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Governor Evers and State Health Officials Warn Worst is Yet to Come in COVID-19 Pandemic

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More than 220,000 Wisconsinites have tested positive for COVID-19. 1,972 have died because of the virus.

On average, 27 percent of tests in the state are coming back positive.

In an update Friday morning, state health officials expressed their most frustration yet over the rising numbers of cases.

For more than a month, Governor Tony Evers and state health officials have been issuing warnings about the rising numbers of cases.

They’ve been pleading with people to following health guidelines.

Friday, Governor Evers called on elected leaders in the state to set an example.

“If we want to do this right and stop it in it’s tracks, people have to wear a freaking mask. Simple as that,” said Evers.

The state is stepping up its testing abilities.

The Department of Health Services says it’s now able to process 48-thousand tests a week.

There are 71 community testing sites in 56 counties and 7 tribal nations.

Gov. Evers said testing is a critical part of the state’s response to the pandemic, but it can’t be the only response.

“Testing is not a silver bullet for stopping this virus. It’s a supplement, not a replacement for all the mitigation efforts we need to have in place to stop the spread and save lives,” said Gov. Evers.

By now, everyone should know the steps that need to be taken to get this surge under control.

Everyone needs to stay home as much as possible, wear a mask when you do go out, keep your distance from people outside your household, and wash your hands.

The Department of Health Services’ Chief Medical Officer Ryan Westergaard expressed frustration at the inability for people to follow these guidelines.

“Personally, frankly, I’m surprised and disappointed that we’ve failed as much as we have to slow the virus,” said Westergaard. “I say that because I think it’s important to understand that there’s still time to turn this around. We know what to do to bend the curve and we need to do it.”

Westergaard says fewer than 10-percent of Wisconsinites have been infected by COVID-19, leaving 90 percent still vulnerable to it.

He said this means this really is just the beginning for how bad things can get if the state doesn’t get the virus under control.

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