Wisconsin’s coronavirus emergency is ending, but the state’s public health managers are continuing to urge people to get vaccinated and “take care of their health.”
Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services on Wednesday said the state will be transitioning away from its emergency footing as the Biden Administration prepares to end the national coronavirus emergency on May 11.
“The public health emergency was a trigger for federal and state funding to become available resources that aren’t normal,” DHS deputy secretary Deb Standridge said.
By remaining under an emergency, Wisconsin accessed millions of dollars that basically covered the cost of coronavirus tests and coronavirus vaccines across the state.
People in Wisconsin will now have to pay for those on their own or through their insurance.
Still, Standridge said just because the coronavirus emergency is going away, that doesn’t mean the coronavirus itself is going away.
“Stay vaccinated. Stay up to date on vaccinations,” Standridge explained. “Should [people] begin to experience symptoms, get tested. And seek medical attention if [people] think they have COVID.”
The end of the emergency also means changes for how Wisconsin tracks its coronavirus cases and deaths.
DHS’s COVID dashboard was already unavailable on Thursday.
Standridge said DHS will continue to track cases, but they will be reported weekly “if not longer.”
Wisconsin’s coronavirus caseload peaked in 2020 and again in 2022 with nearly 2,000 cases per day. The latest update from DHS from earlier this week was 188 confirmed cases.
Wisconsin saw 14,453 people die with the virus over the past three years, including two new deaths reported this week.