Wood County, Wisconsin

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Wood County COVID-19 Updates

Visit our information hub for a listing of all COVID-19 resources available from Wood County.
Sue Kunferman
Sue Kunferman, Director
Wood County Health Department
Wisconsin Rapids Location
Wood County River Block Building (Map)
3rd Floor
111 W Jackson St
Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54495
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00am - 12:00pm / 1:00pm - 4:30pm Closed Holidays
Phone: (715) 421-8911
Fax: (715) 421-8962

Wood County Health Department
Marshfield Location
Wood County Annex & Health Center (Map)

1600 N Chestnut Ave
Hours: Clinics by appointment only, please call.
Phone: (715) 387-8646

If you need to report a communicable
disease or public health emergency
after hours, please contact the
Wood County Dispatch Center at
(715) 421-8700.

Current Events

Happy and Safe 4th of July!

Posted 7/3/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

Announcement Regarding Auburndale Festival Activities 

Posted 7/3/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

07/03/2020

CONTACT:  Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer

(715) 421-8911

AUBURNDALE FESTIVAL ACTIVITIES 

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, WI -  Multiple individuals, including some Wood County residents, who attended the Auburndale Music Fest activities held on June 27-28 have tested positive for COVID-19. While in attendance some cases were likely contagious. Cases were known to have been at the food and beverage distribution areas as well as in attendance at and participating in softball and volleyball games. 

“The Wood County Health Department is unable to determine all of the individuals who may have been exposed,” states Wood County Health Officer and Director, Sue Kunferman. “If you were at the festival on either of those days and have developed symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, difficulty breathing, headache, fatigue, loss of taste or smell) please contact your healthcare provider to get tested.”

If you were in attendance, you are asked to stay home as much as possible until July 11. If you must leave your home, please wear a face covering, maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from others, and practice good hand hygiene.

If you have questions or immediate needs related to COVID-19, call 2-1-1 or text COVID-19 to 211211. For up-to-date information, please visit the Wood County Health Department website and Facebook page.

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Announcement Regarding Mass Gatherings and Community Events

Posted 6/22/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

06/22/20

CONTACT: Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer

(715) 421-8911

Announcement Regarding Mass Gatherings and Community Events

Wisconsin Rapids, WI – Over the past few months the Wood County Health Department has received numerous phone calls and emails for advice as to whether event organizers should go forward with their public gatherings, such as parades, fairs, festivals, flea markets, and other events typically held throughout the summer and early fall in Wood County. The Wood County Health Department is required to investigate health problems and health hazards in the community and inform, educate, and empower people about health issues.

Currently, there are no state or local orders that prohibit large public gatherings. However, the Wood County Health Department advises against large gatherings due to the COVID -19 pandemic and has confidence that event organizers will act in the best interest of the community and potential event attendees. Postponing an event to 2021 would be viewed as a reasonable and appropriate decision.

Large gatherings of people in sustained, close contact greatly increase the risk for spread of the COVID-19 virus, and these gatherings are especially challenging to meet the physical distancing and other prevention recommendations required to slow the spread of disease. Other higher risk gatherings include contact-type sporting events, graduation parties, weddings, and other types of larger private and public functions that encourage close contact and travel to/from an individual’s home community.

If a large gathering is under consideration by your group or entity, please proceed with caution. In lieu of in-person events or gatherings, find creative ways to host non-contact events or host events virtually that can build the same sense of community and celebration. 

If gatherings do take place, organizers should require physical distancing. Face coverings should be recommended as feasible. Organizers should opt for outdoor venues and limit the number of people to 25% of capacity of a tent or pavilion. Food should be pre-plated individual servings, no buffet lines or self-serve options. Hand sanitizer should be plentiful and bathrooms should be cleaned and sanitized before, during, and after events. 

Wood County has data available online including cases by sex, age, ethnicity, municipality, tests by day and cumulative positive tests by day. The dashboard is available on the Wood County website at this link. A set of metrics has been developed and will be used to provide local phased guidance for continued reopening recommendations. 

