Dane County moves to ‘crisis model’ for contact tracing as coronavirus spreads nonstop — 10/21/20

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Overwhelmed Dane County health officials are moving to a “crisis model” of contact tracing, David Wahlberg of the Wisconsin State Journal reports. 

That means contact tracers may no longer interview everyone who tests positive for the coronavirus and notify everyone who may have been exposed. Contract tracing teams can’t keep up with the volume, Wahlberg reports. 

The news comes as COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to surge statewide, and Republican lawmakers resist Gov. Tony Evers’ regulatory efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus.

The Wisconsin Department of Health services on Wednesday reported 48 additional deaths linked to COVID-19 — the highest daily total during the pandemic. DHS has documented 1,681 deaths since March. 

“Contact tracing efforts are overwhelmed around the state, making it harder to identify the source of infections and reduce the spread,” Wahlberg reports.

Top Stories 

Steve Apps / State Journal

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said Wednesday that Public Health Madison and Dane County is moving to a “crisis model” for contact tracing for COVID-19 because it can’t keep up with increasing cases. “The number of cases has simply overrun our health department’s capacity,” Parisi said.

With COVID-19 cases rising, Dane County contact tracing starts ‘crisis model’ — Wisconsin State Journal 

‘Our economy is going to tank,’ Evers warns as coronavirus surge in Wisconsin shows no end in sight — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Madison City Council rejects calling on UW-Madison to move classes online, close dorms, reconsider football — Wisconsin State Journal 

Alternate care facility admits first COVID-19 patient — WPR 

Rep. Joe Sanfelippo, who heads a health panel, contends there is nothing more the government can do to fight COVID-19 — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

Milwaukee Health Department re-evaluating reopening plan after increase in cases and positivity rate — WISN

Winnebago County tables COVID-19 ordinance to give health officer enforcement powers to fight spread — Oshkosh Northwestern 

How are Dane County districts with in-person learning doing with COVID-19? — Cap Times 

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“If we continue to make excuses for not doing this, we will have more deaths, we will have more people with COVID-19, and frankly, we will have a lot less economic activity in the state of Wisconsin. This is a critical time, folks.”

— Gov. Tony Evers, quoted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel at a news conference

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Data to note

DHS on Wednesday released a new interactive data dashboard that shows COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths by race and ethnicity. A growing body of research shows that people of color disproportionately suffer burdens from the disease — a national trend that is also true in Wisconsin.


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