Wood County, Wisconsin

Official Website

User Icon Login

Health Department Health Alerts

May 29, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 6/2/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

June 1, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 6/2/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

May 28, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 5/29/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

May 27, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 5/28/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

May 26, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 5/27/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

May 22, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 5/26/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

May 21, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 5/22/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

May 20, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 5/21/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

May 18, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 5/21/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

May 19, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 5/20/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

May 15, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 5/15/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

May 14, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 5/14/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

May 13, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 5/13/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

May 12, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 5/12/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

May 11, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 5/11/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

With assistance from the National Guard, 267 people were tested for COVID-19 last Friday and Saturday in Wisconsin Rapids. One new positive case was identified in Wood County and three positive cases identified in neighboring counties through the Wisconsin Rapids drive-through testing. In addition to the one Wood County positive identified through National Guard testing, another positive test was identified through a local health system. A total of 985 Wood County residents have now been tested for COVID-19, with four of those tests resulting positive. One of the four positive cases is currently symptomatic and isolated at home. Two have recovered and one remains asymptomatic. The asymptomatic patient is also isolating at home and monitoring for symptoms.

Gov. Tony Evers announced Emergency Order #36 which reduces restrictions on some businesses, allowing some retail businesses to open with restrictions. Visit our website to read the full press release.

May 1, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 5/9/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

It's been a long haul, practicing physical distancing and strong prevention measures, keep up the good work.

May 9, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 5/9/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

We are seeing overall testing numbers increase and have started getting results from our testing yesterday with the National Guard.

May 4, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 5/8/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

May 7, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 5/7/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

April 30, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 5/1/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

Enjoy the sunshine today! Per the Safer at Home Order, you are encouraged to take a walk, go for a bike ride, a hike, enjoy the outdoors and this beautiful day.

April 29, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 4/29/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

The prevention measures we have been taking are working, and it's super important to keep them up.

April 27, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 4/27/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

Getting outside is important. Head out by yourself, or grab someone from your household and enjoy the beautiful spring weather.

April 24, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 4/24/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

The new Safer at Home went into effect effect today at 8am. This order contains new measures to ensure safety and support the progress made so far, and it also loosens some restrictions. 

April 23, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 4/23/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

Safer at Home has saved lives, protected health care workers and critical employees, and prevented hospitals from being overrun. According to the Associated Press, a recent survey found Americans remain overwhelmingly in favor of stay-at-home orders and other efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

April 22, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 4/22/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

There’s no right or wrong way to feel in response to a traumatic event. Learn ways to better manage what you’re feeling and recognize when you may need the support of a mental health or medical professional at www.resilient.wisconsin.gov.

April 21, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 4/21/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

Do you have questions about COVID-19? We are working hard to keep our website and social media up to date with information. See our website for up-to-date information. https://www.co.wood.wi.us/Departments/Health/Covid.aspx

April 20, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 4/20/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

Please stay home as much as possible in order to prevent this virus from spreading further. Limit the amount of time you spend making essential trips to the grocery store or to pick up medications. Make essential trips no more than once a week.

April 17, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 4/17/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

Have a fantastic weekend! Get outside and enjoy the warmer weather tomorrow!!

April 16, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 4/16/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

As the weather starts to warm up again, a reminder that you can still go outside for things like walks or bike rides if you're alone or with your household members.

April 15, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 4/15/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

Tips for staying safe:

  • Report any symptoms
  • Wash your hands
  • Take care of your body
  • Don't spread germs
  • Stay 6 feet from others
  • Wear a cloth face covering

April 14, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 4/14/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

Take some time for yourself today: start a new book, try a new healthy recipe, get some exercise, take a bath… escape from COVID news and do something for YOU.

April 13, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 4/13/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

Thank you to all the critical infrastructure workers; these employees or contractors are involved in public health and safety as well as community wellbeing and have a responsibility during the outbreak to continue operations, potentially putting their lives in danger through contracting COVID-19. 

April 12, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 4/12/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

Remember there are so many ways to keep in touch--video conference, call, or send a homemade card in the mail.

Keep your loved ones safe and healthy. Stay home.

