COVID-19 Update from the Langlade County Health Department
FROM THE LANGLADE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
As the CoVID-19 outbreak situation continues to evolve, the Langlade County Health Department wants to ensure that the community is as informed and prepared as possible.
On 3/12/2020, Gov. Tony Evers declared a “public health emergency” and on 3/13/2020 directed WI Department of Health Services to issue an order closing schools from 3/18/2020 at 5:00p.m. to 4/6/2020. The re-opening date is subject to change, pending further information. Although the current risk to the general Wisconsin population is still low, being prepared and informed is essential.
Most cases of COVID-19 are mild to moderate illness, however it does have the potential to cause serious illness and death. Those at a higher risk of developing serious illness include: older adults, individuals with underlying health conditions or chronic disease, and those with weakened immune systems. “It is important that these individuals take precautions to protect themselves including staying away from others who are ill, washing hands frequently, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, and avoiding non-essential travel,” says Meghan Williams, Health Officer, Langlade County Health Department.
As of 3/17/2020 at 12:01am, Gov. Tony Evers declared a moratorium on all public and private mass gatherings of 50 or more people. The order excludes critical services such as grocery stores, food pantries, childcare centers, pharmacies, libraries, and hospitals.
For any gathering organizers should consider the following:
-Potential for attendance from older adults, individuals with underlying health care conditions, or other vulnerable groups.
-Potential for attendance from individuals from a wide range of geographic areas across Wisconsin, the United States, or other countries.
-The setting of the event, particularly if it involves sustained interaction between attendees in close physical proximity.
As spring break approaches and many are making the decisions whether to continue with their plans or postpone them, there have been a lot of questions about travel. As of 3/16/2020 the Wisconsin Department of Health Services recommends the following:
– All travelers should avoid all non-essential travel to China, Iran, South Kores and most of Europe (Level 3 Travel Notice).
-Older adults and those with chronic conditions should avoid all non-essential travel.
-Cruise ship travel should be avoided worldwide, especially for those with underlying health conditions.
The guidelines for traveling may change as the situation changes. For the most up to date travel guidance visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html
-DHS recommends that all non-essential travel to any U.S. state where there is “sustained community transmission” be postponed or canceled. As the situation continues to evolve this may change. The most up to date list of states with “sustained community transmission” can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html
-For travelers returning to Wisconsin from U.S. states where the CDC has determined there is sustained community transmission, DHS recommends that those individuals self-quarantine at home for 14 days and monitor for symptoms of COVID-19.
If a person that has been exposed to COVID-19, starts to develop fever, cough and/or has trouble breathing, they should call their healthcare provider immediately. Avoid going directly to the clinic or hospital if possible. Call your provider; they will assist you.
“While there is not a vaccine for COVID-19, washing your hands, staying home when you are ill, staying away from others when they are ill, covering your cough or sneeze, and practicing social distancing can help prevent the spread of this disease”, says Williams.
Lastly, as the situation is continuously evolving, LCHD is reminding everyone to seek information from trusted sources such as Langlade County Health Department website or Facebook page, WI DHS website or Facebook page, and CDC website.