Wisconsin Public Radio

19 Cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin

Two in Milwaukee County. State’s total up to 19 as of Friday

By , Wisconsin Public Radio - Mar 14th, 2020 12:43 pm
COVID-19. Credit: U.S. Army.

COVID-19. Credit: U.S. Army.

A spike in new cases of COVID-19 has Wisconsin health officials concerned the disease could be spreading without an indication of how they got it; whether from travel or proximity to someone who was infected. But community spread has not been confirmed, according to officials who announced Friday the double digit rise in cases of the new coronavirus.

The additional cases are:

  • Two in Milwaukee County
  • One in Racine County
  • Three in Sheboygan County
  • One in Dane County
  • Four in Fond du Lac County

Fond du Lac County now has a total of six people who have tested positive for the virus. That’s the highest of all the areas where positive cases have been detected.  There are 19 positive cases of COVID-19 across the state, as of 5:12 p.m. Friday. One person has recovered after staying home.

There is a total of five cases in Dane County, and local health officials say the most recent case is a University of Wisconsin-Madison employee.

“As this person acquired the virus while traveling, this is not community spread. We do anticipate community spread in the future, which is why we strongly encourage people to prepare and follow our recommendations to prevent the spread of the virus,” Janel Heinrich, director of Public Health Madison and Dane County in a statement.

University officials say the person works in the School of Veterinary Medicine building on UW-Madison’s campus and is isolated at home. Local health officials will identify close contacts. These individuals will be asked to do daily symptom and temperature checks and isolate themselves.

In a call with reporters Friday, state health officials once again asked people to avoid crowds, stay home if sick and wash their hands so the health care system doesn’t get overwhelmed with patients needing care.

“So instead of a sudden rise (in cases), we have a more gradual rise” that will match hospital resources available, said Julie Willems Van Dijk, deputy secretary for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

There have been concern nationwide about the availability of tests and whether people can access them. State health officials hope to have testing in primary care clinics soon.

“Tests are available. There’s no backlog of tests at either of our public health labs and an increasing number of private laboratories are able to do this test,” said Dr. Ryan Westergaard, chief medical officer at DHS. “Our hope in the coming days and weeks is that all health care settings including regular primary care outpatient (clinics) can perform tests for COVID-19 in the same way they can perform test for influenza.”

He said the department issued new guidance to health care providers Friday clarifying that testing can be done in outpatient settings.

Some school around the country have closed to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, and on Friday Gov. Tony Evers ordered DHS to close all K-12 schools.

11 New Cases Of COVID-19 In Wisconsin was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.

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