WI GOP state senator raises questions about DHS COVID-19 data corrections

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – A Wisconsin Republican lawmaker is raising concerns about COVID-19 data from Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ Administration.

State Sen. Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point) said the administration has consistently misreported COVID-19 fatalities in long-term care facilities and wants an explanation from the Wisconsin DHS.

Earlier this month Wisconsin health officials reclassified the housing status of nearly 1,000 COVID-19 deaths.

Previously the DHS reported long-term care facilities accounted for 30% of deaths in the state, but that number is now 45%.

According to the DHS website, the locations linked to 1,700 deaths are still unknown.

Sen. Testin told News 8 Now Wednesday there is no excuse for the inconsistencies.

“It should not take a year to figure out where someone lives who has passed away from COVID-19. 40 other states have been able to provide [data] in real-time, there’s no reason why Wisconsin shouldn’t be able to do the same… That’s why a number of my colleagues and I are going to be asking these questions, whether we do an investigation through the Senate Health Committee or through the Audit Bureau.”

The Wisconsin DHS does have a disclaimer on its website that says data collected is subject to change.

It also has a list of long-term care facilities with active COVID-19 facility-wide public health investigations in Wisconsin by county.

As of Wednesday, La Crosse County had five active investigations and 63 closed investigations.