Washburn County, WI – The Washburn County Health Department and Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) have announced today that Washburn County has its second confirmed case of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) in an asymptomatic individual. The individual is isolated at home following the guidance of the Health Department and doing well. The Health Department is identifying and contacting anyone that has been in close contact with the positive case.
“This confirmed case in an individual who was showing no symptoms reaffirms the need for everyone to wear face masks or coverings when in public to reduce the risk of spread,” said Cheri Nickell, Washburn County Health Officer.
We have known that people without symptoms can spread COVID-19. Those without symptoms are likely to go out in public for work or personal reasons and unknowingly spread the virus.
Cloth face masks or coverings are used as a physical barrier between your nose/mouth and the air. This barrier stops respiratory droplets from entering the air when a person talks, sneezes, or coughs. Respiratory droplets are known to spread COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases.
While cloth face masks or coverings do not protect the wearer from contracting COVID-19, if everyone wears masks while in public then everyone will be protected. Wearing masks helps protect our local businesses and their employees, as well as the large proportion of high-risk individuals in Washburn County.
We urge the public not to fall victim to myths about face masks. This is what we know is true about the use of masks:
- Wearing a face mask or covering in public does not reduce your immune system’s function.
- Cloth face masks and coverings do not increase carbon dioxide to a level that would be noticeable by the wearer.
- You still need to practice social distancing and hand hygiene when wearing a face mask or covering.
With no medicine or vaccine to treat or prevent COVID-19, Washburn County residents can take these steps to reduce their risk:
Practice good hygiene:
- Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue. Dispose of the tissue after using, and then wash your hands.
- Use hand sanitizer if you cannot wash your hands.
- Practice social distancing of 6 feet or more
The COVID-19 situation is rapidly evolving. Please visit https://www.co.washburn.wi.us/news/public- health/Coronavirus-Outbreak for up-to-date information and links to resources related to COVID-19.