Governor Doyle declares public health emergency - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Governor Doyle declares public health emergency

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Wisconsin joins other states across the country taking proactive measures to insure public safety.

"The Public Health Emergency I'm declaring today will give public health officials all the tools they need to respond to this challenge," said Governor Jim Doyle.

Meaning the state health department is in charge and has more access to state resources including anti-viral medications.

"The health emergency will give authority to make anti-viral medications available to anyone in the state regardless of insurance or health coverage," Doyle said.

The declaration also calls on all state agencies to help if needed and allows the state to utilize The Wisconsin National Guard.

"I am authorizing the adjutant general of the national guard to use the guard as necessary and appropriate to assist in the states response to public health emergency," Doyle said.

Health officials say, while their are only five probable cases of swine flu in the state, the fear of virus is growing.

They urge the public not to panic.

"It isn't necessary for people in the state to a- say they need to have it immediately today, or b- to be worried about accessing it," said Dr. Seth Foldy of the Department of Health and Human Services.

As far as how much anti-viral the state has available, health officials say between the amount they have stockpiled in Wisconsin and what's available from the federal government, they believe they have a supply of about a half a million.

 

The Governor's declaration:

  • Designates the Department of Health Services as the lead agency to respond to the public health emergency; and
  • Directs the Department of Health Services to take all necessary and appropriate measures to prevent and respond to incidences of Swine Influenza A in the state; and
  • Directs the Department of Health Services to access and distribute the state and federal antiviral stockpiles in response to the public health emergency as the State Health Officer determines is advisable; and
  • Directs the Department of Health Services, as part of the antiviral response, to take any measure it deems necessary and appropriate to make an antiviral available to persons within the State, regardless of insurance or other health coverage, as needed to respond to the public health emergency; and
  • Suspends the provisions of any administrative rule, if the Department of Health Services determines that compliance with that rule would prevent, hinder, or delay necessary actions to respond to the emergency and increase the health threat; and
  • Authorizes the Adjutant General to utilize Wisconsin National Guard Direct personnel and resources as necessary and appropriate to assist in the State's response to the public health emergency; and
  • Direct all state agencies of the State of Wisconsin to assist as appropriate in this ongoing response.
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