Richland Center, WI:  A virtual Emergency Operations Center meeting was held again this morning to share information between Richland County officials and community partners in a joint response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Public Health Manager/Local Health Officer Rose Kohout announced that as of 2:00pm Tuesday, March 24th the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) confirmed that the state of Wisconsin there were 457 confirmed cases for COVID-19, 8,237 have tested negative, and there were 5 deaths related to COVID-19.  There is no confirmed case of COVID-19 within Richland County at this time; however, a number of surrounding counties do have confirmed cases.  Kohout recommended that Richland County citizens “double-down their efforts”, stay at home if possible, practice excellent personal hygiene habits, and wash hands frequently with soapy water.

The Richland Hospital increased the hours of their “Drive-thru Urgent Care” service and are testing every day from 8am-5pm.  Patients should continue to call their Coronavirus Hotline at (608) 604-9953 BEFORE coming to the hospital.  The Richland Hospital Coronavirus Hotline is available 24 hours/day.  The Richland Hospital and local skilled nursing facilities continue to monitor patients and staff for symptoms while keeping the patient population segregated.

Local law enforcement would like to inform Richland County citizens that they WILL NOT be pulling over vehicles to verify their reason for traveling; however, citizen’s voluntary cooperation with following Governor Tony Evers “Safer At Home Order #12” is appreciated. More details on this order can be found at https://wedc.org/essentialbusiness/.

Richland County Administrator Clinton Langreck reported that county officials are assessing how to implement the Governor’s “Safer At Home Order #12” to maintain the “Health, Safety, and Welfare of the Public”.  At this time most Richland County offices are closed to the public, and if possible, staff are transitioning to working from home while continuing to conduct business via phone, mail, and email when possible.  Additional instructions on accessing county services and informational updates can be found on the Richland County COVID-19 website https://covid.co.richland.wi.us.

Emergency Management Director Darin Gudgeon is also encouraging the public’s voluntary participation in the Governor’s order to help stop the spread.  Gudgeon thanked local businesses and industries for their donation of excess personal protective equipment (PPE) to county healthcare facilities in need.  Gudgeon noted that a number of local businesses and industries are searching for temporary employees at this time.  Citizens looking for a job should contact QPS Employment Group for more information at www.qpsemployment.com.

All University of Wisconsin-Platteville/Richland, Southwest Wisconsin Technical College, Richland School District, and Ithaca School District buildings and playgrounds remain closed to the public until further notice.

All other community partners continue to work in groups of 10 or less people and practice social distancing of six feet between people.  Many local restaurants and taverns are closed, but some continue to offer Take-Out or curbside delivery food ordering options.  Small business owners are being cautioned to watch for predatory lending scams and the Greater Richland Area Chamber of Commerce office is offering more information on their website www.gorcchamber.com.

For the most up-to-date COVID-19 information, follow Richland County Health & Human Services on Facebook or consult the following websites:

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