WISCONSIN - Wisconsin National Guard specimen collection teams collected over 3,300 specimens Jun. 1 and its cumulative total collected for COVID-19 testing topped 92,000 as 25 teams continue to operate across Wisconsin supporting local health departments and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services with COVID-19 testing efforts.
The teams, comprised of nearly 600 Citizen Soldiers and Airmen in total, established mobile testing sites at locations ranging from correctional facilities and health clinics, to private businesses, and community-based testing sites.After collecting the specimens at each site, Wisconsin National Guard troops send the test kits to a lab for analysis, and individual citizens receive their results via a phone call from their local health department or a state call center within three-to-seven days following the test.
A number of specimen collection sites have ongoing operations including:
Adams County: One team established a community-based testing site Jun. 2 at the Adams-Friendship High School in Adams.
Dane County: Two teams established a community-based testing site at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison May 11. Over 10,100 specimens have been collected as of Jun. 2.
Dodge County: One team will conduct site-based testing Jun. 2 in Clyman.
Door County: One team established a community-based testing site Jun. 2 at the Door County Justice Center in Sturgeon Bay.
Kenosha County: Two team established a community-based testing site Jun. 1 at Central High School in Kenosha and has collected over 160 specimens as of Jun. 2.
Milwaukee County:Three teams established a community-based specimen collection site May 11 at 2701 S. Chase Avenue (UMOS) and it has collected 14,927 specimens as of Jun. 2 (Jun. 1 daily total: 703). Two teams established a second Milwaukee community-based collection site at Custer Stadium at 4300 W. Fairmount Avenue and collected 215 specimens as of Jun. 2.
Racine County:One team established a community-based testing site Jun. 2. in Mt. Pleasant.
Waushara County: One team initiated specimen collection Jun. 1 at the Red Granite Correctional Institution and has collected over 575 specimens as of Jun. 2.
Washington County:One team established a community-based testing site Jun. 1 at the Washington County Fairgrounds near West Bend and has collected over 425 specimens as of Jun. 2.
Wood County:One team established a community-based testing site Jun. 2. at the Marshfield Fairgrounds in Marshfield.
As of Jun. 2, Wisconsin National Guard teams had collected 92,030 specimens statewide.
In addition, approximately 30 troops are working at a call center that informs people of their COVID-19 test results.
The Wisconsin National Guard has fulfilled a variety of roles across the state since its response to the COVID-19 pandemic began after a March 12 public health emergency declaration from Gov. Tony Evers. Ongoing Wisconsin National Guard missions include a warehousing mission where 13 Citizen Soldiers are assisting the Wisconsin Department of Health Services at a state warehouse receiving personal protective equipment (PPE) shipments from around the state, repackaging them, and redistributing them to areas in need.
A team of approximately 15 troops are serving as medical and administrative staff at a state-run voluntary self-isolation facilities in Milwaukee, while a second team is serving at a Milwaukee County-run self-isolation facility. A third team supported a state-run voluntary self-isolation facility in Madison from April 2 to May 27.
Meanwhile, a team of Guard members is supporting the Dane County Coroner's Office and assisting their office with mortuary affairs operations.
- The U.S. headed into the Fourth of July weekend with many parades and fireworks displays canceled, beaches and bars closed, and health authorities warning that this will be a crucial test of Americans' self-control that could determine the trajectory of the surging coronavirus outbreak.
With confirmed cases climbing in 40 states, governors and local officials have ordered the wearing of masks in public, and families were urged to celebrate their independence at home. Even then, they were told to keep their backyard cookouts small.
CRANDON - The Forest County Humane Society works around the clock to help animals find forever homes. But taking care of those animals during their stay doesn't just take a lot of time; it takes a lot of money, too.
The shelter got a helping hand, thanks to a $35,000 grant from the ASPCA. It's part of an initiative to help brick-and-mortar shelters improve their animals' quality of life.
Shelter director Angie Schaefer says that money paid for 20 new cat-condos, fencing for two new dog yards, and several other much-needed supplies.
"We're small, we're in a small community, so to raise that kind of money to get these items would have been quite a task. For them to step in and do that for us is amazing," said Schaefer.
Schaefer said the extra yards will allow dogs to spend more time outside and socialize with each other.
If you're interested in volunteering or donating to the humane society, visit its website for more information.
MADISON, WI - Cigarette smoking rates have dropped since Wisconsin's Smoke-Free Indoor Air Law went into effect 10 years ago.
In 2008, before the law passed, 20% of Wisconsin adults smoked cigarettes. By 2018, the rate had dropped to 16%. High school youth cigarette smoking rates dropped from nearly 21% in 2008 to nearly 5% in 2018.
State cigarette taxes were also increased during this time period and contribute to this reduction.
"Wisconsin is breathing easier today thanks to this law, but we know there are many people in our state who still smoke," said DHS Secretary-Designee Andrea Palm. "We urge smokers to take advantage of the programs available to help them to quit, especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic, as people who smoke are believed to be more susceptible to the virus, and can become severely ill with it."
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - President Donald Trump will begin his Independence Day weekend on Friday with a patriotic display of fireworks at Mount Rushmore, an event expected to draw thousands where masks and social distancing aren't required as coronavirus cases spike across the country.
Trump is expected to speak at the event, which has issued 7,500 tickets to watch fireworks that he says will be a "display like few people have seen."
NORTHWOODS - Wisconsin's lakes have a lot to offer their visitors. But some, like aquatic invasive species, are unwelcome due to the damage they can cause to native ecosystems.
There's a growing effort to prevent, contain, and control the spread of these aquatic invasive species, especially this holiday weekend. As part of the Clean Boats, Clean Waters program, volunteers will be stationed across popular boat landings, doing inspections and educating boaters on how to properly clean their boats.
"Any type of holiday weekend, especially the fourth of July when there's a lot more boat traffic, there's an emphasis on getting more awareness out there," said DNR recreation warden Justin Bender.
Aside from volunteers, most boat landings also have information posted on aquatic invasive species and the laws regarding boat cleaning. Citations for not properly cleaning your boats typically run $200-300.
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