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Wisconsin Hospitals and Health Care Providers Are Key Line of Defense in Preventing Spread of Coronavirus

January 30, 2020

WHA and WHA members have been following intently the developing situation with novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). According to the CDC as of Jan. 29 there are 165 people in the U.S. being tested for coronavirus: there are five confirmed cases – one in Illinois – 68 negative cases and 92 with results pending. In Wisconsin, coronavirus test results are pending for six individuals identified as at risk. Test results for one additional Wisconsin patient were negative.

While state health officials continue to assess coronavirus as a low risk for Wisconsin citizens, hospitals and health system preparedness is an important part of prevention. Resources, including preparedness checklists for hospitals and providers, can be found in a news release from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ (DHS) Outbreaks and Investigations webpage and at CDC’s Information for Healthcare Professionals page.

Of vital importance is the identification of patients with respiratory or febrile illness at risk for coronavirus either through travel from Wuhan City, China in the 14 days before symptom onset, or close contact with a person under investigation for or confirmed with coronavirus. Hospitals and clinics should ensure that health care providers have the knowledge and resources to identify and isolate patients who are at risk for coronavirus. Health care providers should contact the DHS Department of Public Health at 608-267-9003 for consultation and approval of 2019-nCoV testing for patients identified as at risk for coronavirus.

DHS will update the Outbreaks and Investigations webpage daily, and WHA will provide updates when new or important information becomes available. Contact WHA Vice President, Workforce and Clinical Practice Ann Zenk with questions related to 2019 novel coronavirus resources and preparedness.


This story originally appeared in the January 30, 2020 edition of WHA Newsletter