Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers announced Thursday a new order that allows out-of-state health care workers to practice in the state following "alarming trends" in coronavirus cases.
“The longer it takes for everyone to take Covid-19 seriously, the longer this virus will linger. Right now we can’t live like we’re back to the way things used to be," Evers said.
The governor urged residents to stay home, wear a mask, and practice social distancing.
Secretary-designee Andrea Palm reported 21 new fatalities Thursday in the state, bringing the number of total deaths to at least 1,348.
Palm said 45 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties “meet the threshold of very high activity” for Covid-19 infections.
This means that there are more than 350 cases per 100,000 people. Palm said 41 counties are showing growing trajectory, an indication that cases are on the rise.
Hospitalizations are increasing: ThedaCare president and CEO Dr. Imran Andrabi said his hospital communities are seeing the increases in Covid-19 infection rates and hospitalizations. He said 95% of hospital beds within his system are full at this point and 250 ThedaCare hospital workers did not show up for work Thursday. Andrabi said the workers are getting sick because people are not wearing masks out in the community.
“This is really a responsibility that we all have to take seriously because if some of us do it and others don’t, it doesn’t work,” Andrabi said.