Please contact the Wood County Health Department at 715-421-8911 if further guidance is needed.

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Results of National Guard Testing in Marshfield

Posted 6/5/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

06/05/20

CONTACT: Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer

(715) 421-8911

Results of National Guard Testing in Marshfield

Wisconsin Rapids, WI – On Tuesday, June 2, the National Guard assisted the Wood County Health Department to provide community testing in Marshfield for individuals experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and frontline workers with or without symptoms. 

The Wisconsin State Emergency Operation Center and National Guard were instrumental in both making this testing available and administering the tests. The health department extends their gratitude to the National Guard and other community partners who assisted in planning, implementing, and promoting the testing site.

Over the course of the day, 187 people were tested and results have been processed on the majority of these tests. Two new positive cases were identified through the Marshfield drive-through testing, both in neighboring counties of Clark and Marathon. 

Two additional Wood County positives have been identified over the past two days through a local health system bringing the total cases for Wood County to 12. As of Friday, a total of 2,441 Wood County residents have now been tested for COVID-19. Three of the 12 positive cases are still active, are asymptomatic, and are isolating at home. Eight have recovered and one is deceased.

For a current listing of community testing sites visit dhs.wisconsin.gov/testing. If you have questions or immediate needs related to COVID-19, call United Way’s 2-1-1 or text COVID-19 to 211211. For up-to-date information, please visit the Wood County Health Department website and Facebook page.

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Person Positive for COVID-19 Visited Wood County Establishments

Posted 5/29/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

05/29/20

CONTACT: Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer

(715) 421-8911

Person Positive for COVID-19 Visited Wood County Establishments

Wisconsin Rapids, WI – The Wood County Health Department has received notification of its tenth case of novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19). The individual is not experiencing symptoms at this time and is now self-isolating and monitoring for symptoms. Prior to testing, and while potentially contagious, the individual did visit businesses in Wood County and was in close contact with others whose names are unknown. Establishments visited by the individual include the Blue Bayou Pub in Pittsville and Jammers in Wisconsin Rapids on the early evening and late evening of Sunday, May 24, respectively. County health officials are working to determine how the individual may have become infected and are contacting others with whom the person with the positive result had close contact. 

Once a person tests positive for COVID-19 contact tracing begins. When it is not possible to specifically identify contacts from an exposure during which adequate physical distancing was not maintained, a press release will be issued to allow the public to better know their potential exposure risk. If you think you were exposed at one of these establishments during this time, stay home and isolate and call the Wood County Health Department at 715-421-8911 for further direction. For those who may be concerned about exposure and are interested in being tested, free testing will be available on June 2nd at the Marshfield Fairgrounds from 11am-7pm.   

“It is important to continue following the advice that has been shared to stay safe and keep our community safe and healthy. Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. It takes all of us together to control the spread of the pandemic; be mindful of the choices you make and how they may impact others,” stated Sue Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director and Health Officer. 

People should continue to: frequently and thoroughly wash hands with soap and water, cover coughs and sneezes, avoid touching your face, stay home when sick, practice physical distancing, avoid large gatherings and crowds, and wear cloth face coverings when physical distancing is difficult to do.

People with confirmed infections have a wide range of symptoms. They may have little to no symptoms or become severely sick and ultimately pass away from complications. Symptoms may include fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, headache, fatigue, body and muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of smell, and loss of taste.

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, please contact your medical provider to be tested or visit https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/testing for a list of community testing sites.

While this virus predominantly affects our vulnerable population more acutely, no one is immune from developing serious, even life threatening complications.  Please protect others by protecting yourself. 

