Wood County, Wisconsin

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Third COVID-19 Death in Wood County

Posted 8/31/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

08/31/20

CONTACT: Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer

(715) 421-8911

Third COVID-19 Death in Wood County

Wisconsin Rapids, WI – A person from Wood County has died of complications surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19), health officials confirmed today. The death is the third in Wood County associated with COVID-19. The individual had underlying health conditions, according to Leah Scheidt, Marathon County Deputy Medical Examiner.

“Our condolences go out to the family during this time of grieving,” said Susan Kunferman, Health Officer and Director for the Wood County Health Department. 

To date, 462 people in Wood County and over 75,603 people in Wisconsin have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and there have been 1,122 deaths in Wisconsin. 

Health officials across Wisconsin have seen a decline in cases in the last few weeks. Mask wearing and contact tracing efforts have been ramped up locally and statewide in an effort to battle the spread of the disease. Public health experts strongly encourage everyone to continue prevention measures such as wearing face coverings when around others and practicing physical distancing of at least six feet whenever possible. 

We do not plan to issue press releases for future deaths that result from COVID-19 infection. For further communications regarding county-level statistics, including case prevalence and mortality, please check the Wood County Health Department website and Facebook page. If you have questions or immediate needs related to COVID-19, call 2-1-1 or text COVID-19 to 211-211. 

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National Guard

Posted 8/19/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

08/19/20

CONTACT:  Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer

(715) 421-8911

National Guard Testing Results and Potential Exposure Information Available on Website

Wisconsin Rapids, WI – On Wednesday, August 12, the National Guard assisted the Wood County Health Department to provide community testing in Wisconsin Rapids for individuals experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and those who were close contacts of people who have tested positive. The health department extends their gratitude to the National Guard and other community partners, including Lincoln High School, who assisted in planning, implementing, and promoting the testing site.

Over the course of the day, 400 people were tested and results have been processed on all of these tests. Fourteen new positive cases were identified through the drive-through testing event. A total of 391 Wood County residents have tested positive since the pandemic began. Seventy-one Wood County cases are still active and are isolating at home; 318 individuals have recovered and two have deceased.

In an effort to keep the public up to date with potential community exposures to COVID-19, Wood County Health Department has created an exposure and investigation page on the Wood County website, https://www.co.wood.wi.us/Departments/Health/CovidExposures.aspx. The page includes all known places within Wood County that the Wood County Health Department knows have had lab-confirmed COVID-19 exposures in the last two weeks and was unable to identify all possible close contacts. This list is not inclusive of all Wood County exposures and contains only those in which all close contacts were not able to be identified.

Establishments remain on this list for 14 days after the last known positive case was present. Please note that an establishment appearing on this list does not mean they did something wrong nor does appearing on the list always mean that the establishment should be closed. Establishments have been contacted before their appearance on this list and guidance is provided about reducing future risk to staff and customers.

This list is about risk exposure that has already occurred. We cannot know where people who will become positive in the next week are going right now and won’t know until the positive case is identified and the disease investigation process is complete. 

Wood County has confirmed community spread. If you are in a public place, you should expect to come into contact with COVID-19. It remains important to protect yourself and others with frequent hand washing, physical distancing of at least 6 feet, wearing face coverings, and staying home if you have any symptoms, even if they are mild.

For general questions about COVID-19 please call 2-1-1. For up-to-date information please visit the Wood County Health Department website and Facebook. 

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COVID-19 Exposure in Wood County

Posted 8/13/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

08/13/2020

CONTACT: Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer

(715) 421-8911

COVID-19 Exposure in Wood County

Wisconsin Rapids, WI – The Wood County Health Department has received notification of exposures where people who have tested positive for COVID-19 visited during their infectious period. Patrons who were at Homestead Golf Course, playing the course or visiting the bar, during the following days and times may have been exposed to COVID-19. 

  • Saturday, August 1, 2020, 6:00-11:00 pm
  • Monday, August 3, 2020
  • Tuesday, August 4, 2020
  • Thursday, August 6, 2020, 2:30-6:00 pm
  • Saturday, August 8, 2020, 7:00 am - 3:00 pm

If you feel you may have been exposed, monitor yourself for symptoms and stay home as much as possible for 14 days after the exposure. If you must leave your home, please wear a face covering, maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from others, and practice good hand hygiene. Consider using pick-up or delivery services for groceries and other needs.  

