Alder Samba Baldeh
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
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Alder Baldeh’s Blog
Stay or Go - Wisconsin Supreme Court strikes down state's stay-at-home order
Dear Neighbors -
I hope this finds you and your family well in these difficult times.
Starting Monday, May 11, free drive-thru and walk-up testing has been available for all Dane County residents. Tests are conducted in the New Holland Pavilion at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Monday-Saturday, 8:00am – 4:00pm. If you drive up, you will remain in your car the entire time. The Wisconsin National Guard are collecting specimens and returning them to Exact Sciences for analysis.
Results are expected within 3-5 days. Note that the test is not an antibody test and does not indicate if someone has had COVID-19 in the past, but will identify current cases of COVID-19. Depending on utilization, the testing site will be open until June 6. No appointments are necessary to visit the site.
If you have insurance and a healthcare provider, we recommend that you first call your doctor about getting tested. Local health care providers are also conducting testing, and your best option may be to get a test from them. If you are uninsured, do not have a primary care provider, or others who are not able to get a test from their doctor's office, the Alliant Energy Center testing site provides another option. We especially want those who don't have insurance or who lack access to health care to know they can be tested.
We're seeing progress on multiple fronts in the fight against COVID-19, and that's good news. However, increased testing will likely result in finding more COVID-positive cases. That doesn't mean we've seen an actual increase in cases, it means we've found more of the cases that were already here. What's important to watch is the percentage of cases that are positive. We hope to see fewer cases as a percentage of all tests over 14 days.
To learn more, please visit https://www.publichealthmdc.com/coronavirus/testing. You can also get updates about COVID-19 on Public Health's website , or on Facebook or Twitter.
I want to thank the National Guard and the staff of the Alliant Energy Center for conducting these tests and making the facility available for the community.
Stay or Go?
Just like last month's election with opposite orders coming from the Governor and the state and federal Supreme Courts, we have had different orders on the stay-in place rules.
At the beginning of the pandemic the Governor ordered stay-in place, closed schools and non-essential businesses. The order was extended by the Health Secretary to May 26. Republican legislators sued the state to overturn the order and prevailed at the Court by a vote of 4-3.
The ruling followed a court hearing that I would describe at best as "shameful." In the course of the hearing, the Chief Justice said that the outbreak of COVID-19 at a meatpacking plant in Green Bay that sickened dozens and killed several workers was not among "regular folks" (that is, the workers are largely Hispanic). Another Judge said that the Stay in-place order was similar to the arrest and internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.
The Court did not review the scientific evidence for stay-in-place or address the fact that the law allows the Secretary of Health to unilaterally issue an order in case of emergency.
In response to the order, the Madison-Dane County Public Health Department continued the stay-in-place order until May 26th. I believe we will continue to see a decline in the disease rate over the next 10 days and then we will be able to relax some important provisions of the order.
For a metro county of our size (500,000) Dane County has one of the lowest rates of COVID-19 in the nation. Due to our great health care providers, we have not had an additional death despite having about 50 new cases in the past 10 days. The strong adherence on the part of County residents to the stay-in-place order has resulted in a sharp and continuing decrease in the disease rate. We can keep it low and protect ourselves and each other until the virus runs its course or take the risk of another explosive outbreak that we saw in the beginning of April.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns regarding city policies and services.
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