Washington County
Press Release

Washington County Begins Emergency Protocols to Mitigate COVID-19 Spread

County Board Chair proclaims state of emergency

By - Mar 14th, 2020 02:30 pm
Cross-functional response team meeting. Photo courtesy of Washington County.

Cross-functional response team meeting. Photo courtesy of Washington County.

West Bend, WI – Yesterday afternoon, County Board Chair Don Kriefall proclaimed a state of emergency in Washington County. This action ensures Washington County puts into place emergency protocols to aid in the readiness of Washington County’s first COVID-19 cases.

Prior to the declaration the county assembled a cross-functional emergency response team and held conference calls with area school leaders and local elected officials.

As of 11:30am on Saturday, March 14, there are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Washington County; however, numerous tests are pending. Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department, in coordination with Wisconsin Department of Health and Human Services and other local health departments, is actively monitoring the situation. County staff is in close contact with the White House, Governor’s office, and numerous state agencies. We are working with partner agencies and local hospital systems to ensure that our County is prepared in the event that residents need care and testing. State residents can monitor the, health department’s webpage, DHS COVID 19 webpage and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) websites for updated information.

Risk of COVID-19 spread remains low, the county is proactively taking a number of steps in order to plan for and help keep employees, residents and visitors in Washington County safe:

  • Studies show social distancing is the best way to bend the epidemiological curve. The county is reviewing events at our facilities and recommending the postponement of large events
  • Samaritan Campus has immediately suspended visitation to the assisted living and nursing facilities
  • Assembling a Washington County emergency management team to outline our response to this situation
  • Taking additional measures by the facilities team to ensure access to clean, sanitary facilities, paying extra attention to disinfecting surfaces and utilizing cleaning agents approved for use against the COVID-19 virus
  • Working to ensure supplies are adequately stocked
  • Coordinating a calls between health officials, county officials, municipalities and school leaders to help ensure a well-informed, strategic and coordinated response to the pandemic
  • Meeting with regional leaders to help ensure a well-informed, strategic and coordinated response
  • The transit system remains open

Tips for prevention:

  • Stay home if you’re sick with any symptoms
  • Clean your hands with antibacterial soap often
  • Avoid close contact with anyone exhibiting symptoms
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue

We will update you regarding any additional precautionary measures to be taken in County facilities as we continue to work towards maintaining a safe and secure community in Washington County.

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