Update: Three Dead from COVID-19 in Wisconsin

Two men in Fond du Lac and Ozaukee Counties both died from the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, according to a release from Gov. Tony Evers late Thursday. A third death was announced by the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner Friday.

By Will Kenneally

March 19, 2020

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Microscopic image of virus

Transmission electron micrograph of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, isolated from a patient. Image captured and color-enhanced at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. (Courtesy: NIAID)

Gov. Tony Evers confirmed Wisconsin’s first two deaths due to the novel coronavirus in a press release late Thursday, and the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner confirmed a third case Friday morning. The first two fatalities were men in their 50s and 90s from Fond du Lac and Ozaukee Counties respectively. The third was a 66-year-old Milwaukee man.

Last weekend, Fond du Lac County health officials said that three of their confirmed cases were hospitalized, but the release from the governor did not give specific details about the two Wisconsinites that died–nor whether the Fond du Lac fatality was one of the hospitalized patients. 

The Milwaukee man had been hospitalized since March 16, but it is unknown how he contracted the virus, according to WPR

“Our hearts go out to all the loved ones affected by these deaths, and to all those suffering from this virus,” Evers said. “We are committed to fighting the spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin and I want to recognize the hard work and bravery of our nurses, doctors, state health officials, and all those on the front lines in the effort to save lives. Together we will get through this historic health challenge.”

“We are working nonstop with medical staff across the state to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and help protect the health and safety of Wisconsinites,” said Andrea Palm, secretary-designee for the Department of Health Services. 

Due to an equipment shortage, the governor’s release indicated that testing for COVID-19 would only apply to those critically ill or healthcare workers on the front line. The state is working with the federal government, the private sector and public universities to secure the needed supplies. 

The news comes the same day Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett announced he would be under self-imposed quarantine after coming in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.

“I am following best practices by self-isolating,” Barrett said in a release. “In an effort to maintain social distancing the last several days, I have been continuing my duties and responsibilities by teleconference and videoconference and I expect to do the same during this time of self-quarantine.”

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