The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) and Public Health Madison and Dane County announced today that a third person has tested positive for COVID-19. The person was exposed while traveling in the United States and is currently isolated at home. County health officials are working to determine the people who have been in contact with the patient to isolate or quarantine people and test those who are exhibiting symptoms.
“We are working with our local health departments to make sure everyone who has been in contact with our confirmed cases is notified. We continue to urge state residents to take precautions to avoid illness,” said State Health Officer Jeanne Ayers. “As guidance is evolving, it’s important for people to monitor the DHS and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) websites for the latest information and guidance on COVID-19.”
People who have traveled in the past 14 days to places where there is community spread of COVID-19 (international and domestic locations), are asked to self-quarantine themselves and monitor for symptoms for 14 days. If symptoms, like fever, cough, or difficulty breathing are present, they should contact their local health department and health care provider for possible testing. People should call ahead before arriving at a health care facility for testing.
“As this is the second confirmed case of COVID-19 in Dane County, we have the experience in caring for patients in isolation and contacting those who may have been in contact with the patient. We will continue working with DHS and CDC, as well as our local health care providers and other partners, to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the community,” said Janel Heinrich, Director of Public Health Madison and Dane County.
Public Health Madison and Dane County and the Department of Health Services responsibilities include:
- Identifying and contacting anyone who has been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19. These people are asked to quarantine themselves for 14 days from their exposure and will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms. People with symptoms are tested for COVID-19.
- Performing follow-up testing for individuals who test positive to determine when a person can be released from isolation.
- Providing guidance to clinicians regarding testing.
- Preparing Wisconsin for community spread of COVID-19.
If COVID-19 begins to spread in Wisconsin communities, state and local public health officials would consider community interventions such as temporary closures of child care facilities and schools, workplace social distancing, measures such as replacing in-person meetings with teleworking, and modifying, postponing or canceling mass gatherings. Decisions about the implementation of community measures would be made by state and local officials based on CDC guidance, as well as the scope of the outbreak.
People should follow simple steps to avoid getting sick, including:
- Frequent and thorough handwashing with soap and water.
- Covering coughs and sneezes.
- Avoiding touching your face.
- Staying home when sick.