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Gov. Evers: Field hospitals planned, K-12 schools to stay closed until April 30th

Posted at 7:55 PM, Mar 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-30 23:41:09-04

We are learning the state is preparing for a potential surge of COVID-19 cases in Milwaukee County with field hospitals and isolation centers.

Milwaukee County has the most COVID-19 cases and deaths.

TMJ4's Charles Benson talked with Governor Tony Evers about the state's plan.

Benson: Are you preparing right now to open field hospitals and isolation centers in Milwaukee County?
Gov. Evers: We are preparing for it, absolutely.

The Wisconsin Center tells us the Wisconsin Army Corps of Engineers visited their facility Monday, and State Fair Park says it has been talking with "multiple entities regarding COVID-19 emergency preparedness planning," but neither said in what capacity.

Evers: I feel confident once a decision is made to do this - they are looking at sites, I'm not at liberty to tell you what sites but I know they are looking. We will be prepared when that surge happens.
Benson: What kind of numbers do you have to see to activate this plan?
Evers: When we see our hospitals overrun - at this point in time, I don't think that is happening.

The governor says the state is actively seeking more PPE's, personal protection equipment, and ventilators - but as you can imagine, the line is long, and there's lots of competition.

Benson: You have asked for 10,000 ventilators is that a worst-case scenario, or have the hospitals asked for that many?
Evers: We believe that is a worst-case scenario, but we want to make sure - there's a line up for the ventilators.

Wisconsin currently has about 1,200 ventilators.

Benson: Wisconsin is a manufacturing state - can they be made here?
Evers: We are investigating that - there's always that possibility.

As for when K-12 schools will re-open or permanently close - it's still undetermined.

"There will be no school before the (April) 30th, that's for sure," said Evers. But at that point in time, we will take a look at it and consult with our school districts."

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