A massive jump in coronavirus has forced the top health official in Wisconsin to step down from the post, according to The Hill.
The interim Division of Public Health Administrator Stephanie Smiley is leaving her position at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services on Nov. 11.
Wisconsin DHS Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk will take over the role and Deputy Division of Public Health Administrator Chuck Warzecha will step into the deputy position.
Smiley wrote that she had taken a position outside of the Wisconsin government.
”I am in awe of the unquestionable courage and character of you all. As public health officials, you have repeatedly needed to deliver bad news that has sparked fear, frustration, anxiety and criticism. And despite all of this, you and your staff have risen to the occasion and continue to do what you can to battle through this,” she wrote, according to a copy of the letter that was obtained by The Hill.
Smiley added, ”This will be my last update to you all as I have accepted a position outside of state service in order to focus more energy towards my health and my family — aspects of my life that I have neglected for far too long. My last day with the department will be November 11, 2020.”
Wisconsin has experienced close to 250,000 coronavirus cases, including over 6,141 cases on Friday. Roughly 2,200 people in the state have died from coronavirus, the COVID Tracking Project reports.