Press Release

MARCH 19, 2020

Spooner, WI (March 19,2020) – On behalf of Washburn County Public Health, please advise the following COVID-19 updates as of March 19, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.

Confirmed Cases:

At this time, there are NO laboratory confirmed cases in Washburn County. If a case is confirmed in the County, the Washburn County Public Health Department will communicate that with the public.

Case Reporting:

At this time, we are not reporting numbers of people tested in order to protect patient privacy while living in a small community.

We are reporting laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19, following guidance from WI DHS and CDC. We understand that there are concerns about testing protocol missing cases, but we cannot speculate on potential exposed persons that are not reported to clinics or public health.

Community Spread:

At this time, there is no evidence of community spread in Washburn County. DHS has identified community spread in Milwaukee, Dane and Kenosha Counties.

Travel:

Follow CDC and WI DHS travel guidelines to determine if you need to change your plans. Guidelines update frequently, so check often.

  • DHS: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/disease/covid-19.htm
  • CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

CDC has recommended a voluntary 14-day home quarantine for people who have traveled to countries with widespread sustained transmission. CDC is also recommending people practice social distancing after returning from all travel. Travels returning from a Level 3 country or any cruise are required to isolate for 14 days.

If you are unsure about your recent travel and subsequent need for testing or isolation, please call the Health Department at 715-635-4400.

Testing:

If you do not have symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, dry cough, shortness of breath) you WILL NOT be tested for it.

Testing is not recommended for people with mild illnesses for which they would not normally seek medical care, such as having only mild upper respiratory symptoms.

DHS is limiting its testing at the Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene (WSLH) and Milwaukee Health Department Laboratory (MDHL) to the highest priority patients and health care workers.

Providers are able to order tests through private labs at their discretion for patients that they determine should be tested but do not meet the criteria for testing at WSLH or MHDL. Please note that private labs are starting to be overwhelmed and testing may not be the best option if results will not return until after the quarantine period would end.

Individuals concerned about needed testing should contact their primary care provider for screening to determine if they should be tested.

DO NOT show up to a clinic or ER without calling the facility prior to your arrival.

Illness:

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (fevber, dry cough, shortness of breath) and are concerned about needing testing, please contact your primary care provider for screening and to determine if you should be tested. If screening indicates you may have COVID-19 but a provider determines a test is not the best option, or you do not feel you need to contact a provider for your symptoms but are concerned about having COVID-19, stay in isolation until:

  • 3 days (72 hours) have passed since having a fever without using fever-reducing medications AND improvement of respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath).
  • AND at least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

If you are feeling ill, regardless of if you believe you have COVID-19, it is best to practice social distancing and isolate yourself as much as possible until symptoms have stopped.

Note: Healthcare personnel have different guidelines.

Social Distancing:

Social distancing is deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness. Staying at least six feet away from other people lessens your chance of contracting COVID-19.

Examples include: cancelling or postponing conferences and large meetings, not shaking hands, avoiding large group gatherings or activities and staying home as much as possible.

Social distancing can help slow the spread of COVID-19.

People should follow simple steps to prevent illness and avoid exposure to this virus including:

  • Avoid social gatherings with people of all ages (including playdates and sleepovers, parties, large family dinners, visitors in your home)
  • Frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Stay home when sick

School Closings

DHS ordered all public and private schools and instituions of higher education to close effective 5:00 pm on March 18, 2020 and to remain closed for the duration of the public health emergency or until a subsequent order lifts this specific restriction.

Individuals should continue practicing social distancing. Resources from DPI on practicing social distancing are available on the county’s coronavirus outbreak page. Families should continue following guidance from their schools on protocol during the closure. Many schools and local businesses have made free meals available for school-age children during the shutdown.

Child Care Facilities

On 3/17/2020, Gov. Tony Evers issued an order restricting the size of all child care facilities effective 3/19/2020 at 8:00 a.m. and is in effect until further notice. Child care settings may not operate with more than 10 staff present at a time and may not operate with more than 50 children present at a time.