“In Wood County, we are creative and resilient. We know people are at the heart of our economy, and we do better by solving problems together. We can protect each other’s health and well-being, and therefore our economy, with simple solutions like wearing a mask or practicing physical distancing of at least 6 feet. Please take these prevention measures seriously so we can get the spread of this virus under control and keep our businesses running,” stated Sue Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director and Health Officer. 

In an effort to increase access to testing locally, the National Guard assisted with community testing on August 12th. A total of 400 tests were done at the testing event in Wisconsin Rapids; the site closed early after supplies ran out. Results from the tests will be available in 3-5 days. 

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, stay home and quarantine, limit your contact with other people, and contact your medical provider to be tested or visit https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/testing for a list of community testing sites. While this virus predominantly affects our vulnerable population more acutely, no one is immune from developing serious, even life threatening complications.

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Second COVID-19 Death in Wood County

Posted 8/9/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

08/08/20

CONTACT: Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer

(715) 421-8911

Second COVID-19 Death in Wood County

Wisconsin Rapids, WI – A person has died in Wood County of complications surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19), health officials confirmed today. The death is the second in Wood County associated with COVID-19. The individual had underlying health conditions, according to Scott Brehm, Wood County Coroner.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of another one of our community members,” said Susan Kunferman, Health Officer and Director for the Wood County Health Department.  “Our thoughts are with the family and loved ones.”

To date, 288 people in Wood County and over 59,933 people in Wisconsin have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and there have been 996 deaths in Wisconsin. 

Health officials across Wisconsin have seen a surge in cases in the last several weeks. Testing and contact tracing efforts have been ramped up locally and statewide in an effort to battle the spread of the disease.

“We strongly encourage community members to wear face coverings when around others and to practice physical distancing of at least six feet whenever possible. In doing so, you’re not only helping protect yourself, but also your family, friends, neighbors, and fellow community members,” Kunferman said.

If you have questions or immediate needs related to COVID-19, call 2-1-1 or text COVID-19 to 211-211. For up-to-date information, please visit the Wood County Health Department website and Facebook page.

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Free COVID-19 Testing in Wood County with National Guard: Wisconsin Rapids

Posted 8/7/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

08/7/20

CONTACT: Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer

(715) 421-8911

Free COVID-19 Testing in Wood County with National Guard: Wisconsin Rapids

Wisconsin Rapids, WI – Wood County Health Department has requested assistance from the WI National Guard to once again scale up COVID-19 testing. The National Guard will be providing drive-through style COVID-19 nasal swab testing in Wisconsin Rapids on Wednesday, August 12th from 11am-7pm. 

The event will be held at the Lincoln High School located at 1801 16th St S, Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494. The event is open to the community and appointments are NOT necessary. Be prepared to provide a current address, county of residence, and phone number when you arrive for testing. Testing at this event will be free and is open to any Wisconsin resident experiencing symptoms. Anyone 5 years and older with any current symptom: fever, cough, loss of taste/smell, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, body aches, diarrhea, vomiting or nausea, chills, and/or muscle aches is eligible for testing. Testing is also open to individuals with known exposure to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19. In an effort to save time, there will be the ability to register online for testing on your phone after arriving. If you do not register online, you will still be tested. National Guard staff will register you.

Due to the unknown amount of interest, prepare for potential wait times. It is requested that modes of transportation (cars, horse drawn buggies, etc.) form a line while waiting for testing, and that those who want to be tested, stay in or on their mode of transportation at all times. People will remain in their modes of transportation for testing and no restroom facilities will be available onsite, please plan accordingly. Individuals arriving on bike or on foot will be directed to a walk-through line. 

The National Guard will be doing the testing. They will be in uniform and in full PPE (personal protective equipment including gowns, mask, gloves, etc.) during this event. Individuals will be contacted with results. There are two main goals for this event: 1) provide our communities with mass testing, and 2) give public health better insight into how widespread COVID-19 is in our communities. Following this event, we will continue to work closely with our local healthcare providers to continue building their capacity to meet patient demand.

“As we continue to see cases rise in Wood County, it is important people have access to testing and results in a timely manner. The National Guard is a great resource we are fortunate to be able to utilize and our department appreciates their assistance with increased testing capacity,” said Sue Kunferman, Wood County Health Officer/Director.  “We need to focus on protecting our family, friends and community. Wearing a mask and physical distancing has and will continue to be an effective strategy at minimizing the spread of disease.” 

Following testing, people should return straight home and follow the instructions given at the testing site. Test results will be provided via phone by the National Guard or your local health department in a timely manner. If you have questions or immediate needs related to COVID-19, call 2-1-1 or text COVID-19 to 211211. For up-to-date information, please visit the Wood County Health Department website and Facebook page.

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