MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today applauded the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) on their diligent response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as June 21 marked the 100th day that the SEOC has been activated in response to the pandemic. This is the longest continuous activation in Wisconsin history.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) working alongside Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) staff, all state agencies, the Wisconsin National Guard (WING), Epic, Exact Sciences, and nonprofits such as the United Way and the Salvation Army successfully implemented a state coordinated effort to flatten the curve and box in the virus.
“The hard-work of the SEOC early on in the pandemic was vital in protecting the health and safety of Wisconsinites,” said Gov. Evers. “On behalf of the state, I would like to thank all those committed employees that work diligently to ensure our communities are safe, our frontline workers are protected, and that Wisconsin continues to remain prepared to battle COVID-19.”
Some of the SEOC’s notable accomplishments involve preparing for outbreaks by increasing hospital and lab capacity, acquiring and distributing personal protective equipment (PPEs) and other necessary supplies, ramping up testing infrastructure, expanding the contact tracing system, providing the public with COVID-19 updates, and ensuring the state safely reopens.
Through the funding provided to Wisconsin under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the SEOC strategically directed funds toward programs and initiatives that address some of Wisconsin’s most urgent needs caused by the pandemic including a $1 billion investment in testing, contact tracing, operations, and response, a $100 million investment for long-term care, home- and community-based providers, and a $200 million investment aiding local governments in their COVID-19 response.
In addition, the SEOC mobilized more than 3,800 WING citizen soldiers and airmen to serve as poll workers in the April 7 election, operate a state warehouse to receive and transport PPE, train temporary nursing assistants, and conduct a flyover salute to the state’s healthcare workers. As of today, the Wisconsin National Guard alone, has collected more than 145,000 specimens at 190 testing sites in approximately 55 counties across the state. Collectively, the SEOC took Wisconsin’s lab capacity from the ability to perform zero COVID-19 tests in early march to the current daily capacity to perform 17,668 tests. As of June 21, Wisconsin has now tested 491,702 people.
While these are among just some of the responses led by the SEOC, these major accomplishments have been instrumental in the statewide efforts to slow the spread of the virus and get back to our Wisconsin way of life.
For up-to-date information about Wisconsin’s COVID-19 response, visit the DHS COVID-19 webpage.We encourage you to follow @DHSWI on Facebook, Twitter, or dhs.wi on Instagram for more information on COVID-19.