WHAT MIGHT THE NEW NORMAL (WITH COVID-19 AMONG US) LOOK LIKE?
FROM THE SHAWANO-MENOMINEE COUNTIES HEALTH DEPARTMENT
Menominee, Shawano — COVID-19 has been within our counties for the last few months and unfortunately it will continue to be with us for a while. We know that many parts of society are starting to reopen. We get many questions about how to go forward safely and so we wanted to bring you some information to help address these questions.
The Shawano-Menominee Counties Health Department and other tribal and local health departments continue to do contact tracing. Contact tracing helps to limit the spread of an illness such as COVID-19 by stopping individuals that have the illness from being out in the general community. Contact tracing also helps to find individuals who may be at highest risk for developing the illness due to close exposure to someone who has it. Our local and tribal health department staff work very hard to do contact tracing and protect the community from outbreaks. We greatly appreciate all of your cooperation with isolation and quarantine when it is necessary.
Because COVID-19 knows no boundaries, we continue to work with other local and tribal health departments and the state to address the issue of COVID-19. We work together to build our information base and statistics to help you make some of those important local decisions.
Below are some answers to frequently asked questions at this time:
What are the recommendations for large GATHERINGS at this time?
– At this time, we urge you not to have any large gatherings.
– Gatherings are the fastest way to spread illness and many COVID-19 and other disease outbreaks are linked to large gatherings.
– If gatherings must be held, it is strongly recommended that physical distancing and other precautions (such as use of cloth/fabric face coverings and handwashing) be used.
What are the recommendations related to TRAVEL at this time?
– Currently, it is still advised that any travel to high risk areas or travel out of state be followed by 14 days of quarantine after your return.
– High risk areas change on a daily basis, so be mindful of the guidelines that are in place in the location where you are coming from and in the location where you are going. There are many online resources to keep your eye on case rates of your destination.
– Keep in mind, risk is based on activities that are done when you travel. If you maintain physical distancing, mask use, and other hygiene recommendations, you may be at a lower risk. Your risk increases if you attend a large gathering, use public transportation, or are not able to maintain physical distancing and other recommendations.
What happens if a BUSINESS is affected by COVID-19?
– If a business is affected by COVID-19, the health department may work with the business to determine if any staff may need quarantine or isolation.
– The health department will continue to monitor the number of cases associated with the business.
– The health department may also assist the business with cleaning recommendations, communication to staff or public messaging, and any other general public health recommendations.
– Please follow Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation guidelines for reopening if you have questions about how to keep your staff and your customers safe as you reopen.
What happens if a LONG TERM CARE FACILITY (such as a nursing home) is affected by COVID-19?
– If a long term care facility is affected by COVID-19, the health department will work with the facility to determine which staff and residents may need quarantine or isolation.
– The health department may help the facility coordinate testing for residents and staff.
– The health department will continue to work with the facility to monitor additional cases and to limit spread within the facility as much as possible.
– Residents of long term care facilities are some of the highest risk individuals. It is important to avoid visiting long term care facilities at this time. It is best to be in communication with the facility if a serious situation arises or if you have questions about visiting with loved ones at the facility.
What do I do if I am concerned I have been exposed to COVID-19?
– Going forward, we must always monitor ourselves for any COVID-19 symptoms. A current list of COVID-19 symptoms can be found at this link.
– If you experience symptoms after you feel you may have been exposed to COVID-19, it is important to stay home and call your health care provider to determine the next steps and see if you should be tested.
– The health department may be in touch with you if you were in close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 (or if you are a household member) when they may have been infectious. If you are in quarantine by the health department, someone will regularly check with you to see if you are experiencing symptoms.
Continue to follow these recommendations that are still very important to protect yourselves, your families, and the community:
– Stay home if you are sick.
– Follow quarantine and isolation guidelines if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or if you are a close contact or household contact of someone with COVID-19.
– Stay home if you are at high risk for complications from the virus and/or if you are concerned about catching the virus.
– Cover your coughs and sneezes.
– Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
– Avoid touching your face.
– Keep 6 feet of distance from others.
– Wear a cloth/fabric face covering when you have to go out to publicplaces.
– Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
Shawano-Menominee Counties Health Department is monitoring the statewide, regional, and local COVID-19 situation. We hope to bring you some more views of local metrics soon. Until then, feel free to check out our Shawano-Menominee Counties Health Department websites and the Department of Health Services website that has information broken down by County. Links to these sites are below.
Local COVID-19 Resources
Stay up to date with Shawano County case counts:
Stay up to date with Menominee County case counts:
Or follow Shawano-Menominee Counties Health Department on Facebook:
Other COVID-19 Resources