As business leaders eagerly anticipate the reopening of Wisconsin’s economy, there are five indicators that public health officials are watching to determine when conditions will be right to safely resume activity that has been halted by Gov. Tony Evers' "Safer at Home" order to stop the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, which on Friday released a draft plan for a “Smart Restart” of the state’s economy, is tracking a dashboard of health and safety indicators compiled by the Medical College of Wisconsin. The status of each indicator is categorized by MCW as "green," "yellow" or "red" to demonstrate, like a traffic light, if their status suggests the economy can once again go ahead and reopen.Those indicators include:
Cases: A sustained reduction in cases for 14 days (tracking beginning on April 13), with threshold metrics including:
Green: Sustained 10% decrease in new cases for 14 days or more
Yellow: Sustained 5% decrease in new cases for 14 days or more
Red: Steady 10% increase in new cases for 5 days.
Testing:Testing availability for all people with COVID-19 symptoms
Green: Available for individuals presenting in hospital or clinic with symptoms and available for symptomatic individuals working or returning to work
Yellow: Available for individuals presenting in hospital or clinic with symptoms, and not available for symptomatic individuals working or returning to work
Red: Not available for individuals presenting to hospital or clinic with symptoms and not available for symptomatic individuals working or returning to work
Care: Hospitals have the ability to treat all patients requiring hospitalization without resorting to crisis standards.
PPE: Adequate PPE available to health care personnel
Green: Conventional Level – more than 50% of hospitals have 7 or more days of PPE
Yellow: Contingency Level – less than 50% of hospitals have 7 or more days of PPE
Red: Crisis Level –more than 25% of hospitals have 7 or fewer days of PPE
Tracking: Ability to count, trace, monitor COVID-19 cases and outbreaks in real-time
State able to conduct rapid, active monitoring of confirmed case and their contacts
Dr. John Raymond, president and chief executive officer of MCW, provides daily updates on those metrics during MMAC’s daily COVID-19 briefings. As of Friday, this was the status of those metrics:
Cases: Yellow. "There has been a leveling off and possibly the beginning of decline, though there is a lot of day-to-day variability," Raymond said.
Care: Green. "We have an ample capacity of hospital beds, ICU beds and ventilators in southeastern Wisconsin, and that trend carries throughout the entire sate. Thus, we have not overwhelmed our health systems," Raymond said. He cautioned that health systems haven't yet resumed elective procedures, which would affect bed and equipment capacity.
PPE: Red. "I believe this is a problem that will be with us for quite some time, even with the responsible reuse of N95 masks and switching from disposable gowns to washable gowns," Raymond said.
Raymond stressed that the indicators are a "set of tools ... not hard and fast rules," nor a "comprehensive plan" for reopening the economy.
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