"Badger Bounce Back" plan looks to safely reopen Wisconsin

Published: Apr. 21, 2020 at 5:51 PM CDT
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Last week, President Trump unveiled his "Guidelines for Opening Up America."

But, the Badger State does not currently meet those requirements. A new plan announced Monday by Governor Tony Evers, nicknamed the “Badger Bounce Back” plan, outlines the steps he says Wisconsin must take to get back to normal. Prevea Health president and CEO Dr. Ashok Rai said he believes the plan will work.

“I like this plan a lot better,” he said. “It's better than a date that is just going to keep moving on us.”

The goal of the "Badger Bounce Back" plan is to decrease cases and deaths to a low level while increasing capacity in hospitals, so the phased reopening of businesses is possible. Dr. Rai said this starts with a 14-day decline in positive COVID-19 tests.

“It is based on what the federal plan talked about, but actually a little more tailored to Wisconsin, a state that has not had a lot of testing capability, which the governor has announced a huge jump in our ability to do that this week.” Dr. Rai said. “We've got to see that 14-day trend. For that to happen, you've got to test a lot more people. You'll have some positives, but you'll have a lot more negatives because the testing barrier or bar for ordering a test has lowered significantly.”

Under the plan, anyone who needs a COVID-19 test should get one. It calls for an average of 85,000 tests a week. Every Wisconsinite that receives a positive test will be interviewed within 24-hours of getting their results and anyone they had contact with will be interviewed within 24 hours. The state also hopes to expand contact tracing and more aggressively track the spread of the Coronavirus, something Dr. Rai said often gets overlooked.

“Testing is fun to talk about and we could talk about the process and sometimes the tracing is the boring part, but that is actually, our success hinges on the ability to test, trace and then quarantine as necessary to prevent large breakouts, to make sure we can continue that roll to getting back to normal,” he said.

Dr. Rai said the plan provides the necessary steps for the Badger State to bounce back.

“Right now, I really like the outline of it, the details of it will be interesting,” he said. “We want to get back to work too and we look at this as an achievable plan.”

The full “Badger Bounce Back” plan can be found