Gov. Tony Evers and Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm addressed the increasing COVID-19 cases on college campuses in a media briefing Tuesday.
Going against what Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said last week, Evers said he supported the UW System when asked if he agreed with the way UW-Madison is handling a surge in cases.
“I’m sure that there might be little odds and ends and communications, one of them that could maybe have been done better, but at the end of the day, I think they’ve approached it well. I know that they’re doing massive amounts of testing in the dorms and with other parts of the campus,” Evers said.
Evers continued, “We always said it was going to be bumpy, both in the K-12 world and the university, and it has been. But at the end of the day we just have to make sure students, especially in the university system, really take on the issue of individual responsibility.”
Evers also supported the Faculty Senate decision to make academic calendar adjustments, citing that students normally travel during spring break and could bring the virus back to campus.
When asked about the potential return of Big 10 football and other sports, Evers said that the UW System and Athletic Department need to have the resources and testing necessary to make it safe.
Evers and Palm also encouraged Wisconsinites to enroll in healthcare. Wisconsinites who lost coverage through their employer and were previously prevented from enrolling may apply through a special enrollment period.
“We know access to quality, affordable healthcare is key to living a healthy life. And that is no more true than during this COVID-19 pandemic,” Palm said in Evers’ press release Monday. “Wisconsinites who need access to affordable and quality healthcare should explore their healthcare.gov and BadgerCare options.”
Palm said Wisconsinites should get flu shots and continue to wear masks and socially distance. Palm explained that getting a flu shot will help ensure testing is used effectively because flu symptoms are similar to COVID-19 symptoms.
“It’s imperative that we each do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19,” Palm said. “That means quarantining after testing and getting a flu shot to help save hospital and clinic capacity.”
state news writer