Evers: State ‘can’t afford’ to act like business as usual as COVID-19 surge continues

Evers: State ‘can’t afford’ to act like business as usual as COVID-19 surge continues

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) – As a surge in COVID-19 cases continues, Governor Tony Evers and state health leaders urged the state’s residents to step up efforts to help slow the spread of the virus.

“Today, Wisconsinites, I need to ask for your help,” Evers said in a media briefing. “The longer it takes for everyone to take COVID-19 seriously, the longer this virus lingers. Right now, we can’t live like the way things used to be, we can’t afford to act like things are business as usual. We have to get back to the basics of fighting this virus.”

Department of Health Services officials reported another single-day record in confirmed cases with 2,887 reported Oct. 1 and 21 more deaths also added to the state’s totals.

“It is stretching our hospital capacity and it is overwhelming our public health infrastructure,” DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm said. “We must take action.”

The Evers administration issued a new order aimed at bolstering the state’s health care workforce. It adds more flexibility to licensing procedures which allows more health care workers to operate in the state temporarily.

The administration is limited in what it can do to respond to the pandemic because of the state Supreme Court ruling in May that blocked the Safer at Home Order. Republicans who control the Legislature have also shown no appetite to act.

“There’s nothing new in that world I’ll be glad to work with them if they have changed their mind, I don’t think they have,” Evers said of Republicans. The governor said he has not reached out to the GOP leadership in recent days because they have not changed their positions on the issue but added that he is ready to work with them when they are ready.

“If I thought there was a shred of possibility that they would be interested in doing something, I’d be glad to do it,” Evers said.

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