*** IMPORTANT UPDATE ***
March 17, 2020 – 4:00 PM
MEMO: Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
ATTENTION: On Friday, March 13, 2020, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, ordered the closure of all public and private schools. Such institutions will remain closed for the duration of the public health emergency, or until a subsequent order lifts this specific restriction. School closure is a necessary step to prevent, suppress, and control the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
In addition to school closures, on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, Governor Tony Evers has ordered that all public and private “mass gatherings” of 10 or more people statewide are prohibited to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. This order is in effect starting Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at 5:00pm for the duration of the public health emergency declared in Governor Evers’ Execute Order #72, or until a superseding order is issued. Violation or obstruction of this order is punishable by imprisonment, fines or both, under Wisconsin State Statute § 252.02(3). The Clark County Health Department (CCHD) recommends cancelling all group gatherings at this time. See the attached order for exempts to this order.
A “mass gathering” is any planned or spontaneous, public or private event or convening that will bring together or, is likely to bring together, 10 or more people in a single room or single confined or enclosed space at the same time.
Effective at 5:00pm on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, all bars and restaurants shall close in the State of Wisconsin, except as provided below for restaurants:
Restaurants may remain open for take-out or delivery service only. No seating may be provided, and food may not be consumed at the restaurant. Restaurants shall preserve social distancing of six feet between customers during pick up.
Retail food establishments (grocery stores, convenience stores, farmer’s markets) may remain open as long as the requirements listed below are followed:
Close all seating intended for consuming food.
Cease self-service operations of salad bars, beverage stations, buffets, etc.
Prohibit customers from self-dispensing all unpackaged food.
If you decide to keep an event of less than 10 people, the CCHD recommends you take the following steps:
Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet between people.
Disinfect frequently touched objects, using household cleaning spray or wipes.
Ensure the event/facility has plenty of capacity for all people to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and provide an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Stay home if you are sick; cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; refrain from shaking hands.
About The Disease:
The main way COVID-19 is spread to others is when an infected person coughs or sneezes. This is similar to how influenza (the flu) is spread. The virus is found in droplets from the throat and nose. When someone coughs or sneezes, other people near them can breathe in those droplets. The virus can also spread when someone touches an object with the virus on it. If that person touches their mouth, face, or eyes the virus can make them sick.
Individuals most at-risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 are older adults and individuals with underlying health conditions. It is important to know that children and adults may be carriers of the virus, but show no symptoms. If precautions are not taken, these healthy individuals can transmit the virus to those more vulnerable.
Symptoms of COVID-19 can include: fever, cough, and shortness of breath. These may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after contact with someone who has the virus. There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection, and there is no specific treatment.
We are seeing community spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin. This means that there are people who have tested positive, who have no known exposure to known case, nor did they travel to a location where there is known community spread. To better prevent further community spread, the CCHD recommends that any nonessential travel be cancelled or postponed. In addition, it is recommended for any travel (including Wisconsin) that you self-monitor for symptoms (fever, cough) and limit your interactions with others.
A quarantine is a preventive step to help stop the spread of disease. It means staying at home and limiting your interactions with others. By quarantining yourself for 14 days, the likelihood that you will transmit the disease to others is significantly reduced. Even if you are not showing symptoms, you can still spread the virus to others, thus why self-quarantine is critical for people who are not sick.
By implementing limitations on mass gatherings and travel, Governor Evers is intending to slow the spread of this outbreak. Mass gatherings during an outbreak of a particularly infectious disease such as COVID-19 have the potential to result in large numbers of ill people that can quickly overwhelm hospitals and clinics.
Please know that the health and safety of all community members is our highest priority. We understand that the order to practice social distancing presents a great concern for you and your community. Our intention is not to limit your day-to-day activities, but to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by having temporary restrictions in place. We appreciate your cooperation, as each person in our community plays a role in the overall health of our county. Updated information will be provided to you via mail as it becomes available.
Please direct questions to the CCHD’s main phone number (715) 743-5105.
Brittany Mews, RN BSN
Clark County Health Department, Health Officer/Director
517 Court Street, Room 105 | Neillsville, WI 54456
Phone: (715) 743 5105 | Fax: (715) 743 5115 | http://www.co.clark.wi.us/healthdepartment