MADISON, WI (STL.News) In response to the current surge in cases and the growing strain on Wisconsin’s healthcare system, today Gov. Tony Evers and Wisconsin Department of Health Service (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm issued an emergency order to help address healthcare staffing needs. The order is available here.
“We are seeing alarming trends here in Wisconsin, with today seeing our highest number of new cases in a single day, and yesterday seeing our highest death count,” said Gov. Evers. “Our hospitals are being stretched to the limit, and we need to take action to assist our frontline medical professionals with their life-saving work.”
Today’s order provides for temporary interstate license reciprocity for healthcare providers to work in Wisconsin healthcare facilities, extends licenses that may expire during the federal emergency declaration for 30 days after its conclusion, and makes it easier for healthcare providers with a recently lapsed license to apply for a reinstatement with the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS). Out-of-state physicians can also practice telemedicine in Wisconsin with proper notification of DSPS.
“We are in a new stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, and hospitals across the state are reporting current or imminent staffing shortages,” said DHS Secretary-designee Palm. “While I am grateful we are able to take this step to facilitate additional staffing flexibilities and support for our healthcare systems, we also need Wisconsinites across the state to help us protect our frontline healthcare workers and hospitals by wearing a mask and staying home as much as possible.”
The order is effective immediately and will remain in effect for the duration of the current declared federal public health emergency and renewals or until a superseding order is issued by Gov. Evers or Secretary-designee Palm.