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Wood County Increase in COVID Cases Causing Limited Capacity for Health Department

Posted 9/17/2021 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us



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

(715) 421-8911

Wood County Increase in COVID Cases Causing Limited Capacity for Health Department

Wisconsin Rapids, WI – Wood County continues to experience a significant increase in COVID-19 cases. The Wood County Health Department’s COVID-19 response team is critically over capacity and is looking to the community to follow the recommended guidance to slow the spread. This limited capacity may result in the inability to contact positive cases and their close contacts within 24 hours. In addition to the large number of cases, the state of Wisconsin’s disease surveillance system, WEDSS, has been having backlog issues causing a lag in our department's notification of positive cases. 

While the Health Department will attempt to follow-up with individuals who test positive, review isolation recommendations, and determine close contacts, the response may be delayed more than 24 hours. If you have tested positive for COVID-19 please stay home and isolate (separate from others) immediately for a minimum of 10 days from the start of your symptoms or the date you were tested if you have no symptoms.

If you or a loved one are exposed to someone with COVID-19 you should quarantine (separate from others). Exposure includes being within 6 feet of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 for at least a total of 15 minutes cumulative within a 24 hour period or have had physical touch with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Per Wisconsin Department of Health Services, 14 days is safest (and may be required in some situations) for unvaccinated individuals. This time may be lessened to 10 days (with no test if you have not developed any symptoms) or a minimum of 7 days (if a negative test is collected on day 6 or later) for those who remain without symptoms. Individuals who are released early from quarantine must be able to maintain 6 feet of physical distance from others and must wear a mask for the full 14 day quarantine period. 

Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to quarantine unless they develop symptoms. It is recommended to continue to monitor for symptoms for 14 days after last contact, wear a mask indoors, and get tested  3-5 days after exposure. For more information on quarantine timelines click How Long Should I Quarantine a resource provided by Wisconsin Department of Health Services.  

Free drive-thru COVID-19 testing has been extended and will be available in Wisconsin Rapids in a city parking lot on 3rd Avenue between the Centralia Center and Tribune building from 9:00am-12:30pm Monday-Friday through September 24th. No appointment is needed; PCR tests will be done. Please allow 3-5 days for results.

Local healthcare system COVID Call Centers, urgent care rooms, and emergency rooms are being inundated with individuals seeking COVID-19 tests. Local healthcare systems are strongly encouraging individuals to self-schedule their COVID-19 test appointments online if they do not need additional patient care. Individuals can do symptom checking and self-schedule COVID-19 testing appointments using online platforms with Aspirus (https://myaspirus.org/MyChart/Authentication/Login)and Marshfield Clinic (https://marshfieldclinic.org/specialties/infectious-diseases/coronavirus-update# ). 

For COVID-19 vaccination opportunities, visit our website at: Wood County Health Department website. Additional COVID-19 vaccine doses are available for people with compromised immune systems. Click here for more information or call 715-421-8931.