NBC15 Exclusive: Wisconsin's Emergency Operations Center explains COVID-19 response and future plans

SEOC employees bustle through the day, working to find a plan for COVID-19 across the state of...
SEOC employees bustle through the day, working to find a plan for COVID-19 across the state of Wisconsin. (NBC15)
Published: Jun. 16, 2020 at 5:53 PM CDT
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March 12 was the last time a camera was allowed inside the State’s Emergency Operations Center (SEOC).

On Tuesday, NBC15 was granted an exclusive interview with SEOC staff about their journey to protect Wisconsin.

For three months, Wisconsin's EOC has pooled as many state agencies together as possible to handle the chaos of COVID-19.

"At one point, we had over 110 people working in the EOC remotely and many of them are working remotely right now," Bureau of Planning and Preparedness Director Greg Engle said. "We developed a number of task forces for problem areas, such as developing the testing and lab capacity the content tracing capacity, the PPE."

Engle said finding personal protective gear for first responders and medical workers was difficult during the nation-wide shortage in March and April. It took them time to collect enough PPE to meet the needs across the state.

"We have shipped over 3 million gloves to local communities, about 1.6 million masks, about 295,000 N-95 respirators,” Engle said.

However, since then, the EOC has implemented some changes.

"We want to make sure that we're prepared," Emergency Management Administrator Dr. Darrell Williams said. "So we want to make sure that we have a stockpile of at least 90 days for PPE in case there is a resurgence, or in case we need it at any other point in the future."

Engle added they're still working on reaching their stockpile goal for N-95 respirators, some protective gowns and certain sizes of gloves; and the EOC is regularly distributing protective equipment to communities every week.

So far, no SEOC employees have tested positively for COVID-19.