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.  Due to the consistent uptick in positive cases in Richland County, this group is considering meeting twice a week to share information and address community concerns.

Emergency Management Director, Darin Gudgeon announced that as of 2:00pm Wednesday, September 16th the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) confirmed that in the state of Wisconsin there were 92,712 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 1,295,313 have tested negative, there were 1,228 deaths, and 6,454 hospitalizations due to COVID-19.  Of those that tested positive for COVID-19 in the state of Wisconsin, 7% have been hospitalized.  There are now 80 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Richland County, 3,948 have tested negative, there are 23 active cases, and 53 individuals who had tested positive have been released from quarantine.  Of those 80 individuals who tested positive, 76 individuals have been recovering at home, 5 have been hospitalized, and there were 4 COVID-19 related deaths.

FREE COVID-19 drive-thru community testing will be offered Monday, September 21st and every Monday through the end of the year from 9am-1pm at the Richland County Fairgrounds.  Individuals will have to be a Richland County resident and meet specific testing criteria.  Tests will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.  The collaborative partners will continue to evaluate the needs of the community and may offer additional community testing events in the future.

The Richland Hospital continues to offer COVID-19 drive-thru testing from 1 pm to 4 pm Monday thru Friday for hospital & clinic patients displaying COVID-19 symptoms or to those that have a confirmed exposureAll persons requesting testing will need to call The Richland Hospital and be registered before arriving at the drive-thru.  The Richland Hospital is also offering a “Coronavirus Informational Line” to provide the community general COVID-19 related information and the most frequently asked questions.  The Richland Hospital Clinic campus continues to offer voluntary medical procedures and Primary Care visits, while also continuing to offer Tele-Health patient visits.  Richland Hospital Clinic patients needing hands-on medical care for any COVID-19 symptoms should call the hospital main number (608) 647-6321 or clinic main number (608) 647-6161 BEFORE coming to the facility.

Local nursing home facilities reported that internal, routine COVID-19 testing of staff and residents began this week.   This testing requirement is based upon state and federal guidance that is designed to assist facilities to improve their infection prevention and control practices, to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, and keep residents and the health care personnel who care for them safe from infection.

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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