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Sauk County has confirmed case of COVID-19
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Sauk County has confirmed case of COVID-19

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Sauk County Health Officer Tim Lawther fields a question from an attendee at the March 10 coronavirus response meeting.

The Sauk County Public Health Department announced Thursday that there is one confirmed case of COVID-19 in the county.

The person recently traveled to another state with community spread of COVID-19 and developed symptoms shortly afterwards. The person has remained under self-quarantine since returning to Sauk County.

“We are in frequent contact with this individual to monitor their symptoms and ensure they are receiving support to be able to isolate at home,” said Tim Lawther, Sauk County Health Officer.

Sauk County Public Health is identifying and contacting anyone who has been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19. These people are asked to quarantine themselves for 14 days from their exposure and will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms.

Sauk County Public Health is following CDC guidelines on monitoring the person, who will remain in self-quarantine for at least seven days from the time they first showed symptoms.

The county’s Public Health Department is monitoring the person daily.

Lawther said the person will be released from self-quarantine when they no longer have a fever for at least 72 hours, without the aid of fever reducing medication like Tylenol. They must also have improvement of other symptoms such as a reduced cough.

Although this is the first diagnosed case of COVID-19 in the county, it is very likely that there are other people with the illness who have not been diagnosed and may not be tested.

“The basic message is that although in Sauk County this is our first positive case, we fully expect that there are other people with COVID-19 who have not been tested and won’t be tested,” said Lawther. “It’s vital that we all keep practicing these vital measure that we’ve been talking about all along. So, regardless of whether there’s a positive test or not, reality is we should be practicing these things now.”

These measures include:

  • Frequent and thorough handwashing with soap and water.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Stay home when sick.
  • Practice social distancing (at least 6 feet away from other people).
  • Avoid large public gatherings and crowds.
  • Clean and disinfect all frequently-touch surfaces.
  • Defer all non-essential travel.

Anyone who has been in contact with someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, should do the following:

  • Monitor yourself for symptoms for 14 days (fever greater than 100.4 degrees and/or cough).
  • Maintain social distancing (6 feet from other people).
  • If you have or develop symptoms (fever over 100.4 degrees and/or cough):
  • Monitor your symptoms.
  • Isolate yourself at home.
  • Maintain social distancing within your home of at least 6 feet between people.
  • If your symptoms worsen (difficulty breathing or other severe symptoms) call a healthcare provider.

Those with the virus must stay home and socially distance themselves (6 feet) from other people until they have no fever for 72 hours (without the aid of medication), other symptoms have improved and seven days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.

All people who may have had contact with the person who has confirmed COVID-19 will be contacted directly by Sauk County Public Health. The department will provide instruction on self-isolation and monitor for symptoms, said Lawther.

“Sauk County Public Health is ready to deal with an increased number of cases in our community. We will continue to work with DHS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and our local partners to make sure our community remains safe and healthy,” said Lawther.

The county Health Department receives results for all tests, even if the results are negative. The department works with those with negative tests or who have come into contact with a diagnosed case of COVID-19, are encouraged to monitor their symptoms and practice social distancing for at least 14 days from contact.

This is a rapidly evolving situation. For the latest information, visit the CDC’s website or the DHS website. For the latest information about COVID-19 in Sauk County, visit: co.sauk.wi.us/publichealth/coronavirus.

“Nobody really has any idea how long this outbreak will last. I do anticipate that it will get worse before it gets better,” said Lawther. “The reality is that we will get through this, Americans have been through multiple communicable diseases in our history, we’ve been through multiple, major traumas and events and we have come together as group and community and we have gotten through all of these things.”

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