An Update from Secretary Kevin A. Carr
Tuesday, March 23, 2021
Friends and Colleagues,
Last week, our agency reached a milestone, surpassing a full calendar year since we activated our Emergency Operations Center in response to the pandemic. This past year has brought many changes and challenges for our agency, across all divisions, but I am proud of the way you have persevered.
As we pass the anniversary of pandemic operations, I want to again say that I think we are seeing light at the end of this tunnel. Our institutions and offices across the state continue to work with local health departments and pharmacies to identify local vaccination opportunities for eligible staff. As of this moment, at least 3,900 DOC employees have been vaccinated, with more scheduled to become eligible in the coming weeks.
I highly encourage you to choose vaccination, as a way to protect your fellow staff members, your local community and those in our care. Many of your peers have already been vaccinated and shared with us why they made that choice. Dr. Shana Tom, a psychiatrist at PDCI, says she was vaccinated to protect her patients and because she wanted to travel again. Jill Knaack, at TCI, was vaccinated because she has asthma and wanted to again gather with family, free of fear. And those are just a couple we've heard from.
If you feel like you need more information, the State Department of Health Resources offers an FAQ on its website that addresses common questions and concerns about COVID-19 vaccines.
In addition to staff, we expect to begin receiving vaccine for persons in our care in the coming weeks. We have identified those determined to be at the highest risk and we will begin vaccinating those groups as soon as doses arrive. It represents another hurdle we must cross to return to normal operations. I am proud of the work our EOC has done over the past year, but I look forward to the day we can ask that group to stand down and return to their normal duties.
Until then, stay safe and thank you for your service.
Kevin A. Carr
Wisconsin Department of Corrections Secretary
For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 including testing numbers, prevention and additional resources, visit the Department of Health Services website. To learn more about the state's response, visit the Wisconsin COVID-19 Coronavirus Information page.