April 11, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 4/11/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

Today we are saddened by the news of our neighbor county, Marathon, and their first COVID-19 death. COVID-19 is a serious disease and can be fatal. Please do not participate in gatherings of 10 or more people and continue to practice physical distancing.

April 10, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 4/10/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

Thank you for all the ways you are changing your life to keep our communities safe. We are encouraged by the data we’re seeing, but this is far from over.

April 9 , 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 4/9/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

Updated COVID-19 numbers for Wood County and Wisconsin. Have a safe and happy holiday weekend. 

April 8 , 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 4/8/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

Staying home keeps you safe, and helps our healthcare systems. By staying home and away from other people, you protect those who are most vulnerable and those who work to provide our essential needs like healthcare, food, and infrastructure. 

April 7 , 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 4/7/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

There are many factors that go into accurate reporting. With several labs and healthcare systems reporting to us, along with our limited capacity, we are unable to provide an accurate number of pending tests on a daily basis. Please be patient as we provide as much information as possible. We will only post information we know to be accurate.

April 6 , 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 4/6/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

Safer at home is working; we are seeing similar numbers of cases each day and not huge spikes in numbers. Keep up the great work!

April 5, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 4/5/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

April 4, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 4/4/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

Get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend! Nature can have positive effects on our mental health. Working in your yard, listening to the birds, taking a walk, or going for a bike ride is okay. Limit outdoor activities to you and your household and please do not gather with neighbors and friends.

April 3, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 4/3/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

By staying home and away from other people, you protect the people you love, those who are most at risk, and those who work to provide our essential needs like healthcare, food, and utilities.

April 2, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 4/2/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

Community Spread and Enforcement of Safer at Home Order

Posted 4/2/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

04/02/20

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

(715) 421-8911

Community Spread and Enforcing Safer at Home

Wisconsin Rapids, WI – Although Wood County continues to hold steady at two confirmed COVID-19 cases, it can be assumed there is community spread. There are not enough resources to do widespread testing for the virus; there are likely unidentified positive cases. The term community spread means a person’s disease cannot be traced to a specific individual or source. “If you leave your house and go into a public place, assume you will come into contact with someone carrying the virus,” said Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director and Health Officer. “Staying home is the only way we can slow the spread of the virus, we all have to make big sacrifices for a little while; we will get through this.”

Governor Evers’ Safer at Home order is in place to protect the public. Only essential businesses may remain open. Travel must be restricted to travel to the essential business where you work or for an essential reason. Essential reasons include shopping for food (including pet food), medical supplies, prescriptions and other necessities. Getting essentials should be happening once per week, by one person in your household. If you are a single-parent household, do your best to plan ahead to limit the trips you must take with your children.

Failure to abide by the Governor’s order is a criminal offense under §252.25 of the Wisconsin Statutes. Law enforcement will investigate any observed or reported violations of the order. In cases where persons do not comply with the order, law enforcement has the option of issuing a citation under a Wood County ordinance, which carries a forfeiture of $200.50. For serious or continued violations, a criminal arrest can be made under the above state statute.

”The health and the safety of our community is our highest priority," Wood County Sheriff Shawn Becker stated. “To keep our community safe you need to follow the Safer at Home order and limit your outings. As we continue to monitor and get calls and emails about non-essential activities happening in Wood County, we will be placing more emphasis on enforcement in order to protect people during this serious health crisis. Please obey this order; it will save lives.”

“According to projections, Wisconsin will reach its peak death rate around April 26 with 25 deaths per day,” said Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director and Health Officer. “Case numbers and deaths will continue to rise and orders are meant to be followed. We are working closely with local law enforcement to determine enforcement plans. Do your part and stay home.”

Remember to continue to check-in with those most vulnerable in our communities, especially anyone who may be isolated during this time. Call, email, video chat, or send a letter. 

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.

April 1, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 4/1/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

Surrounding counties are seeing increased numbers of COVID-19 cases. Let's not follow their lead. Stay home. Leave only for essentials. Although we have only two confirmed cases, we can assume there is community spread.

March 31, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 3/31/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

Though we are holding steady here in Wood County, we have a long road ahead of us. Please stay home. Leave only for essential tasks. Try to limit essential tasks to one day per week.

