, customers and the surrounding community.
“We must start fighting this virus, together, and we must start tonight,” said Evers.
Earlier this year, Evers and the Department of Health Services took steps to contain COVID-19, by issuing a Safer at Home Order. It was estimated then, that those efforts would save between 300 and 1,400 lives, but that order was struck down by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
“Unfortunately, since then, Wisconsin has become a national hotspot,” said Evers. “We once led our region in containing this virus, but now surges in our state, rival what we saw in New York City this spring.”
It took seven and a half months to get to 100,000 cases in the state, but it only took 36 days to add another 100,000.
“The way things are going, it will take us only 20 days to reach another 100,000,” said Evers. “We’ve now surpassed, in deaths, the number of lives we projected we would have saved months ago, if we would have been able to keep safer at home and reopen safely. Wisconsin, this is serious. This crisis is urgent.”
With the rise in cases, healthcare workers are going to work every day, working three, sometimes four, shifts in a row, often having to re-use or share masks, and putting themselves and their families at risk to do their jobs.
“We owe them our thanks, but they also deserve our action,” said Evers. “I am concerned about what our current trajectory means for Wisconsin healthcare workers, families and our economy, if we don’t get this virus under control. So, I want to be clear tonight; each day this virus goes unchecked, is a setback for our economic recovery.”
Evers said bars, restaurants, small businesses, families and farmers will continue to suffer if the state doesn’t take action right now, as the economy cannot bounce back until Wisconsin contains this virus. He also asked people to cancel happy hours, dinner parties, sleepovers and playdates, and to hang out virtually instead.
Evers also asked Wisconsin to keep supporting local businesses, restaurants and workers, by sticking to curbside pickup, delivery or using online ordering whenever possible. Going for a walk or a bike ride is important for exercise, as well as physical and mental health. For everything else, Evers asks that Wisconsinites use caution and only go out for essential needs.
“It’s not safe to go out, it’s not safe to have others over – it’s just not safe,” said Evers. “And it might not be safe for a while yet.”
Brooke Bach, 12, was the official drawer of raffle prizes, Nov. 1, at the Holy Cross Catholic Church fall bazaar, in Cornell. This year’s bazaar looked a little different, with spaced-out baskets for people to enter their tickets into. Raffle proceeds help with the costs of Holy Cross Parish Counsel of Catholic Women, give back to the community and support an orphan child in South America.