Department of Health confirms 4 more being monitored for coronavirus in Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin Department of Health has confirmed that four more people are being monitored for coronavirus in the state.

According to a teleconference from Thursday afternoon, there is still only one confirmed case in Wisconsin, which was the 12th case nationwide. The viral outbreak has infected more than 28,200 people globally and caused more than 560 deaths in China.

The Department of Public Health plans to contact anyone who was on the plane with the patient and sat in the same row as them, along with anyone who sat near them. This includes everyone who sat two rows in front and two rows behind the row.

Health officials said close proximity includes anyone who was within six feet of the person.

Health officials said they are working on a coronavirus vaccine, but it will likely not be available until next year. In the meantime, they will be undergoing clinical trials in the coming months.


A tweet from the Public Health Madison & Dane County Twitter page said the risk to the public remains low. The post also confirmed that the person is not a University of Wisconsin-Madison student and has not been on campus aside from reporting to UW Hospital.

State epidemiologist Tom Haupt says the Wisconsin patient contracted the virus in China while on vacation to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Haupt says, “The patient is making a very good recovery.”

Officials emphasized that race and ethnicity do not determine the coronavirus, but rather a person’s travel history and how close in proximity they were to someone who had the virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is sending test kits for coronavirus to the state, which allows tests to be conducted within Wisconsin instead of waiting on test results to arrive elsewhere. Officials said it will be about two weeks before people in Wisconsin are able to test locally.

Gov. Tony Evers said in a statement that officials “are working aggressively to respond to and monitor this situation.”

“I want to thank the Department of Health Services, the Centers for Disease Control and local health departments who have been working around the clock to protect Wisconsinites,” said Evers. “Any time we are faced with a new disease threat, it can be an anxious time, because there are many unknowns. I want to reinforce that Wisconsin has incredible health professionals who are up to this task, and that the risk to the general public remains low.”