March 30, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 3/30/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

Wood County Health Department and Wisconsin Department of Health Services are not able to report numbers of tests pending. Stay home, stay safe. Limit essential activity travel to one time per week.

March 29, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 3/29/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

Take time every day to call or video chat friends and family to keep important social connections and help each other through this difficult time!

March 28, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 3/28/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

The best way to stay safe is to stay home. You can still go outside; go for a bike ride, walk your dog, and play in the yard--just do so safely!

Stay Safe

Posted 3/27/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

03/27/20

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

(715) 421-8911

Stay Safe

Wisconsin Rapids, WI – As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, the goal remains to protect human life and keep our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed. With case numbers and death counts rising in Wisconsin, and to preserve testing supplies for those who need them most, it is critical we continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) guidelines for testing. 

Not everyone can be tested for COVID-19. Priority is given to hospitalized individuals, residents of long-term care facilities and other congregate settings, health care workers, and other essential services such as first responders, law enforcement, and other public safety roles. Individuals who are not symptomatic should not be tested. As always, testing is at the discretion of the medical provider.

There is simply not enough resources or the capacity to test everyone. This means you need to stay home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Individuals who feel well or only mildly ill can still spread the virus. Older adults and those with underlying health conditions are the most vulnerable to the virus and seemingly healthy individuals could be asymptomatic and spread the virus to them – stay home. The only tool to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and protect the capacity of our healthcare system is physical separation from one another.  

Essential businesses must comply with the guidance and directives for maintaining a clean and safe work environment and maintain social distance to the extent possible. All employers and employees need to consider how best to decrease the spread of the virus and lower the impact of COVID-19 in their workplace. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. See the CDC COVID-19 Disinfection Guidance.

Check in on those members of our community, particularly anyone who may be isolated during this time. Call, email, or talk through the door. Make sure to limit face-to-face interactions with anyone particularly vulnerable to coronavirus.

If you have questions or immediate needs related to COVID-19, you can: 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.

 

March 27, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 3/27/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

Individuals who feel well or only mildly ill can still spread the virus. Older adults and those with underlying health conditions are the most vulnerable to the virus and seemingly healthy individuals could be asymptomatic and spread the virus to them – stay home.

COVID-19 Case Numbers Increase

Posted 3/26/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

03/26/20

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

(715) 421-8911

COVID-19 Case Numbers Increase

Wisconsin Rapids, WI – Today the Wood County Health Department received notification of a second individual diagnosed with COVID-19. The individual is in their 20’s and resides in South Wood County. This individual had traveled outside of the United States. They followed recommendations for self-isolation while awaiting test results and continue to remain isolated at home. 

Please respect the privacy of persons being testing for COVID-19. In the United States, HIPAA refers to a law designed to provide privacy standards to protect patients' medical records and other health information provided to health plans, healthcare providers, and health departments. Details about COVID-19 cases are confidential.

In spite of restrictions on groups, the number of people infected with COVID-19 continues to grow. Physical distancing—the practice of keeping at least 6 feet apart from others and avoiding direct physical contact—is proving the only effective means of slowing the rate of infection. Staying home when it is not essential to leave, is extremely important. Please be smart- do not leave your home when it is not necessary.

During the Safer at Home order it is important to remember both employees and employers have rights. The U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, provides information on common issues employers and employees are facing due to COVID-19.  For more information visit https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act will help American businesses with fewer than 500 employees by giving funds to provide employees with paid leave, either for the employee’s own health needs or to care for family members. The legislation will ensure that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the virus while at the same time reimbursing businesses. 

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. 

March 26, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 3/26/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

COVID-19 case numbers increase in Wood County.

March 25, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 3/25/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

Stay home as much as possible. See Gov. Evers' Safer at Home order.

Safer at Home

Posted 3/24/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

03/24/20

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

(715) 421-8911

                                                 SAFER AT HOME

Wisconsin Rapids, WI -- Today Governor Evers’ announced a Safer at Home order effective at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 25. Individuals in the State of Wisconsin are ordered to stay at home or at their place of residence, unless providing essential services or completing essential tasks. All non-essential businesses must close. Please stay home if you can, you are safer at home. 

Under the Safer at Home order, Wisconsin residents are able to complete essential tasks including: 

  • Perform tasks essential to maintain health and safety, such as obtaining medicine or seeing a doctor;
  • Get necessary services or supplies for themselves or their family or household members, such as getting food and supplies, pet food and supplies necessary for staying at home;
  • Care for a family member in another household; and
  • Care for older adults, minors, dependents, people with disabilities or other vulnerable persons.

Businesses allowed to operate under the Safer at Home order include: 

  • Health care operations, including home health workers;
  • Critical infrastructure;
  • Businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise vulnerable individuals;
  • Fresh and non-perishable food retailers, including convenience stores, grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and food banks;
  • Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food and goods directly to residences;
  • Pharmacies, health care supply stores and health care facilities;
  • Child care facilities, with some limitations; 
  • Gas stations and auto repair facilities;
  • Banks;
  • Laundry businesses, dry cleaners and services necessary for maintaining the safety, sanitation and essential operation of a residence, including garbage collection;
  • Hardware stores, plumbers, and electricians;
  • Educational institutions, for the purposes of facilitating distance learning;
  • Roles required for any business to maintain minimum basic operations, which includes security, and payroll; and  
  • Law and safety, and essential government functions will continue under the recommended action.

For a full list of essential businesses or if you are unsure if your business qualifies as essential, go to wedc.org/essentialbusiness for more information; Gov. Evers’ full order is available here . Non-essential

businesses must close or they may be subject to fines or imprisonment. Individuals who leave their home to attend to essential business or tasks outlined above do not need to carry documentation of their destination at this time.  

Public health officials are using the term social or physical distancing. At this time it is the only effective means of slowing the rate of infection.  Limit your contacts overall; no dinner parties, no sleep overs, no kids at the playgrounds, no gathering; people need to be in contact with as few people as possible. 

If you have been contacted by your local public health department or told by a physician to stay in isolation, you need to stay isolated. If you have returned from an area with known community spread of the virus, you should self-quarantine for 14 days. Failing to stay in isolation can result in $10,000 fine or imprisonment. These measures would be drastic; ideally, these measures are followed voluntarily. Enforcement is not something local officials want to have to do. 

Everyone has a role in working together to prepare for what is ahead of us. Take some time and think about how you and your friends and family are handling the implications of the pandemic. Connect with loved ones by phone or video chat. Do not hesitate to ask for help if you are feeling overwhelmed. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text 66747 to speak or text with a trained crisis specialist. 

Stay home, stay well.  

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. 

 

March 24, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 3/24/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

The only effective means of slowing the rate of infection at this time is social or physical distancing.

REQUEST FOR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT DONATIONS

Posted 3/23/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

03/23/20

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

(715) 421-8911

  REQUEST FOR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT DONATIONS

Wisconsin Rapids, WI -- Wood County public health officials are requesting donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) to supplement existing supplies in the event that there is a surge of patients. During this unprecedented public health emergency, stocks of PPE for healthcare providers are essential, according to Sue Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer. Healthcare personnel working in our hospitals and clinics need PPE when caring for patients. Adhering to infection prevention and control practices prevents the further spread of coronavirus. 

The Wood County Health Department is encouraging all outpatient surgical and procedural centers, ambulatory surgery centers, dental providers, veterinarians, schools, construction companies, nail/hair salons, and others to donate their unused PPE that is not immediately needed to assist healthcare providers, healthcare facilities, and first responders.

PPE items requested include N95 respirators, surgical masks, gowns, gloves, face shields, and safety glasses/goggles.

Many offers of help from the community have been received, including the sewing of masks. These offers are greatly appreciated. Regarding masks, the health department asks that you contact the department before making them as current guidelines, including patterns and appropriate materials, are being determined.  

Donations can be made to the Wood County Health Department and will be distributed where needed. To make arrangements for a donation, call the Wood County Health Department, 715-421-8911. Please do not drop them off at the department.

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. 

March 23, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 3/23/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

March 22, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 3/22/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

The best way to protect yourself, your family, and your community is to stay home.

