The growth of coronavirus seems to be slightly slower than in recent weeks in Wisconsin, but the state still has not yet hit its peak of cases.
For that reason and others, Governor Evers tells WTMJ’s Steve Scaffidi Show that he is not yet ready to consider lifting the “Safer at Home” order which he put into practice for the state, an order which currently is in place until April 24.
“It’s still an upward trend,” Evers told Steve, saying he and others are assessing the coronavirus case situation every single day.
“The last thing we want to do as a state…is make a mistake on when we move forward and bring things back to normalcy that we all want. The last thing we need to do is talk about this next fall because we did it too soon.”
Evers also explained that science and health care are the keys to when the opening may come.
“We will follow science,” he said.
“As we are able to move things in a different direction, we will. It’s not going to happen all at once. It will be slow and purposeful.”
Part of the re-assessment process is to help guide people who want interest in particular activities. For Easter and Holy Week, for example, the Governor said churches could do gatherings where people stay within their car and observe social distancing.
“If people want to park, sit in their cars and have a religious event…staying in the car, safe distance from others, have at it,” he said.
As for the capability to go golfing, the Governor conveyed there are higher priorities in play.
“I know that’s been a hot topic which is interesting, because we have life and death situations going on,” he said.
“We’re not at the point now to say we’re going to open up golf courses, but we will continue to monitor the science on that. When it’s time to do it, we will do it.”
These moves are all meant to keep people safe from the virus. The next priority for many is the rebuilding of an economy which the virus has indirectly ravaged. Some reports say unemployment could reach 27 percent in Wisconsin.
Evers admits the state is back-logged in processing cases – the number of which is a comparative tidal wave to normal staffing levels.
“We need more staff. We have hours where we take information and help people through the process…we have people working 24 hours a day to process those claims,” said Evers.
“We’ve been transferring people into those positions…but we need more help.”
Federal help is coming with more than $2 billion estimated in federal stimulus money for the state. However, Evers says it is taking longer than expected to know how the state can, and will, distribute that money.
“That’s a billion dollar question at least. We haven’t even seen the regulations on it. The Department of Treasury at the federal level are releasing regulations at the end of next week. Money will not be flowing to the state (until) the end of the month. There are a lot of unknowns there,” said Evers.
“There’s no blame here. It’s just the fact that it’s taking longer than we had hoped.”