Washington Co., WI – According to the Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department there are now three confirmed cases of people who have tested positive for the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Two of the cases are in Washington County and one case is in Ozaukee County.
The first case in Washington County was announced Tuesday afternoon, March 17 and the second case was confirmed Wednesday morning, March 18.
Bailey Murph is the senior public health strategist for Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department. “We haven’t changed our policy and we will not release the municipalities that are being directly impacted,” she said. “I don’t foresee that changing anytime soon.
“This is an added layer of protection for the person or persons in question; it’s for their privacy.”
Questioned how many people have tested negative for the virus, Murph said “that testing is being done at the health provider care level.”
“I have numbers from the state but nothing local,” she said.
The director of Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department Kirsten Johnson said she was aware of the “policy of the department not to release where the municipality where someone might be sick is.”
“We’re not going to share where these people live,” said Johnson.
The Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department is run by a board of directors. The chairman of that board is Washington County Board Chairman Don Kriefall,(262) 335-4307 [email protected]
Statewide, according to Murph, the number of people who have tested negative for COVID-19 as of March 18, 2020 was 1,577 cases.
“We are just following up on positive cases and we do contact tracing,” said Murph. “We don’t have an ongoing number about who is testing negative.”
Murph said the people who have “tested positive have sought medical care and they are quarantining in place.”
The Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department is a local, government run organization supported by your tax dollars.
Valerie Grimm with the Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department said the person was not exposed to the public. “This person immediately sought medical care and they followed all of our protocol,” said Grimm. “They stayed home and the spread is limited because they followed all our guidelines.”
Grimm said it was a “quick response” by the person involved and “all the health department standards were followed” and the “person self quarantined.”
Below is the initial announcement of a positive case March 17 in Washington County.
The individual is currently isolated and has followed all recommendations made by the Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department.
To prevent the spread of illness, the Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department is conducting a contact investigation to identify and follow-up with any people who had close contact with this individual. Close contacts will be monitored by local public health department staff; individuals will complete daily symptom and temperature checks and will be self-quarantined.
Today, Governor Tony Evers ordered a moratorium on mass gatherings of 10 people or more to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Effective at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 all public and private mass gatherings of 10 or more are prohibited in the State of Wisconsin. Additionally, all bars and restaurants shall close in the State of Wisconsin except for delivery and take-out services.
To minimize the spread of illness, the Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department recommends people postpone or cancel non-essential travel to areas with COVID-19, including both international travel and domestic travel. Residents are urged to stay home if they are sick, practice social distancing of 6 feet or more between other people, practice good hygiene by washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and frequently disinfect commonly touched surfaces.
“In an effort to slow the spread of COVID- 19, we ask all of our residents to heed the Governor’s orders and to consider the health of the most vulnerable in our communities,” said Health Officer Kirsten Johnson.
There are numerous resources on the CDC website to help prepare for and respond to COVID-19.