The Wisconsin Emergency Operations Center opened a state-run voluntary self-isolation facility at the University of Wisconsin’s Lowell Center today.
Following a statement released by the Evers administration on Tuesday, the Wisconsin Emergency Operations Center opened two facilities in Madison and Milwaukee to provide space for individuals who contract or show symptoms of COVID-19 to self isolate pending recovery.
Evers announced the UW Lowell Center on Langdon St. in Madison and a Super 8 hotel in Milwaukee as the two sites.
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“As the state’s response to COVID-19 continues, we want to make sure those who need a safe place to stay have one available to them,” Evers said in the statement. “[The voluntary self-isolation sites] will provide a valuable resource for those who have mild symptoms of COVID-19, leaving valuable hospital space available for others who need it, and they also provide a safe place for people to stay so they don’t spread COVID-19 to others.”
Assistant Public Information Officer for Wisconsin Emergency Operations Andrew Beckett said the state chose the Lowell Center as a self-isolation site because of its optimal location, the high capacity of rooms and its currently low level of utilization.
Beckett said the Lowell Center has a capacity of 137 beds. Beckett said the state organized all the necessary supplies and services necessary to operate the location. UW will serve as a site coordinator.
“[UW] is responsible for executing the site operation plan developed by the state,” Beckett said. “Any additional staff will either be contract personnel, or medical or administrative assistance from the Wisconsin National Guard.”
Beckett said the facilities are only open to individuals who have a positive diagnosis or show symptoms of the virus, and are referred by medical professionals. Beckett said they’ve made the option for self-isolation available so these individuals who aren’t showing serious symptoms can have a safe place to recover and reintegrate into the community.
According to Beckett, these are self care facilities — individuals will be placed in hotel rooms and can stay in the facility for up to 14 days. Contracted food services will bring food to individuals, and individuals will receive a call every four hours to address any concerns.
“[The voluntary self-isolation facilities] are aimed at individuals who do not otherwise have the ability to self-isolate either because of home living situations or other factors that prevent them from being able to comply with the Governor’s state directive,” Beckett said.
Beckett said the state is also providing guidance to county and municipal partners if they choose to open self-isolation centers. While the state wants to make reimbursement resources available, Beckett said each community needs to consider whether their community needs a facility, and if they have the capacity to support it.
Beckett said the state will add facilities based on communities’ needs going forward, with the ultimate goal to ensure communities have safe options available for residents to self-isolate.