(UPDATE): First Confirmed COVID-19 Case In Washburn County

Washburn County has its first confirmed case of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

(UPDATE): First Confirmed COVID-19 Case In Washburn County

Press Release


After further investigation, this confirmed case is not linked to travel or another confirmed case of COVID-19. We should assume, at this point, that this case is due to community transmission of the virus.

DHS has been emphasizing for weeks that COVID-19 should be considered widespread in Wisconsin and present in every community.

We expected, with the increase in testing, to begin seeing cases - including cases that may not be traceable to a specific origin. Individuals can spread the virus without being symptomatic. This reaffirms the need to closely follow the Safer at Home Order and wear cloth face coverings when in public for essential reasons.

We are continuing to conduct Contact Tracing for individuals who are identified by confirmed cases as having been in close contact.

Questions can be directed to the Health Department at 715-635-4400.

Previous Press Release

Washburn County, WI – The Washburn County Health Department and Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) have announced today, Monday, April 13, 2020, that Washburn County has its first confirmed case of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). The individual is isolated at home following the guidance of the Health Department and is doing well. The Health Department is identifying and contacting anyone that has been in close contact with the positive case.

“It is important that Washburn County residents do not panic, but continue to follow the Governor’s order and stay at home to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Cheri Nickell, Washburn County Health Officer. “Having a confirmed case reaffirms the importance of following social distancing guidelines.”

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.

Follow the Safer at Home order:

  • Stay home unless absolutely necessary (to get groceries, to get medicine, for essential work)
  • Do not leave home if you are feeling sick
  • Avoid those who may be sick whenever possible

Practice social distancing of 6 feet or more Avoid all non-essential travel

“If you think you have symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath), call your primary care provider before visiting a clinic facility. If you would not normally seek care for your level of illness, continue to manage your symptoms at home and call your provider if they worsen,” said Dr. Beverly Bohac, Washburn County Medical Advisor. A full list of possible symptoms and current instructions for people feeling ill can be found on the county’s coronavirus outbreak page.

“The Health Department and Emergency Management are working together with local, state, and federal partners to implement emergency response plans,” said Carol Buck, Washburn County Emergency Manager. “It is important to remember that every person has a role in reducing the spread of COVID-19.”

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.

Last Update: Apr 13, 2020 1:15 pm CDT

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