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

Yesterday Governor Tony Evers announced that the state would funnel $50 million in federal Coronavirus Aid to Wisconsin farmers struggling with the economic fallout of the pandemic, a $25 million Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program, and an additional $15 million program to fill gaps in the food supply chain.  It was noted that aid for farmers will come in the form of direct payments as early as June, farmers can apply to the Wisconsin Farm Support Program through the Department of Revenue, and were encouraged to contact their local ag agent for more information.

Public Health Manager/Local Health Officer, Rose Kohout announced that as of 2:00pm Wednesday, May 20th the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) confirmed that in the state of Wisconsin there were 13,413 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 154,300 have tested negative, there were 481 deaths, and 2,161 hospitalizations due to COVID-19.  Of those that tested positive for COVID-19 in the state of Wisconsin, 16% have been hospitalized.  There are 14 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Richland County, 482 have tested negative, and there have been 4 deaths as a result of COVID-19 at this time.  Kohout also reported that 9 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 starting Monday, May 25th The Richland Hospital Coronavirus Hotline will be operational from 8am-5pm 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 to test those displaying symptoms from 8am-Noon 7 days a week, but will be closed on Memorial Day (5/25/2020).  The Richland Hospital continues to phase in the reopening of their building and services.  Non-emergent surgical procedures are being performed now; working through a risk stratification plan from low to high risk patients.  A “soft launch” of Primary Care visits at the Richland Hospital campus will expand over the next 4-6 weeks.  Primary Care visits will also continue at the Muscoda Health Center and the Spring Green Medical Center during this time.

Richland County Administrator, Clinton Langreck reported that the Richland County Board approved the extension of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Disaster Proclamation.  It was noted that this extension offers Richland County the ability to continue applying for state and federal funding/resources for its internal emergency response operations.  The Bounce Back Plan required COVID-19 testing of every nursing home resident and staff member in the State of Wisconsin will be conducted at the Pine Valley Community Village on May 26th and at Schmitt Woodland Hills on May 28th.

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.

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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