'Badger Bounce Back' plan announced, outlines criteria for Wisconsin to reopen economy
Updated: 5:49 p.m. on April 20, 2020
MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The Evers administration rolled out a more detailed strategy for the process of reopening the state called the Badger Bounce Back plan.
The plan includes three phases beyond the Safer at Home order where the maximum number of people who can gather publicly increases from ten in phase one, 50 in phase two and then no maximum in phase three. The administration says the phases are aligned with CDC and White House guidelines for reopening.
In order to move in that direction, the Evers administration says an increase in testing, contact tracing, health care capacity and procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) is needed.
Specifically, the plan outlines requirements of a 14-day decline in COVID-19 cases in order to move from one phase to the next. On top of that, the plan outlines goals of reaching 12,000 tests a day and 85,000 tests a week. Currently, labs in the state are completing more than 7,500 tests a day.
In order to boost testing in the state, the administration announced new efforts, including an increased use of the National Guard, more public-private partnerships for more lab capacity and the procurement of more than 250,000 additional test collection supplies in the coming weeks.
“It’s going to be a 24/7 war on this virus, and we’re going to take it on and eventually get to a point where we can reopen the economy,” Evers said during a media briefing Monday. The governor, however, did not give a hard timeline of when the state could reach the phases. “The virus has never given us a timeline, but what we do know is that if we do the things that we plan, that we are embarking on here, that we will get there sooner.”
Republican leadership reacted negatively to the plan.
“Instead of listening to the resounding outcry from the people of the state, Governor Evers is now making it harder to reopen Wisconsin,” Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R – Rochester) and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R – Juneau) said in a joint statement. “These are not criteria for reopening, they’re roadblocks.”
The GOP leaders who control the Legislature said they will move forward with a lawsuit to challenge the governor’s extension of the Safer at Home order.
Posted: 2:04 p.m. on April 20, 2020
MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Gov. Tony Evers announced Monday, April 20, Wisconsin's "Badger Bounce Back" plan which outlines important criteria for Wisconsin to be able to reopen its economy in phases and includes steps to make sure workers and businesses are prepared to reopen as soon as it is safe to do so. In coordination with this announcement, at the direction of the governor, Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm issued Emergency Order #31 establishing the process and outlining the phases of the plan.
“As we've learned over the past month, in the most difficult of circumstances, Wisconsinites will rise to the occasion, helping each other and working together to do what's best for our families, our neighbors, and our communities,” said Gov. Evers. “That's what the Badger Bounce Back is all about: our resilience as a people and as a state. I am excited and hopeful about this plan. While being safe at home continues to be important, this plan is an all-out attack on the virus and it begins the process of preparing our businesses and our workforce for the important planning that will result in the safe and logical reopening of our economy.”
The Badger Bounce Back plan is informed in part by the President's Guidelines for Opening Up America Again that was issued by the White House on April 16, 2020. Currently, Wisconsin does not meet the criteria the White House established to start reopening our state. The Badger Bounce Back plan takes important steps to get the state of Wisconsin there.
The goal of the Badger Bounce Back plan is to decrease cases and deaths to a low level, and increase capacity in our healthcare system so the phased reopening of businesses is possible. As part of that plan the state will be working to increase access to more testing and expand lab capacity. Under the Badger Bounce Back plan, everyone who needs a test should get a test. The state is setting a goal of 85,000 tests per week, averaging about 12,000 tests per day. More information on the state's testing efforts was released earlier today, and is available for review here.
Next, the state will be expanding contact tracing and more aggressively tracking the spread with the goal of every Wisconsinite who tests positive being interviewed within 24 hours of receiving their test results and their contacts being interviewed within 48 hours of test results.
Additionally, the state will continue to pursue every avenue to grow Wisconsin’s supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare and public safety entities to conduct COVID-19 testing, patient care, and public safety work. Finally, the plan works to bolster healthcare system capacity where patients can be treated without crisis care and there are more robust testing programs in place for at-risk healthcare workers.
The state will be looking for a downward trajectory of influenza-like illnesses and COVID-19 symptoms reported within a 14-day period, and a downward trajectory of positive tests as a percent of total tests within a 14-day period. When the state has seen these efforts be successful, Wisconsin can begin to turn the dial, re-open the state, and get businesses and workers back on their feet.
The Badger Bounce Back plan is available here. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s portion of the Badger Bounce Back plan aimed at helping to ensure workers and businesses are prepared and ready to bounce back is available here. The Badger Bounce Back plan in brief is also available here.
Read the emergency order below: