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.

Public Health Manager/Local Health Officer, Rose Kohout announced that as of 2:00pm Monday, October 19th the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) confirmed that in the state of Wisconsin there were 173,891 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 1,703,813 have tested negative, there were 1,600 deaths, and 9,319 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.  Public Health Manager/Local Health Officer, Rose Kohout announced that as of 9:00am Tuesday, October 20th there are 370 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Richland County, 6,635 have tested negative, there are 146 active cases, and 218 individuals who had tested positive have been released from quarantine.  Of those 370 individuals who tested positive, 353 individuals have been recovering at home, 17 have been hospitalized at some point, and there were 6 COVID-19 related deaths.

Emergency Management Director, Darin Gudgeon announced that the Wisconsin National Guard will be offering FREE COVID-19 drive-thru community testing at the Richland County Fairgrounds on the following Thursdays from 9am-4pm: 

October 22nd               October 29th                November 5th

November 12th             November 19th               December 3rd

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.  Tests will be available on a FIRST-COME, FIRST-SERVE basis.

FREE COVID-19 drive-thru community testing will be offered again on Monday, October 26th 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 and only 120 tests are available.  On Monday, October 5th 54 individuals were tested and the results of those tests will be included in the daily Richland County totals once they are received and verified.

The community partners offered a FREE 2-day COVID-19 drive-thru testing event in the parking lot of the Richland Center High School late last week.  On Thursday, October 15th 165 individuals were tested and on Friday, October 16th 112 individuals were tested. The 277 test results will be included in the daily Richland County totals once they are received and verified.

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 noted that they have returned to face-to-face instruction. The Ithaca School District is scheduled to continue virtual learning until October 30th; however, an additional Ithaca School Board meeting is scheduled for October 26th which could result in an early return to face-to-face instruction or an extension of virtual learning.

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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