Author: Jessica Gregory
Public Health Madison Dane County (PHMDC) held a news conference this afternoon emphasizing today’s current COVID-19 trends and its inevitable impact on the holiday season.
Similar to the Center for Disease Control’s holiday guidelines, Dane County officials urge Wisconsinites to stay home and avoid large gatherings this month.
The Center for Disease Control reports that in the last seven days, over one million Americans have tested positive for COVID-19. Today, Wisconsin’s seven-day average for positive COVID-19 tests is 13 percent, down from averages as high as 17 percent in early November. County Executive Joe Parisi believes super spreader gatherings for Thanksgiving have yet to be accounted for.
“We know the post Thanksgiving surge will hit us while our hospitals are already at capacity. It will be a surge upon a surge,” Parisi said. “Any one of us or someone we care about could find ourselves in the ER with COVID-19 or another health emergency.”
Hospital capacities in Wisconsin are 84.7 percent full. The Wisconsin Department of Health’s projections display that at this time, hospitalizations in the state are not increasing.
Speaker of the Wisconsin State Assembly Robin Vos and Republican lawmakers released their COVID-19 response plan Tuesday night. Joe Parisi criticises the delayed proposal and says it prioritizes politics over science and public health officials’ recommendations.
Vos’ COVID-19 proposal would prohibit local health officials from ordering closures due to COVID-19. Under the proposal, neither the Wisconsin Department of Health nor employers can enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for any individual, reports Channel 3000.
“In Dane County, we will continue to turn to healthcare professionals, not politicians, for healthcare guidance. We will continue to do the work and do everything in our power to protect our community and to provide relief to our healthcare system,” County Executive Parisi said.
Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway reminds Dane County residents that they can do their part by staying home during the holidays.
“We need to follow the public health orders. Our public health orders here in Dane County are the strongest in the state. We need to wear our masks, keep our distance, avoid gatherings and avoid any circumstances where we are sharing air with others outside of our household. “
Held virtually, the news conference is available for viewing on PHMDC’s YouTube channel.