Notice to the Public

IN AN EFFORT TO PROTECT THE HEALTH, SAFETY, AND WELL-BEING OF THOSE WE SERVE AND OUR EMPLOYEES, FOREST COUNTY OFFICES ARE CURRENTLY CLOSED TO WALK-IN SERVICES. EMPLOYEES ARE STILL WORKING TO SERVE YOU VIA TELEPHONE OR EMAIL.

ONLY URGENT MATTERS SHOULD BE SCHEDULED BY APPOINTMENT.

If you do not know the phone number for the county department you need to reach, please call the Forest County Clerk’s Office at 715-478-2422 and they will connect you to the desired department, or visit www.co.forest.wi.gov for a list of departments.

THERE IS ALSO A TABLE IN THE ENTRANCE OF THE COURTHOUSE WITH DEPARTMENT CONTACT INFORMATION.


Thank you for your understanding.

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SIXTY CASES OF COVID-19 CONFIRMED IN FOREST COUNTY

Forest County Public Health officials have confirmed an additional person has been diagnosed with novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19) for a total of 60 cases in Forest County. The individual is isolating at home. No further information will be released to protect the confidentiality of the individual. County health officials and local partners are contacting others with whom the individual who tested positive had close contact with. As of today, Forest County has 1,630 negative test results and 7 pending. There are currently 4 active cases, 52 released from isolation, and 4 deaths.

The Forest County Health Department encourages community members to minimize their contact with others by staying home when possible, practice physical distancing and good personal hygiene, wear a mask or cloth face covering, and stay alert for symptoms of COVID-19.  If you are experiencing any symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, please contact your health care provider and ask to be tested.

In an effort to keep our community members up to date on COVID-19, the Forest County Health Department will continue to update our Facebook page daily and local newspapers weekly with current COVID-19 case counts. This will include the number of negative and positive cases in Forest County. Please call our office at 715-478-3371 with any questions or concerns.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 6, 2020

The Forest County Health Department is reminding community members that attending large gatherings of any kind is not recommended at this time, but the health department cannot prevent people from doing so, or prevent such events from taking place. The risk of spreading COVID-19 is greater with larger crowds and people attending from outside the area.  If you choose to attend any large gatherings, you can take steps to protect yourself and those around you by wearing a face covering, practicing social distancing, and washing your hands.

We are asking that all community members and visitors to Forest County respect the Governor’s mask mandate ( https://evers.wi.gov/Documents/COVID19/EmO01-FaceCoverings.pdf ) https://evers.wi.gov/Documents/COVID19/FaceCoveringFAQ.pdf , and wear a mask if they are going into local businesses or are in situations where social distancing is not being practiced. People may have COVID-19 and not know it, and wearing a mask can help prevent unknowingly spreading COVID-19.

It can take up to 14 days for people with COVID-19 to start showing symptoms. If you start to have symptoms, which include: fever (at least 100.4 F), chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headaches, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea, please call your doctor and get tested. Please stay home, away from other people while you are waiting for your test results and if you feel unwell.

If you are named as a contact of a positive case, you will be contacted by the health department and will be placed on a 14-day quarantine whether you have symptoms or not.

If you are planning large gatherings or community events please follow the guidance provided by the CDC found at www.cdc.gov. For local information go to www.forestcountypublichealth.org or go to our Facebook page.

We all have to work together to help prevent this virus from overwhelming our local resources and keep our community members safe and healthy.

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FIFTY-NINE CASES OF COVID-19 CONFIRMED IN FOREST COUNTY

Forest County Public Health officials have confirmed additional persons have been diagnosed with novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19) for a total of 59 cases in Forest County. The individuals are isolating at home. No further information will be released to protect the confidentiality of the individuals. County health officials and local partners are contacting others with whom the individuals who tested positive had close contact with. As of today, Forest County has 1,536 negative test results and 16 pending. There are currently 3 active cases, 52 released from isolation, and 4 deaths.

The Forest County Health Department encourages community members to minimize their contact with others by staying home when possible, practice physical distancing and good personal hygiene, wear a mask or cloth face covering, and stay alert for symptoms of COVID-19.  If you are experiencing any symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, please contact your health care provider and ask to be tested.

In an effort to keep our community members up to date on COVID-19, the Forest County Health Department will continue to update our Facebook page daily and local newspapers weekly with current COVID-19 case counts. This will include the number of negative and positive cases in Forest County. Please call our office at 715-478-3371 with any questions or concerns.

