Wisconsin reports 457 confirmed COVID-19 cases as governor issues 'Safer at Home' order

Wisconsin now has 457 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including five deaths related to the virus.  

Wisconsin had its first confirmed case of COVID-19 on Feb. 5, although it did not see a second case until March 9. 

Similar to Minnesota, Wisconsin health officials say they are prioritizing testing for COVID-19 due to a shortage of ingredients needed to run the tests. A total of 8,237 people have tested negative for the virus to date. 

RELATED: Minnesota Dept. of Health narrowing testing criteria amid national shortage of COVID-19 tests

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has identified evidence of community spread in Brown, Columbia, Dane, Fond du Lac, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Walworth and Waukesha counties. This means there are people there of have tested positive and it is unknown what their exposures have been. The patients were not exposed to a known case and had not traveled to a location where there is community transmission. 

If you have questions or immediate needs related to COVID-19, you can Text COVID19 to 211-211, visit 211Wisconsin.org or call 211. Call volumes are high, so officials are asking people to be patient and try to use the text or online options first. 

GOVERNOR ISSUES 'SAFER AT HOME' ORDER

On Tuesday, Gov. Evers directed the Department of Health Services to issue a “Safer at Home” order that prohibits all nonessential travel in the state, with some exceptions. 

Wisconsin 'Safer at Home' order: What's open, what's closed and what you're allowed to leave your house for

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on Tuesday directed the Department of Health Services to issue a “Safer at Home” order that prohibits all nonessential travel in the state, with some exceptions. 

The order, which affects more than 5 million people, goes into effect at 8 a.m. Wednesday, March 25 and will remain in effect until April 24 or until a superseding order is issued. That means schools, bars, restaurants, salons, museums, fitness centers and other businesses that have already been closed for the last week will remain closed until then. 

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services recommends the public follow simple steps to prevent illness and avoid exposure to the virus including:

  • Avoid social gatherings with people of all ages (including playdates and sleepovers, parties, large family dinners, visitors in your home, non-essential workers in your house)
  • Frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water
  • Covering coughs and sneezes
  • Avoiding touching your face
  • Staying home