Wisconsin Governor Announces Statewide Effort to support COVID-19 Testing,
Contact Tracing, Operations, and Resources for Local Communities
Gov. Tony Evers today announced a robust $1 billion statewide effort to support COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, acquisition of needed supplies, emergency operations, and resources for local communities throughout Wisconsin. The effort is funded by $1.17 billion in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act dollars.
The testing program includes:
COVID-19 test kits: $202 Million. Everyone who needs a test should receive a test. The state’s testing program will spend $202 million to provide COVID-19 test collection kits to Wisconsin hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, local public health departments, and others at no cost to ensure that everyone who needs a test receives a test.
Local preparedness grants: $30,000. These grants will provide $30,000 in funding to 96 local and tribal public health departments (for a total of approximately $3 million) to update preparedness plans to ensure Wisconsin communities, schools and businesses are prepared to support testing efforts into the fall.
Local community and occupational testing pilots: $45 million. These pilot programs will infuse $45 million in funding to local public health departments, occupational health providers, home health agencies, and health systems to conduct COVID19 testing in congregate, community and occupational settings. This program will incentivize testing by providing eligible providers $35 per COVID-19 test administered to a Wisconsin resident and will run through August 31, 2020.
Public health testing coordinators: $10 million. The testing program will provide $10 million in funding to local and tribal public health departments to coordinate local testing efforts.
Contract Tracing: $75 million. Of the $75 million, up to $50 million will be available to local and tribal public health departments to hire additional staff to perform disease investigation, contact tracing and monitoring. The remaining funds will go towards technology resources and hiring additional state staff to supplement local efforts to quickly and effectively conduct interviews.
Personal Protection Equipment (PPE): $150 million. The state took early action to procure the types and amounts of PPE needed to provide maximum protection for Wisconsinites. This action ranged from requesting PPE from the strategic national stockpile (SNS) to working with public and private sector partners to identify additional sources of PPE for acquisition. The acquisition of PPE is estimated to cost $150 million. After acquisition, this PPE equipment is distributed to recipients throughout Wisconsin, including health care facilities, first responders, and local governments.
Ventilators: $40 million. The state has also allocated $40 million towards the procurement of ventilators. Because of the importance of ventilators for COVID-19 patients, Wisconsin has taken steps to increase the quantity of ventilators in the state by purchasing 1,542 additional ventilators.
Alternative Care Surge Facility: $???. Wisconsin has also prepared for a possible surge in COVID-19 cases through the construction and operations of an Alternative Care Facility (ACF). To date, in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and with the support of FEMA, the state has constructed a 530-bed ACF at State Fair Park in Milwaukee County. This ACF will be able to house low-acuity COVID-19 patients should there be a surge in hospitalization rates.
Hospital & Community Preparedness: $445 million. Approximately $445 million is being allocated to ensure Wisconsin hospital systems and communities are prepared to handle a surge of COVID19 patients over the summer and fall.
State Emergency Operations Center & State Agency Costs: $200 million. In addition to the SEOC programs described above, state agencies across Wisconsin have expended significant funds, approximately $200 million, in support of getting these emergency operations up and running and of providing important resources and assistance to local partners across the state. Additionally, state agencies have incurred direct costs associated with the operational impacts of COVID-19.
The Governor is expected to announce other initiatives in the coming days. The state did receive in total approximately $1.9 billion CARES funding.