March 21, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 3/21/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

New COVID-19 Information

Posted 3/20/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

03/20/20

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

(715) 421-8911

NEW COVID-19 INFORMATION

Wisconsin Rapids, WI -- With limited testing materials available nationwide, Gov. Evers encourages those who are asymptomatic or experiencing mild symptoms to stay home and self-isolate. This will help conserve testing materials for those who are severely ill and require hospitalization or are considered high-risk individuals. This also helps reduce exposure to the virus for our healthcare professionals.

There have been delays in receiving test results. Individuals should not assume they are negative until they hear results from their provider.

As of 5:00pm Friday March, 20th, 2020, Gov. Evers has prohibited public and private mass gatherings. “Mass gathering” means any planned or spontaneous, public or private event or convening that will bring together or is likely to bring together 10 or more people in a single room or single confined or enclosed space, whether inside or outside, at the same time. 

Hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, day spas, tattoo parlors, body art establishments, and tanning facilities have been ordered to close as of 5:00pm today. New guidance has been released strongly recommending the postponing of elective and non-urgent dental care treatment until the public health emergency has passed. 

Regionally, Marathon County has now confirmed one case of COVID-19 in a person with recent travel within the United States. Wood County still has only one positive case. In Wisconsin, out of 3,455 tests, 206 have come back positive. In Wisconsin, there are now three confirmed deaths, a male in his 50s from Fond Du Lac County, a male in his 90s from Ozaukee County, a male in his 60s from Milwaukee County. 

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. 

March 20, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 3/20/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

March 19, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 3/19/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

March 18, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 3/19/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

Child Care Centers to Scale Back Due to Coronavirus

Posted 3/18/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

03/18/20

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

(715) 421-8911

CHILD CARE CENTERS TO SCALE BACK DUE TO CORONAVIRUS

Wisconsin Rapids, WI -- Today, Gov. Tony Evers directed the Department of Health Services (DHS) to restrict the size of all child care settings. Centers may not operate with more than 10 staff present at a time and may not operate with more than 50 children present at a time. 

The restriction on size goes into effect at 8 a.m. on Thursday, March 19, 2020. The restrictions will remain in effect for the duration of the public health emergency. “Child care is an essential service for many of the folks working on the front lines to provide healthcare and vital services to our communities during the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Gov. Evers. “This is another step forward to ensure that service continues, while protecting our child care providers who are going above and beyond their regular duties to support our families, communities, and state.” 

Providers are being asked to prioritize families of healthcare and essential service providers, using good faith to determine who those families are. Those using care who can keep their children at home are being asked to do so. The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) and DHS have updated guidance for providers to implement this emergency order. 

“If you have capacity to care for kids whose parents are on the front line of COVID-19 response, especially health care providers, please consider helping your neighbors during this difficult time,” said Sue Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer. 

If you need assistance finding childcare, contact Childcaring at 800-628-8534.

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

Testing and Gatherings Update for Coronavirus

Posted 3/18/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

03/18/20

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

(715) 421-8911

TESTING AND GATHERINGS - CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

Wisconsin Rapids, WI -- Health Officials from Wood County continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic. Yesterday, Gov. Tony Evers issued an order to close Wisconsin bars and restaurants and ban gatherings of 10 or more people until further notice. Bars and restaurants may continue to provide takeout and delivery food services. Critical services - like grocery stores, food pantries, child care centers, pharmacies and hospitals - are exempt from the order and are encouraged to remain open. 

Community transmission has been identified in Wisconsin. At this time, Dane, Kenosha, and Milwaukee Counties have community spread. Numbers in Wood County remain unchanged with one positive. In Wisconsin, out of 1,577 tests, 106 have come back positive. Wisconsin has not had any deaths. The Wood County Health Department has completed its investigation of the positive COVID-19 case and all appropriate contacts have been identified and follow-up with affected Wood County residents has been completed.  

Due to testing limitations, new guidelines have been issued for those eligible for testing. Individuals who are not experiencing symptoms should not be tested. Testing will be prioritized for hospitalized individuals and health care workers with symptoms of COVID-19. With these testing limitations, it is more important than ever to remain home when sick. If you are symptomatic and feel you may be eligible for testing, please call the clinic or hospital.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you think you may have COVID-19, you should call the clinic or hospital before going

  • Marshfield Clinic Health System COVID-19 Helpline: 877-998-0880, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week 
  • Aspirus COVID-19 Call Center: 844-568-0701, Mon-Fri 7am-7pm, Sat/Sun 8am-5pm

Please do not call 9-1-1; this should be reserved for those needing critical emergency attention.