Mass Gatherings

On 3/17/2020, Gov. Tony Evers issued an order prohibiting public and private mass gatherings consisting of 10 people or more throughout Wisconsin. This order began at 5:00 p.m. on 3/17/2020 and is in effect until further notice. “Mass gathering” is any planned or spontaneous event or convening that will bring together, or is likely to bring together, 10 or more people in a single room or single confined or enclosed space at the same time. All bars and restaurants are ordered to close in the State of Wisconsin EXCEPT for food establishments providing take-out or delivery service where no seating is provided.

Exemptions to this order include childcare locations, residential care centers, group homes, hotels and motels, government facilities, food pantries, shelter facilities, residential buildings, retail establishments including gas stations and auto-repair facilities, healthcare facilities and grocery stores.

Visit co.washburn.wi.us/news/public-health/coronavirus-outbreak for up to date information, guidance and news releases.


March 18, 2020

Spooner Health is committed to the safety of the community. We continue to work closely with Washburn County Public Health to follow all guidelines and recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Currently, there are NO confirmed cases in Washburn County. If a case is confirmed in the County, the Washburn County Health Department will communicate that with the public.

At this time, if you do not have symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, dry cough, shortness of breath) you WILL NOT be tested for it, regardless of travel history. 

If you have been exposed to COVID-19 or have traveled to a location with ongoing community spread and have symptoms (fever, dry cough, shortness of breath), you should call your primary care provider before scheduling an appointment or visiting a clinic. DO NOT show up to a clinic or ER without calling the facility prior to your arrival to minimize the possible spread of disease. 

Follow CDC and WI DHS travel guidelines to determine if you need to change your plans. Guidelines update frequently, so check often. 

If you are unsure about your recent travel and subsequent need for testing or isolation, please call the Health Department at 715-635-4400. 

DHS ordered all schools close effective 5:00 pm on March 18, 2020 and lasting through April 6, 2020. Individuals should continue practicing social distancing. Resources from DPI on practicing social distancing are available on the county’s coronavirus outbreak page. Families should continue following guidance from their schools on protocol during the closure. Many schools and local businesses have made free meals available for school-age children during the shutdown.

As of 3/17/2020, Gov. Tony Evers issued an order prohibiting public and private mass gatherings consisting of 10 people or more throughout Wisconsin. This order began at 5:00 p.m. on 3/17/2020 and is in effect until further notice. “Mass gathering” is any planned or spontaneous event or convening that will bring together, or is likely to bring together, 10 or more people in a single room or single confined or enclosed space at the same time. All bars and restaurants are ordered to close in the State of Wisconsin EXCEPT for food establishments providing take-out or delivery service where no seating is provided. 

Exemptions to this order include childcare locations, residential care centers, group homes, hotels and motels, government facilities, food pantries, shelter facilities, residential buildings, retail establishments including gas stations and auto-repair facilities, healthcare facilities and grocery stores. 

What is social distancing? Social distancing is deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness. Staying at least six feet away from other people lessen your chance of contracting COVID-19. Social distancing can help slow the spread of COVID-19. 

Visit co.washburn.wi.us/news/public-health/coronavirus-outbreak for up to date information, guidance and news releases. 


Press Release

March 13, 2020

Spooner Health is committed to the safety of the community. We continue to work closely with Washburn County Public Health to follow all guidelines and recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Currently, there are NO confirmed cases in Washburn County. If a case is confirmed in the County, the Washburn County Health Department will communicate that with the public.

At this time, if you do not have symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, dry cough, shortness of breath) you WILL NOT be tested for it, regardless of travel history. 

If you have been exposed to COVID-19 or have traveled to a location with ongoing community spread and have symptoms (fever, dry cough, shortness of breath), you should call your primary care provider before scheduling an appointment or visiting a clinic. DO NOT show up to a clinic or ER without calling the facility prior to your arrival to minimize the possible spread of disease. 

Follow CDC and WI DHS travel guidelines to determine if you need to change your plans. Guidelines update frequently, so check often. 

DHS: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/disease/covid-19.htm 


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