Fox Valley health departments issue COVID-19 alert, hospitals enact emergency plans

Published: Oct. 2, 2020 at 12:39 PM CDT
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FOX VALLEY, Wis. (WBAY) - Due to high levels of COVID-19, Public Health Departments in the Fox Valley say they are not able to notify positive cases and their close contacts in a “timely manner.”

A Public Health Emergency COVID-19 Alert has been issued by health departments in Appleton, Menasha, Calumet County, Outagamie County and Winnebago County.

The alert says hospitals are enacting emergency plans as they reach critical patient levels.

The inability to notify people with positive tests and their contacts in a timely manner “severely limits efforts to contain the virus,” reads the alert.

Please stay at home. There are thousands of people currently infected with COVID-19 in Winnebago County and thousands...

Posted by Winnebago County Health Department on Thursday, October 1, 2020

The health departments are pleading with people to take these steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Physically distance at least 6 feet from people with whom you do not live.
  • Wear a cloth face mask, unless unable to wear one for medical reasons.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Indoors, do not gather with people outside of your household.
  • Outdoors, limit gatherings to 10 people or fewer, physically distance and wear face coverings.
  • Self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days after return from travel.
  • If symptomatic, call your health care provider, get a test, and stay home while awaiting results.
  • Cooperate with public health officials if you have tested positive or are a close contact.

The departments recommended not holding indoor gatherings. They would like restaurants and bars to offer take-out, curbside pick-up or delivery only.

“Please stay at home. There are thousands of people currently infected with COVID-19 in Winnebago County and thousands more that have been exposed and may develop disease. Many do not know they are infected. Assume there’s risk of exposure in every public place. Wear a mask, keep your distance and minimize time in any indoor environment outside your home,” reads a statement from Winnebago County Health Department.

On Thursday, Wisconsin added a record 2,887 positive COVID-19 tests. Twenty-two people died within 24 hours.

The Wisconsin Hospital Association says 669 people are hospitalized with COVID-19. WHA says 208 of those COVID-19 patients are in the ICU.


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