“Wood County Health Department is keeping track of this pandemic,” said Sue Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer. “We are working closely with federal, state, and local partners to be prepared for any changes to the situation here and to make sure information is shared with the public.” The county also continues to have cases of influenza and RSV at this time.

Continue to avoid groups and maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet when possible. It is important to remain calm and consider your neighbors and their needs; there is no need to hoard food and supplies. 

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 page. 

March 17, 2020 Update Wood County COVID-19

Posted 3/17/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

New Guidance Regarding Coronavirus

Posted 3/16/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

03/16/20

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

Officer

(715) 421-8911

NEW GUIDANCE REGARDING CORONAVIRUS

Wisconsin Rapids, WI -- The Wood County patient diagnosed with COVID-19 remains in isolation at home. Health officials are contacting individuals who may have had close contact with the patient. There are no other positive cases in Wood County at this time.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you think you may have COVID-19, you should call the clinic or hospital before going

  • Marshfield Clinic Health System COVID-19 Helpline: 877-998-0880, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week 
  • Aspirus COVID-19 Call Center: 844-568-0701, Mon-Fri 7am-7pm, Sat/Sun 8am-5pm 

Please do not call 9-1-1; this should be reserved for those needing critical emergency attention.                                                                     

Gov. Tony Evers directed the Department of Health Services to ban gatherings of 50 people or more to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. Events of this size should be cancelled or postponed. Critical services - like grocery stores, food pantries, child care centers, pharmacies and hospitals - are exempt from the order and are encouraged to remain open. 

Events of any size should only be continued if they can be carried out with adherence to guidelines for protecting vulnerable populations, hand hygiene, and social distancing.  When feasible, organizers should modify events to be virtual.

People should avoid all non-essential travel and stay home if they are sick. There is currently no known community spread in Wood County. Recommendations may change when community spread occurs.

The Wood County Health Department will continue to offer essential public health services. Public health clinics including immunization, TB testing, and child passenger safety and non-essential home visits will be cancelled until further notice.

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. 

Coronavirus Information (Spanish)

Posted 3/16/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

Confirmed Case Coronavirus

Posted 3/15/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

03/15/20

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

(715) 421-8911

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS CASE CONFIRMED

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, WI —Wisconsin health officials confirmed that a person in Wood County tested positive for novel coronavirus after recently returning from a cruise. The patient is doing well, isolated at home. Health officials are investigating how the person may have become infected, and will be contacting individuals who may have had close contact with the patient. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you think you may have COVID-19, you should call the clinic or hospital before going. Please do not call 9-1-1; this should be reserved for those needing critical emergency attention. 

“The best thing people can do is practice every day good health habits – cover your coughs and sneezes by coughing into your upper sleeve, wash your hands often, and stay home if you’re sick. In addition, people should avoid all non-essential travel and contact with large groups, greater than 25-50.” says Sue Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer.

Individuals should practice everyday prevention measures like: 

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Carry and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if hand washing is not an option.
  • Do not touch your face (eyes, mouth, nose).
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Do not share eating utensils, water bottles, beverage containers or other personal items.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid close contact (6 feet or less) with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. If you develop a cough, fever, or shortness of breath or other respiratory symptoms after traveling, stay home and contact your healthcare provider for instructions before going to a clinic.

For more information about novel coronavirus, contact the Wood County Health Department, 715-421-8911.

Mass Gathering Guidance

Posted 3/14/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

The Department of Health Services (DHS) recommends that all non-essential gatherings of 250 people or more be cancelled or postponed statewide. Event organizers of gatherings less than 250 attendees should exercise caution in order to protect their communities. 

