Richland Center, WI: Richland County Health Officer, Rose Kohout expressed that county residents should use caution when interacting with others and discourages residents from traveling or gathering at this time. Kohout states “these are stressful times, but this is when small communities like ours shine. We step up and do all we can to help each other. We need to apply that sense of community now more than ever; to be COVID responsible and respectful to protect yourself, your loved ones and your community.”
Richland County Emergency Management Director, Darin Gudgeon reports that 2 of the 3 FREE COVID-19 testing events held in Richland County this week ran out of test kits and had to turn individuals away who were in need of a test. In addition, fewer testing events will be held next week due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Gudgeon states “it’s likely that this trend will continue and we will not be able to test everyone who needs a test over the next few weeks.” Due to the delay in test results for those individuals tested on November 16th, we need to clarify a few of the COVID guidelines for isolation and quarantine:
- Individuals waiting for COVID-19 test results should quarantine at home. Refer to “Next Steps: while you wait for your COVID-19 test results” https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/publications/p02599ng.pdf.
- Individuals who get a negative COVID-19 test result, but were a close contact of someone with COVID-19 still need to complete a full 14-day quarantine at home. Refer “Next Steps: close contacts of someone with COVID-19” https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/publications/p02598a.pdf.
- Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 should isolate at home. Home isolation should continue until:
- individual is fever-free for at least 24 hours without using medicine AND
- individual’s symptoms have improved for at least 24 hours AND
- at least 10 days have passed since symptoms started.
Refer to “Next Steps: after you are diagnosed with COVID-19” https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/publications/p02627.pdf.
Kohout reports, “individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 can shed the virus for up to 90 days. When released from isolation, we recommend that, out of an abundance of caution, individuals re-engage in the community in the safest manner possible.” Individuals can spread COVID-19 to others beginning two days before your symptoms start until a few days after you recover. Even if you never develop any symptoms, you may be able to spread COVID-19 to others.
Richland County Public Health continues to work with state and local partners, as well as health care providers, to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and to help protect the health and safety of Richland County residents. The public should follow steps to avoid getting sick including:
- Stay 6 feet from others;
- Avoid social gatherings with people of all ages;
- Frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water;
- Use of hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available;
- Wear a mask;
- Covering coughs and sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow);
- Regularly clean high-touch surfaces;
- Do not shake hands;
- Avoid touching your face; and
- Stay home.
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:
- Richland County: https://covid.co.richland.wi.us
- The Greater Richland Area Chamber of Commerce: www.gorcchamber.com
- Wisconsin Department of Health Services: www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/