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COVID-19 infections spike across the county

Cases of COVID-19 are increasingly rapidly across Marathon County with local schools beginning to report sick students and staff members. The county health department is urging residents to refrain from attending large gatherings where the disease can spread.

The Marathon County Health Department reported 1,434 cases as of Monday, an increase of 200 over the weekend. Seventy-eight new cases were reported on Saturday, 69 on Sunday and 54 on Monday.

The county reported 520 active cases with a total of 82 hospitalizations and 14 deaths.

The health department cautioned people to take greater care not to pass along COVID-19.

“The only way to slow down the pace is for everyone to stay home more and not to go to parties, games and social or family events,” said Judy Burrows, public health information officer. “The best we could have is for people to skip social gatherings and stay home so our schools and businesses can stay open.”

The county said it was currently three to four days behind in contacting cases and close contacts.

The recent uptick in the disease has affected western Marathon County. The Wisconsin Department of Health reports that between Sept. 6-19 10 people were confirmed positive with COVID- 19 in the Stratford census track, 13 in the Athens census tract, 11 in the Edgar and Marathon census tract and eight in the Abbotsford census track.

School officials have reported sporadic cases that have affected sports teams:

_ Marathon School District administrator Rick Parks said Tuesday COVID- 19 positive tests have required keeping some student cohorts out of school. The high school football team has been quarantined for three games.

_ Stratford School District will no longer offer hot lunch meals through Tuesday, Oct. 6, due to “COVID-19 concerns.”