Coronavirus Update

Posted 3/13/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03/13/20
CONTACT: Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer
(715) 421-8911
CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

Wisconsin Rapids, WI -- Officials from the Wood County Health Department, along with local health care systems, schools, emergency medical services, and other partners, have been in contact to prepare for continued response to the growing COVID-19 pandemic. The World Health Organization formally declared the coronavirus a pandemic Wednesday. On Thursday, March 12, 2020, Gov. Evers declared a public health emergency in the state of Wisconsin.

A new strain of coronavirus causes the disease COVID-19. Symptoms include cough, fever, and shortness of breath. In severe cases, pneumonia can develop. Those most at risk include the elderly, pregnant women, people with heart or lung disease, as well as anyone at greater risk of infection. For most, the virus is mild, presenting as a common cold.

Anyone who thinks they may have COVID-19 or has flu-like symptoms should call the clinic or hospital before going in for a diagnosis. Please do not call 9-1-1; this should be reserved for those needing critical emergency attention.

Currently there are pending tests, but no positive cases in Wood County. Wisconsin continues to see a rise in cases. There are a total of 1,629 cases in the United States, with 41 deaths. Wisconsin has not had any deaths. Washington, California and New York have sustained community transmission at this time.

Sue Kunferman, Wood County Health Officer, said parents should prepare for possible school closures. Additionally, many businesses are staying up to date on the situation and may be allowing employees to work from home as possible.

Community spread of the virus is likely. Please check Wood County Health Department’s social media and website for updates on recommendations. Health officials acknowledge that recommendations on how to prevent the spread of the illness may change.

People should be prepared for the possibility of further spread of COVID-19 in the community. State and local public health officials will consider community interventions such as social distancing; replacing in-person meetings with telework when possible; modifying, postponing, or canceling mass gatherings; implementing restrictions on visitors to residential treatment and living facilities; and closures of schools and childcare settings. Workplaces are encouraged to review sick leave policies.

The Department of Health Services website offers guidance for schools and universities, employers, community events/mass gatherings, and healthcare providers (DHS website). The Wood County Health Department supports the Department of Health’s recommendation of cancelling or postponing non-essential gatherings of more than 250 people. Although it is not mandatory at this time, it is highly recommended.

If you are considering international travel check the CDC website for countries with travel restrictions. For domestic travel, consider not traveling to places with community transmission. The CDC website maintains an up-to-date listing of states with community transmission. It is required that individuals traveling to areas with community spread self-quarantine and monitor for 14 days after visiting these places. Non-essential travel is not recommended.

Currently a vaccine or drug is not available for COVID-19. The focus is on containment and minimizing exposure. Individuals should practice everyday prevention measures like:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Carry and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if hand washing is not an option.
  • Do not touch your face (eyes, mouth, nose).
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Do not share eating utensils, water bottles, beverage containers or other personal items.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid close contact (6 feet or less) with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. If you develop a cough, fever, or shortness of breath or other respiratory symptoms after traveling, stay home and contact your healthcare provider for instructions before going to a clinic.

Wood County Public Health recommends anyone over 60-years-old, those with preexisting conditions, and pregnant women avoid crowds and non-essential travel.

More information can be found on the Department of Health’s website at https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/disease/covid-19.htm 

For additional questions, call the Wood County Health Department at 715-421-8911.

Attachment 

Coronavirus

Posted 3/12/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

There is a novel type of coronavirus (COVID-19) that was first found in China. It has spread to over 100 countries, and the first case was confirmed in the US in Washington on January 21, 2020. There are over a hundred thousand cases worldwide and thousands of deaths. The World Health Organization declared it a pandemic on March 11, 2020. Governor Evers declared this a Public Health Emergency in Wisconsin on March 12, 2020.

Officials from the Wood County Health Department, along with local health care systems, schools, emergency medical services, and other partners, have been in contact to prepare for continued response to the growing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Currently a vaccine or drug is not available for COVID-19. Community-based interventions such as school dismissals, event cancellations, social distancing, and creating employee plans to work remotely can help slow the spread of COVID-19. Schools, employers, and others should be planning for these potential interventions. Department of Health Services website offers guidance for schools & universities, employers, community events/mass gatherings, and for providers (DHS website)

Individuals should practice everyday prevention measures like: 

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Carry and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if hand washing is not an option.
  • Do not touch your face (eyes, mouth, nose) ever.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Do not share eating utensils, water bottles, beverage containers or other personal items.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid close contact (6 feet or less) with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you develop a cough, fever, or shortness of breath or other respiratory symptoms after traveling, stay home and contact your healthcare provider for instructions before going to a clinic.

