Fond du Lac County Health Department issues COVID-19 health alert

Caduceus(Associated Press)
Published: Oct. 23, 2020 at 4:10 PM CDT
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FOND DU LAC, Wis. (WBAY) - The Fond du Lac County Health Department is issuing a health alert as the high number of coronavirus cases strains its ability to do contact tracing and investigate and manage the spread of the virus.

The health department says the spread of the COVID-19 virus is very high in the community. About 240 tests came back positive Friday.

The health department says starting Monday, it will prioritize contact tracing for positive cases who are under 19 or older than 64. Contact tracers will reach out to adults between those ages who test positive as much as their time allows.

Because there are too many cases, the health department will no longer be contacting employers of infected persons directly.

The health department is asking people to take personal responsibility for containing the spread of the virus. If you test positive, stay home for at least 10 days from when you first noticed symptoms. If you were asymptomatic, stay home for 10 days from the date you were tested. Notify your employer or school, and don’t leave isolation unless you’re free of a fever and other symptoms for at least 24 hours without medication). Notify people you’ve had close contact with and ask them to quarantine themselves for 14 days from their last contact with you.

The health department defines a close contact as someone you’ve had direct physical contact with; someone who was within 6 feet of you for 15 minutes or more; someone who’s had contact with your respiratory secretions, such as sharing a drinking glass, food or towel, or was near you when you sneezed or coughed; or stayed overnight in your household.

Health officials are urging people to follow the guidelines of wearing a face mask; keeping a physical distance of 6 feet or more; washing hands frequently with soap and water (or use hand sanitizer when hand washing isn’t an option); avoid large gatherings, whether it’s indoors or outdoors; and stay home as much as possible, especially if you feel sick, even if you think it’s a cold or allergies; and avoid unnecessary activities or traveling that puts you in contact with others.

Health officials are also asking retailers, restaurants and bars to limit person-to-person contact, limit occupancy to 25% of capacity, and require face coverings for staff and customers.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reports Fond du Lac County has had 3,953 confirmed coronavirus cases -- more than double the 1,840 cases one month ago on Sept. 23.

Nineteen people in the county have died from COVID-19, including 6 in the past month.

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