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July 31, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

On July 30th Governor Evers declared a Public Health Emergency and a statewide face coverings order to protect Wisconsin residents from COVID-19. COVID-19 is a respiratory virus that is spread through respiratory droplets that travel in the air from one person to another when someone coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice. A face covering forms a barrier and can prevent these droplets from traveling through the air. Recent scientific studies show that wearing face coverings is effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Wisconsin is seeing a significant community spread and increase in cases of COVID-19 which is why the Governor declared a new public health emergency and is requiring face coverings. All regions in Wisconsin have high COVID-19 levels including Forest County. When we look at where we are now compared to June, you can see a dramatic increase.

               June 17, 2020        

                    July 29, 2020                

When you wear a face covering, you protect yourself and you protect your community. This virus does not recognize county lines, that is why the mandate needs to be statewide. People are constantly moving around, and we do not know who is infected and who is not.

A face covering is required if: You are 5 years or older, you are indoors and cannot practice social distancing, you are with people you do not live with, and when in outdoor situations where it is not possible to practice social distancing. Remember that some people cannot safely wear a face covering, please don’t intervene.

Cloth face coverings help keep our economy open. They are one tool, along with social distancing, hand washing, coughing and sneezing etiquette, cleaning and disinfection of high touch surfaces, and increased ventilation, which helps to reduce the spread of the virus. When we reduce the widespread transmission of the virus, more of the things we enjoy can stay open and reopen. For the most up to date information please see our Facebook page or our website.

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Press Release: Gov. Evers Issues Executive Order Declaring Public Health Emergency and Requiring Face Coverings Statewide

MADISON —​ Gov. Tony Evers today declared a Public Health Emergency and issued an Emergency Order requiring individuals to wear face coverings when indoors and not in a private residence, with some exceptions as clarified and defined in the order. The order is effective at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, August 1, 2020, and will expire on September 28, 2020 or by a subsequent superseding order. Executive Order #82 declaring a public health emergency is available here and Emergency Order #1 requiring face coverings statewide is available here

“While our local health departments have been doing a heck of a job responding to this pandemic in our communities, the fact of the matter is, this virus doesn’t care about any town, city, or county boundary, and we need a statewide approach to get Wisconsin back on track,” said Gov. Evers. “We’ve said all along that we’re going to let science and public health experts be our guide in responding to this pandemic, and we know that masks and face coverings will save lives. While I know emotions are high when it comes to wearing face coverings in public, my job as governor is to put people first and to do what’s best for the people of our state, so that’s what I am going to do.”

Wisconsin is seeing new and significant community spread and increase in cases of COVID-19 which requires that we declare a new public health emergency and require face coverings. Wisconsin has experienced a drastic rise in COVID-19 cases throughout the entire state, with 61 of 72 counties (84 percent) representing 96 percent of the state’s population experiencing high COVID-19 activity. All regions of Wisconsin have high COVID-19 activity levels. This is a dramatic increase from where Wisconsin was in June, when only 19 of 72 counties (26%) were experiencing high COVID-19 activity.  

The average number of new confirmed cases of COVID-19 has drastically increased throughout July, with an average of 556 new cases each day between July 1-7, an average of 764 new cases each day between July 8-14 (a 37% increase from the previous week), an average of 890 new cases each day between July 15-21 (a 16% increase from the previous week), and an average of 938 new cases each day between July 22-26 (a 5% increase from the previous week).

Under this order, Wisconsin residents ages five and older are required to wear a face covering when they are indoors or in an enclosed space with anyone outside their household or living unit. Face coverings are strongly recommended if you are outdoors and maintaining physical distancing is not possible. The order also enumerates exceptions to the requirement, listing activities such as when an individual is eating, drinking, or swimming. Individuals with health conditions or disabilities that would preclude the wearing of a face covering safely are also exempt from the requirement. A frequently asked questions (FAQ) document is available here.

“The data is what drives our decisions, and that data tells us we have significant community spread in Wisconsin and need to take statewide action,” said DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm. “Community spread means that any interaction out in the community can mean exposure, and because people can spread COVID-19 without symptoms or even knowing they are sick, we need to take universal precautions in order for wearing face coverings to be effective.”

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the medical and scientific community continues to learn more about the virus, including how to best prevent its transmission. Recent scientific studies show that wearing face coverings is very effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

“Staying home, limiting interactions, practicing physical distancing, and washing your hands thoroughly are still the most effective ways to stop the spread,” said Dr. Ryan Westergaard, Wisconsin’s Chief Medical Officer and the State Epidemiologist for Communicable Diseases. “But we learn something new about this virus every day. A growing number of scientific studies tell us that face coverings, when used correctly and consistently by a large percentage of the community, are extremely effective for preventing the spread of COVID-19 through respiratory droplets.”

For up-to-date information about Wisconsin’s COVID-19 response, visit the DHS COVID-19 webpage. We also encourage you to follow @DHSWI on Facebook and Twitter, or dhs.wi on Instagram for more information on COVID-19.
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