Visit the CDC website for information about:

Health Alert: 2019 Novel Coronavirus (n-CoV)

Posted 2/4/2020 by velliott@co.wood.wi.us

Please review the following document for information about 2019 Novel Coronavirus (n-CoV).

WISCONSIN HEALTH OFFICIALS FIND E. COLI 0157 IN BAGGED ROMAINE SALAD FROM SALINAS VALLEY, CALIFORNIA

Posted 12/11/2019 by velliott@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 10, 2019
CONTACT:
Jennifer Miller, 608-266-1683
Elizabeth Goodsitt, 608-266-1683

Consumers should avoid eating any products with romaine lettuce from that region

As part of the ongoing investigation into the multistate outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coli O157) infections, Wisconsin health and food safety officials have found E. coli O157:H7 bacteria in an unopened bag of pre-washed chopped romaine collected from an ill person’s home. Additional laboratory testing is pending to determine if the E. coli O157 found in the pre-washed chopped romaine matches the strain causing the multi-state outbreak linked to romaine lettuce.

https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/news/releases/121019a.htm

VAPE ALERT

Posted 9/18/2019 by velliott@co.wood.wi.us

If you or someone you know vapes, please read this message
from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

STATE HEALTH OFFICIALS WARN THE FLU SEASON IS FAR FROM OVER

Posted 3/18/2019 by velliott@co.wood.wi.us
For Immediate Release March 15, 2019
Contact: Jennifer Miller/Elizabeth Goodsitt 608-266-1683

Stronger H3 virus making the rounds throughout the state

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) expects this to be one of the longest flu seasons in recent memory with the powerful influenza A/H3 virus currently affecting young and old alike.

“The average peak for flu activity is the first week of February, but we expect this season to extend at least through the end of March, if not beyond.” said DHS Influenza Coordinator Thomas Haupt.

The A/H3 type of the virus is more powerful than the A/H1 virus that circulated earlier in the flu season.



KITTEN TESTED POSITIVE FOR RABIES

Posted 9/22/2017 by velliott@co.wood.wi.us
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 21, 2017 Contact: Sue Kunferman, Health Officer Environmental Health Supervisor, Wood County Health Department, 715-213-8493

A stray kitten found in the 2400 block of Ranger Road in Wisconsin Rapids tested positive for rabies. The kitten was found on September 1st. Anyone who has information regarding a mother cat with a litter of kittens seen in this area around this date please call the Wood County Health Department at 715-421-8911.

FIRST HUMAN CASE OF WEST NILE VIRUS REPORTED IN WOOD COUNTY

Posted 9/15/2017 by velliott@co.wood.wi.us
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 15, 2017 CONTACT: Wood County Health Department, Nancy Eggleston, 715-421-8911

Wisconsin state and local health officials are advising residents to continue to protect themselves against mosquito bites as they announce this year’s first confirmed human case of West Nile virus (WNV) in a resident of Wood County.

INCREASE IN CIRCULATING ENTEROVIRUSES CAUSING VIRAL MENINGITIS

Posted 9/1/2017 by velliott@co.wood.wi.us
Although viral meningitis is not a reportable disease in Wisconsin, the Wood County Health Department has been receiving phone calls and inquiries regarding an increase in the number of cases of viral meningitis in the community. For more information about viral meningitis in Wood County please see the Press Release link below.

WOOD COUNTY BIRD TESTS POSITIVE FOR WEST NILE VIRUS

Posted 7/19/2017 by velliott@co.wood.wi.us
The Wood County Health Department reports a dead crow found in Wood County in early July has tested positive for West Nile virus. This is the first bird that tested positive for West Nile virus in Wood County since surveillance for the mosquito-transmitted virus began May 1. For more information about West Nile virus in Wood County please see the Press Release link below.

Pertussis Health Alert

Posted 7/18/2017 by velliott@co.wood.wi.us
Please review the following document for information about Pertussis (Whooping Cough) in Wood County.