Wisconsin Coronavirus Cases Climb To 585; Two New Deaths Reported

This article originally appeared on the Milwaukee Patch

MILWAUKEE, WI — On the first day of Wisconsin's "safer at home" order, which restricts people's movements during the new coronavirus public health emergency, state officials confirmed a total of 585 COVID-19 cases. State officials said a sixth person has died from the virus and Milwaukee County officials say the state's seventh COVID-19-related death happened Wednesday afternoon.

According to an update provided by Public Health Madison and Dane County, the patient was in their 70s. Health officials did not specify the person's sex.

“We are saddened by the loss of one of our community members, and we extend our sympathies to their loved ones,” Janel Heinrich, Director of Public Health Madison and Dane County said in a statement Wednesday. “COVID-19 can cause serious health complications and death, especially among older adults and people with chronic health conditions, that’s why it’s important that we all work together to prevent the spread of illness.”

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On Wednesday afternoon, officials in Milwaukee County said they were conducting an investigation after a 60-year-old Milwaukee man reportedly died from complications of COVID-19 while he was at his home in the 3100 block of W. McKinley. The notification was made public at about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 25.

New Cases Reported

Wisconsin health officials reported that Milwaukee saw the biggest increase in confirmed cases, adding 71 new ones overnight. Dane County added 16 cases, followed by Waukesha County with 11. There are now 325 confirmed cases in Milwaukee County, officials said. Of those, 254 are in the city of Milwaukee. Wauwatosa is up to 11 confirmed cases. West Allis and Oak Creek have 10. Saint Francis and South Milwaukee reported their first cases within the last 24 hours.

First Day Of "Safer At Home" Order

On Tuesday, Wisconsin health officials warned that more than 22,000 people could become infected with the coronavirus and 1,000 people could die within two weeks if residents did not adhere to Gov. Tony Evers' "safer at home order," which went into effect on Wednesday, March 25, according to Wisconsin Department of Health Services officials.

Evers officially unveiled the order, which you can read here, on Tuesday morning. The went into effect at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, March 25 and will remain in effect until 8 a.m. Friday., April 24, 2020, or until a superseding order is issued, state officials said.

The order restricts people's movements, limiting them to essential tasks only. To find out more about the order, you can read about it here.

"It is abundantly clear that you are safer at home. I've heard some people question this when there are only 457 cases and five deaths in a state as large as Wisconsin," Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm said Tuesday. "Our state benefits from the experience of others who have come before us in this pandemic."

Palm said Wisconsin health officials are comparing the state's outbreak data with what happened in Italy and Wuhan, China to extrapolate what is next for the state.

Without mass-gathering bans and stay-at-home restrictions, Palm indicated the situation would quickly escalate.

"The models show us that we would likely have 22,000 Wisconsinites test positive for COVID-19 by April 8, and an estimated 440 to 1,500 deaths," she said.

Palm said that situation would overwhelm the health care system.

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