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Live coronavirus updates: Infections double among House of Correction inmates; More National Guard troops mobilized for virus testing

3:40 p.m. Milwaukee sports radio station switching to virus news

Milwaukee radio station WAUK-AM (540) switched over Monday from all sports-talk to all coronavirus, all the time. 

Good Karma Brands, which owns WAUK, said the AM station would air "Coronavirus: What You Need to Know," a public service channel from SiriusXM's Doctor Radio, until further notice. The ongoing coronavirus coverage, presented by academic medical center NYU Langone Health, is commercial-free.

The AM station had been carrying ESPN network programming and some live sporting events, back when those were still happening.


3:20 p.m. Infections double among House of Correction inmates

The number of inmates at Milwaukee County's House of Correction infected with COVID-19 has more than doubled since last week, even before results are known of weekend testing of the entire population.

Last week officials announced 27 inmates had tested positive, that other test results were pending and that all 623 inmates at the facility in Franklin would be tested over the weekend with the help of the state.

On Monday, the number jumped to 63, said Raisa Koltun, an official at the county's Emergency Operations Center. Officials have begun planning to convert a long-closed dormitory at the HOC grounds in Franklin into a medical treatment site.

The HOC typically houses about 1,000 inmates serving sentences under a year, or terms under a year as a condition of a probation sentence on a felony conviction. Many HOC inmates had work release privileges, but in an effort to reduce the population in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, many were released early or put on electronic monitoring.

Officials are scheduled to talk more about developments to blunt the spread of COVID-19 at the HOC during a county briefing Monday afternoon.

3 p.m. More National Guard troops mobilized for coronavirus testing

More than 200 Wisconsin National Guard members mobilized on Sunday to create more collection teams for coronavirus test specimens.

The National Guard will help establish more mobile testing and additional specimen collections at sites around the state that have not yet been determined. National Guardsmen will help transport collected specimens to state labs for analysis.

The Wisconsin Department of Health requested more help from the guard which has already taken an active role as the coronavirus pandemic escalated. This weekend’s call-up boosted the number of Wisconsin National Guard members responding to the coronavirus outbreak to more than 700.

On Monday two 20-person teams opened specimen collections sites at two community health centers in Milwaukee. On Saturday a National Guard-staffed mobile testing site opened at the Milwaukee County House of Correction in Franklin to test inmates and employees.

Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm said the number of people tested for COVID-19 must increase to stop the spread of the virus.

“Our work with the National Guard throughout this pandemic has set us up to launch these mobile testing sites and strategically deploy guard assets to stop outbreaks,” Palm said in a statement.

Three National Guard specimen collection teams began training soon after Gov. Tony Evers declared the health emergency on March 12. Those teams have already been at work including opening a mobile testing site at a senior living facility in Sheboygan on April 5.

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