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Health department warns of high levels of COVID-19 activity

Very high levels of COVID-19 cases are causing local businesses and schools to struggle to stay open and are resulting in increased COVID-19 related hospitalizations and deaths, according to the Marathon County Health Department.

Due to the escalation in cases, local health departments are not able to notify positive cases and their close contacts in a timely manner. This severely limits efforts to contain the virus.

In response to the surge of cases, hospitals are enacting emergency and surge plans and are beginning to have staffing challenges. To stop the uncontrolled spread of this virus, everyone is being asked to take action now.

Community members are being asked to carry out actions to protect themselves, their families, friends and community:

_ Wear a cloth face covering, unless you are unable to wear one for medical reasons.

_ Maintain a physical distance of at least six feet from people with whom you do not live.

_ Reconsider gathering indoors with people who do not live in your household.

_ Limit outdoor gatherings to 10 people or fewer, physically distance, and wear face coverings.

_ Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer.

_ Check daily for symptoms, stay home if sick.

_ If symptomatic, call your health care provider, get a test, and stay home to await results.

_ Answer the phone when the health department calls if you tested positive or are a close contact.

Business and community organizations are being asked to continue to implement WEDC Guidelines to protect employees and customers:

_ Promote cloth face coverings.

_ Create spaces that maintain a physical distance of at least six feet between people.

_ Limit the number of people indoors.

_ Move meetings and gatherings to virtual.

_ Encourage delivery and carryout and curbside options.

_ Consider postponing events.

For more information on cases in your area and COVID-19 recommendations, visit your local health department’s website, Facebook page, and resources provided by Wisconsin DHS and the CDC.