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Evers plans to extend indoor mask mandate

01/15/2021 2:41 PM | Anonymous

Wisconsin Health News

Gov. Tony Evers said Friday that he’ll declare another public health emergency over COVID-19 so he can continue his indoor mask mandate, which is set to expire next week. 

“While there's light and hope at the end of this tunnel, this virus hasn’t gone away,” Evers told reporters. The order will extend the mandate by another 60 days, he said. 

This will be the fifth emergency declaration issued by Evers related to COVID-19. The Wisconsin Supreme Court heard a challenge in November to his ability to issue multiple public health emergencies related to COVID-19.  

Mobile COVID-19 vaccination teams will also begin their work next week, and a program providing assisted living facilities with COVID-19 vaccine has launched.

The Department of Health Services and the Wisconsin National Guard will launch a mobile vaccination program next Tuesday to supplement local efforts with additional staff and resources. 

There will be nine teams at the start, with an intent to scale the program up. Mobile clinics will be staffed by National Guard members and pharmacy or nursing student volunteers through a partnership with the University of Wisconsin System. 

DHS also said Friday it officially activated the second part of the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program. The program's first part, launched in late December, focused on nursing homes. The second part of the program, slated to begin Jan. 25, will focus on assisted living facilities. 

DHS expects all participating nursing homes to complete first doses by Jan. 18.

Pharmacies and assisted living facilities can launch the second part of the program before the Jan. 25 start date if they have adequate vaccine and capacity to administer doses. 

DHS said Friday that 213,056 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Wisconsin.

Of those, 30,805 people have received two doses, completing their vaccination series. 

So far, 373,100 doses have been shipped or are being shipped to Wisconsin out of an allocated 607,650, with 197,000 held in reserve for long-term care facilities. 

DHS reported 2,269 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, for a total of 518,251. 

Thirty-two more deaths were reported, for a total of 5,322. 

An additional 8,040 people were tested, for a total of 2,945,882. 

DHS considers 27,611 cases active. 

The seven-day average for daily new cases is 2,319, down 173 from Thursday and 396 from last week. 

The seven-day average for daily new deaths is 29, down one from Thursday and seven from last week. 

As of Thursday, the seven-day positivity rate by person was 25.9 percent, a one-day decline of 0.8 percentage points and seven-day decline of 5.4 percentage points. 

The rate by test was 8.5 percent, down 0.3 percentage points from Wednesday and 2.3 percentage points from a week ago. 

Three patients were receiving Bamlanivimab infusion therapy at the surge facility in West Allis on Friday. 

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