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.  It was decided that this week’s Thursday meeting would be canceled since many of the community partners would be involved in the COVID-19 community testing event already scheduled for that day.

Public Health Manager/Local Health Officer, Rose Kohout announced that as of 2:00pm Monday, October 12th the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) confirmed that in the state of Wisconsin there were 152,192 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 1,545,692 have tested negative, there were 1,474 deaths, and 8,454 hospitalizations due to COVID-19.  Of those that tested positive for COVID-19 in the state of Wisconsin, 5% have been hospitalized.

Emergency Operations partners have decided to offer more up-to-date local data on the condition of our county that might not match the numbers offered by the State later today.  Public Health Manager/Local Health Officer, Rose Kohout announced that as of 2:00pm Monday, October 12th there are 303 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Richland County, 6,198 have tested negative, there are 134 active cases, and 164 individuals who had tested positive have been released from quarantine.  Of those 303 individuals who tested positive, 298 individuals have been recovering at home, 12 have been hospitalized at some point, and there were 5 COVID-19 related deaths.  Kohout reports that the virus is active in our community and Richland County citizens need to stay home if possible, wear a mask, wash your hands, and stay 6 feet from others to help reduce the community spread now more than ever.

The community partners are preparing to offer a FREE 2-day COVID-19 drive-thru testing event in the Parking Lot of the Richland Center High School, located at 1996 US Highway 14, Richland Center, WI on Thursday, October 15th and Friday, October 16th from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.  Appointments are not required, but it is requested that those who wish to be tested pre-register at https://register.covidconnect.wi.gov.  The website allows individuals to register for testing in advance with their personal information and gives them a QR code to scan at the testing site.  This website and technology will continue to be utilized at future community testing events.  The Wisconsin National Guard will be offering testing to approximately 300 individuals per day or 600 individuals over the 2-day period.

FREE COVID-19 drive-thru community testing will also be offered on Monday, October 19th from 9am-1pm at the Richland County Fairgrounds.  Individuals have to be a Richland County resident and meet specific testing criteria.  Tests will be available on a FIRST-COME, FIRST-SERVE basis.  The community partners apologized for having to cancel this Monday’s testing event due to inclement weather.

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 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.

Individuals who have been tested for COVID-19 WILL receive their results from a testing site or healthcare provider.  However, due to record high numbers of COVID-19 cases, Public Health has reached capacity and may not call you to complete a contact tracing investigation.  For this reason, we ask that any newly diagnosed person with COVID-19 begin to isolate themselves immediately and go to the Richland County COVID-19 webpage at https://covid.co.richland.wi.us/if-you-are-sick-or-have-been-exposed/  in order to receive isolation and contact tracing notification guidance.

The Richland School District announced that they will return to face-to-face instruction October 19th and extra-curricular activities can resume today.  The Ithaca School District reported that they have transitioned to all virtual learning for 3 weeks from October 12th – October 30th.  It was noted that UW-Platteville Richland has no plans to transition to all virtual learning at this time.

Richland County Community Partners shared the status of their individual organization’s emergency response, reviewed staffing levels and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) inventory, and discussed priority topics to assist with preventing the further transmission of COVID-19 in our community.

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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