NINE CASES OF COVID-19 CONFIRMED IN FOREST COUNTY

Forest County Public Health officials have confirmed a total of nine people have been diagnosed with novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19) in Forest County. The individuals are linked to the current public health investigation with The Bay at Nu-Roc.

We continue to work closely with The Bay at Nu-Roc leadership and staff to ensure all appropriate measures are in place to keep the residents and staff safe and healthy.

The Forest County Health Department continues to encourage community members to minimize their contact with others by staying home when possible, practice physical distancing, and stay alert for symptoms of COVID-19.

Community members experiencing any of the following symptoms should call their health care provider and ask to be tested.

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Body or muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of smell
  • Loss of taste

In an effort to keep community members up to date on COVID-19, the Forest County Health Department will continue to update our Facebook page daily with current COVID-19 case counts. This will include the number of negative and positive cases in Forest County.

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Forest County Issues Guidance on COVID-19 Safe Practices

On Wednesday, May 13th, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued a decision invalidating the Safer at Home Order. In response to this ruling, Forest County continues to work with local partners on a plan to keep all residents safe and healthy.

The Forest County Health Department will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and has the obligation to respond to any outbreaks and spikes in cases that may occur. Should Forest County see significant outbreaks, countywide transmission or deaths due to the virus, the Forest County Health Department is prepared to respond and local orders may be issued accordingly. “It is our job to protect the health and safety of all residents of Forest County and take appropriate action as necessary,” said Jacee Shepard, Forest County Health Officer.

The order is gone, the virus is not. We ask all community members to continue to follow the guidance that has been shared over the last eight weeks to ensure their own personal health and safety, along with the health and safety of their families, friends, and fellow community members. Maintain physical distance, avoid gathering in groups, practice good personal hygiene, limit travel to reduce potential of virus transmission, consider wearing a mask or cloth face covering in public, and stay home if you are ill. Do not go to work, the store, or anywhere else if you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms. People who are vulnerable and at higher risk of severe complications of COVID-19 should stay home whenever possible. If you are experiencing any symptoms, please call your health care provider and ask to be tested.

Our local businesses, non-profits, and other entities play a significant role in helping to keep our community healthy and safe. If a business chooses to be open, we strongly advise them to implement the strategies and practices provided in the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Reopening Guidelines at https://wedc.org/reopen-guidelines/, the Centers for Disease Control at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html, and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services at https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid- 19/index.htm. We also encourage businesses to develop a COVID-19 plan that includes screening staff for illness, disinfecting/cleaning protocols and proper physical distancing considerations for customers and employees. Please consult with the Forest County Chamber of Commerce and the Forest County Health Department to gather additional information to safely resume business activities.

We encourage the public to frequently monitor the Forest County Health Department Facebook page and website: http://forestcountypublichealth.org/, and the WI DHS website: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/index.htm for the most up-to-date information.

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SEVEN CASES OF COVID-19 CONFIRMED IN FOREST COUNTY

Forest County Public Health officials have confirmed a total of seven people have been diagnosed with novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19) in Forest County. The individuals are linked to the current public health investigation with The Bay at Nu-Roc.

We continue to work closely with The Bay at Nu-Roc leadership and staff to ensure all appropriate measures are in place to keep the residents and staff safe and healthy.

The Forest County Health Department continues to encourage community members to minimize their contact with others by staying home when possible, practice physical distancing, and stay alert for symptoms of COVID-19.

Community members experiencing any of the following symptoms should call their health care provider and ask to be tested.

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Body or muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of smell
  • Loss of taste

In an effort to keep community members up to date on COVID-19, the Forest County Health Department will continue to update our Facebook page daily with current COVID-19 case counts. This will include the number of negative and positive cases in Forest County.

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Wisconsin Supreme Court Decision Regarding Safer at Home

We understand that Forest County residents are likely to have questions following the announcement from the Wisconsin Supreme Court invalidating the Safer at Home Order.

As we wait for additional guidance from the State of Wisconsin, the Forest County Health Department asks community members to continue to practice physical distancing and good personal hygiene practices, as recommended by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the Centers for Disease Control.

We also encourage local businesses to protect their customers and employees by adopting appropriate health and safety guidelines, such as those offered by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

Please see links below for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and Centers for Disease Control that can assist the public and businesses in adopting those best practices.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html

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Forest County Reports COVID-19 Investigation at Local Nursing Home

The Forest County Health Department is reporting that there have been staff and residents of The Bay at Nu-Roc that have tested positive for COVID-19.

“The Forest County Health Department is working closely with The Bay at Nu-Roc leadership and staff to conduct a thorough investigation to track, trace, and contain the virus,” said Jacee Shepard, Health Officer/Director of the Forest County Health Department. “We want to assure the residents of The Bay at Nu-Roc, their family members, and facility staff that extra steps are being taken to protect residents because they live in a setting that puts them in close proximity with a larger number of people and they rely on staff and volunteers for care.”

“Resident safety is always our top priority. We continue to work with both the local and state health departments to ensure that we are taking all appropriate infection control practices,” said Judi Christensen, Regional Clinical Director for The Bay at Nu-Roc. “Staying home is the most important way to protect our residents and the staff that cares for them. We hope that people will continue to call and email residents, send letters and cards, and send their love and support to our residents and staff on the frontlines.”

The Forest County Health Department does not release the names of residents that have tested positive for COVID-19 because the strategies employed by the health department to protect the community also seek to ensure the privacy of individuals and their families. Immediate family members have been notified.

A “public health investigation” is initiated when a single positive case is identified in a long-term care facility, or when two or more cases are identified in group housing, health care facilities, workplaces, and other settings such as restaurants. A “case investigation” and contact tracing are conducted with all people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their contacts, regardless of the setting.

If you have been in contact with someone who is a confirmed case of COVID-19, staff from the Forest County Health Department will contact you to notify you of potential exposure. When they call you, they will ask if you are experiencing symptoms, if you are an essential worker, and will provide information about quarantine and isolation. If you have symptoms, they can also help you understand when and how to seek medical help, how to get tested, and options if you have concerns about being able to safely quarantine or isolate for the required time.

“COVID-19 can be spread by asymptomatic people, meaning people who are not experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath,” continued Shepard. “In addition to maintaining at least six feet of physical distance as much as possible, we recommend that everyone wear cloth face coverings, frequently wash their hands, and cover coughs and sneezes to prevent catching and spreading disease.”

The Forest County Health Department, Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), and The Bay at Nu-Roc are working around the clock to try to help everyone remain safe.

We encourage the public to frequently monitor the Forest County Health Department Facebook page and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website for current information. Additional information can be found on the CDC website.

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