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Local authorities urge public to stay home after record number of COVID-19 deaths in Dane County

MADISON, Wisconsin – Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, Dane County Executive Director Joe Parisi and PHMDC Director Janelle Heinrich joined a joint news conference Wednesday afternoon, urging people to stay home after 19 in November.

“We know that the outbreak after Thanksgiving will hit us while our hospitals are already in capacity,”

; Parisi said. “It’s going to be jump after jump.”

Parisi also took time to criticize Republican lawmakers like Robin Voss, who he said has not done enough to help slow the spread.

“Until the vaccine becomes widely available, our public health orders and guidelines will remain our best resources for reducing the suffering and death caused by the virus,” Parisi said.

On Wednesday, Dane County added 22 additional deaths from COVID-19, nearly a fifth of the deaths since the pandemic began. Leaders there say it is an update to the system that has led to the cluster of deaths being reported, dating back to late October and covering four weeks.

However, this doubled Dane County’s death in November, dropping more than 40.

Health experts say the deaths we are seeing now are the result of a two-month jump in cases starting in October.

“We are already seeing more deaths throughout the pandemic,” said Dr. Nasya Safdar, medical director and infection prevention specialist at UW Health.

Despite the increase in deaths, new coronavirus cases have halved in the last two weeks. Safdar says that does not mean that the deaths will stop. In fact, she says cases distributed during Thanksgiving can still take another week to register new cases.

“We were preparing for the situation to worsen after gratitude. “I still can’t say we’re out of the woods,” she said.

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