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 Monday, May 4th the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) confirmed that in the state of Wisconsin there were 8,236 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 80,467 have tested negative, there were 340 deaths, and 1,621 hospitalizations due to COVID-19.  Of those that tested positive for COVID-19 in the state of Wisconsin, 20% have been hospitalized.  There are 13 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Richland County, 283 have tested negative, and there have been 2 deaths as a result of COVID-19 at this time.  Kohout also reported that 5 individuals who had tested positive for COVID-19 in Richland County have been released from quarantine.

Richland Hospital Emergency Management Coordinator, Lyle Kratochwill announced that the hospital began a phased reopening plan for services which began yesterday on May 4th.  Non-emergent surgical procedures are being performed; working through a risk stratification plan from low to high risk patients.  On May 11th, a “soft launch” of Primary Care visits will begin at the Richland Hospital campus and expand over the next 4-6 weeks.  Primary Care visits will continue at the Muscoda Health Center and the Spring Green Medical Center during this time.  The Richland Hospital Coronavirus Hotline remains available 24 hours a day 7 days a week and patients are still being instructed to call (608) 604-9953 BEFORE coming to the hospital.  The Richland Hospital continues to offer their “Respiratory Illness Evaluation” drive-thru service from 8am-Noon 7 days a week and COVID-19 testing is being offered to anyone displaying symptoms.

Richland School District Administrator, Jarred Burke reported that the Richland School Board voted last night to extend their meal delivery program to the students of the Richland School District through June 30, 2020.  It was noted that the Richland School District also prepares the meals for the Ithaca School District, so it is likely those would continue to be offered as well.

The success of the COVID Caring Cash Program was discussed noting that individuals who have already purchased these cards are encouraged to use them shortly after purchasing, as that is how the area businesses actually get the sponsorship money that is intended to stimulate the local economy.  It was announced that the Wisconsin High School Rodeo Association canceled the State Rodeo Finals and Rodeo Parade scheduled to be held in Richland Center June 12-14, 2020; however, other local event alternatives are being considered.

Richland County Community Partners shared the status of their individual organization’s emergency response, reviewed staffing and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) needs and local inventory, and discussed priority topics to support the community through the recovery process.  The Whole Community Recovery Steering Committee has been meeting regularly to identify the economic impact of COVID-19 on Richland County families and determine a suitable long-term recovery structure for our citizens.  Additional details on the Badger Bounce Back plan can be found at https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/publications/p02653a.pdf.

If you have a COVID-19 question that you want our community partners to answer, please call Richland County Health & Human Services at 608-647-8821 and submit your question to the receptionist or email the question to rchhs@co.richland.wi.us.  Citizens are encouraged to check out the Richland County COVID-19 Dashboard which offers helpful data to better understand the impact of the pandemic globally and locally:  https://covid.co.richland.wi.us/2020/04/21/richland-county-covid-19-dashboard/.  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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