Reedsburg community reacts to coronavirus
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Reedsburg community reacts to coronavirus

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Jolanta Piskozub has taken measures to prepare should any cases of COVID-19 occur in Reedsburg. But at the same time she fears for her family with the uncertainty of coronavirus and if other restrictions could be put in place.

The Reedsburg resident said she’s purchased two week’s worth of food and supplies, like rice and toilet paper, in case she needs to stay in her house.

“Because I need to have some equipment if something happens I can’t come and stay in the line,” she said. “You need to have something you must be prepared. I am not crazy to buy too much, but for two to three weeks I am safe.”

Piskozub, whose originally from Poland and still has family in the country as well as Germany and Canada, said she fears for them during this time and that the United States might follow similar restrictions other European countries have taken to prevent the rapid spread of the virus.

She said her daughter attends Auburn University in Michigan, which also announced cancelations, and was concerned about her safety and not being able to travel to see her if stricter restrictions would be put in place.

Sauk City resident Kathy Sorenson said she would take a more cautious approach, like not going to movies and not attending large gatherings.

“Just general wiping off counters and wiping off spaces, keeping my hands clean,” Sorenson said.

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The coronavirus was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization March 11. Gov. Tony Evers declared a state health emergency March 12. President Donald Trump issued a national emergency March 13 due to the coronavirus, opening up $50 billion for state and local governments to respond to the outbreak.

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Viking Village Foods Store Manager Mike Kneeland said March 13 the Reedsburg grocery store has seen people buying staple items like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, wipes, soup, noodles and flour. The grocery store is out of hand sanitizer and wipes and wouldn’t have more until about the middle of April, he said.

Viking Village Foods Financial Controller Carol Meyer said March 16 the supply of toilet paper was low, but it’s restocking its shelves. The grocery store is still operating at its normal hours, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, she said.

“We have shipments coming in everyday here this week to restock as we need supplies,” Meyer said.

Several organizations, events and schools around the nation announced cancelations due to concerns over the virus during the week of March 9-13. The School District of Reedsburg canceled two of the high school’s Choarliers Home Show performance, showing it through a Facebook Live March 14.

While the polls will be open for the April 7 election, Reedsburg officials sent out a press release March 16 encouraging voters to cast an absentee ballot. The Reedsburg Public Library also announced March 13 it is suspending all programming and activities until March 31. It later announced it would close and have limited services to the public effectively at 5 p.m. March 16 until further notice. Staff will still be in the building to provide assistance by phone from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The outside book drop will remain open 24 hours a day 7 days a week and returned material will be checked-in fine free through April 25.

Other services such as pick up of library holds and lobby accessibility with only three people at a time will be conducted as staffing permits, according to library director Sue Ann Kucher in an email. All online databases and resources remain available remotely, she said in the email.

Other organizations and companies are providing help to the local community. Language Service Del Norte, a Reedsburg based translation services firm, is providing free Spanish translations to area organizations and companies so it can provide information about the virus and any efforts the county is taking to the Spanish speaking community. Co-Owner Andrea Jaquish said the services will be available “as long as it’s needed.”

“We want to make sure everybody knows what’s going on,” Jaquish said.

The company also has free information and resources from the county in English and Spanish languages at its website

Those who have questions or want to schedule a translation can call Language Services Del Norte at 608-432-5554 or visit its website or Facebook page.

The Sauk County Health Department advised on keeping child care centers, head start and 3K-4K open. Evers ban announced March 16 on gatherings of 50 people or more exempts childcare centers, as well as grocery stores, pharmacies and hospitals.

Walker Family Daycare Owner, Director and Administrator Kimberly Walker said it is changing its weekly rate from $145 to $100 to help families of school aged children, ages 5 and over. The Department of Children and Families has also changed its guidelines increasing the teacher to child ratio for children 5 and over and any rooms that aren’t licensed can be used to accommodate children they get calls for.

The Reedsburg based day care will still provide services for second shift workers and meals to children, she said. Parents will drop their children off at the front door, she said. Anyone with questions can call Walker Family Daycare at 608-897-6756.

Follow Erica Dynes on Twitter @EDynes_CapNews or contact her at 608-393-5346.

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