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Free COVID-19 Testing in Marshfield with National Guard Assistance

Posted 5/28/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

(Spanish) Free COVID-19 Testing in Marshfield with National Guard Assistance

Posted 5/28/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

(Hmong) Free COVID-19 Testing in Marshfield with National Guard Assistance

Posted 5/28/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

(Spanish) Marshfield Location Free COVID-19 Testing with National Guard

Posted 5/28/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

PARA PUBLICACIÓN INMEDIATA

05/28/20

CONTACTO: Susan Kunferman, directora/funcionaria de salud del Wood County Health Department

(715) 421-8911

Administración gratuita de pruebas de detección de COVID-19 en el condado de Wood, en colaboración con la Guardia Nacional: Zona de Marshfield

Wisconsin Rapids, WI – El Wood County Health Department (Departamento de Salud del Condado de Wood) ha solicitado asistencia a la Guardia Nacional de WI para incrementar la administración de pruebas de detección de COVID-19. La Guardia Nacional proporcionará pruebas de detección de COVID-19 mediante hisopado nasal administradas en el automóvil, el día martes 2 de junio de 11 a.m. a  7 p.m. en Marshfield. 

La jornada se llevará a cabo en el recinto ferial de Marshfield (Marshfield Fairgrounds) ubicado en 513 E 17th St, Marshfield, WI  54449. La jornada de administración de pruebas está abierta a la comunidad y NO es necesario programar cita. Esté preparado para proporcionar su dirección actual, condado de residencia y número de teléfono cuando llegue al lugar de las pruebas. Las pruebas administradas en esta jornada serán gratuitas y están abiertas a cualquier residente de Wisconsin que se encuentre experimentando síntomas. Son aptas las personas de 5 años de edad o más que presenten cualquiera de los siguientes síntomas: fiebre, tos, pérdida del gusto/olfato, falta de aire, dolor de garganta, fatiga, dolores corporales, diarrea, vómitos o náuseas, escalofríos y/o dolores musculares. También se administrarán pruebas a trabajadores sin sintomatología pertenecientes al área de la salud, servicios de emergencia, fuerzas del orden público y servicios correccionales, y a aquellos que hayan estado expuestos a personas con resultados positivos para COVID-19.

Debido a que desconocemos el volumen de personas interesadas en la prueba, esté preparado para posibles tiempos de espera. Solicitamos que los medios de transporte (automóviles, carretas, etc.) formen una fila mientras esperan su turno y que los interesados en hacerse la prueba permanezcan en su medio de transporte en todo momento. Las personas permanecerán en sus medios de transporte mientras les administren la prueba de detección y no habrá instalaciones de baños disponibles en el lugar; por lo tanto, planifique en consecuencia.

La Guardia Nacional administrará las pruebas. Estarán uniformados y con EPP completo (equipo de protección personal que incluye batas, mascarillas, guantes, etc.) durante este evento. Las personas serán contactadas con los resultados. Este evento tiene dos objetivos principales. 1) Proveer acceso a pruebas de detección masivas para nuestras comunidades. 2) Brindar a Salud Pública una mejor perspectiva de cuán extendida está la COVID-19 en nuestras comunidades. Después de este evento, seguiremos trabajando estrechamente con nuestros proveedores locales de salud para continuar desarrollando sus capacidades con el fin de cubrir todas las necesidades de los pacientes.

“Las comunidades rurales presentan dificultades particulares de acceso, incluido el transporte. Agradecemos la colaboración de la Guardia Nacional, que nos permitirá ofrecer pruebas de detección en otra comunidad del Condado de Wood. La reducida cantidad de casos positivos no significa que la crisis sanitaria haya terminado. El distanciamiento físico ha sido y seguirá siendo una estrategia efectiva para minimizar la propagación de la enfermedad”, afirmó Sue Kunferman, directora y funcionaria del Wood County Health Department. Una vez que se hayan realizado la prueba de detección, las personas deberán regresar directamente a sus hogares
y seguir las instrucciones recibidas en el lugar de las pruebas. La Guardia Nacional o su departamento de

salud local entregarán por teléfono el resultado de la prueba de detección de manera oportuna. 

Se invita a los medios de comunicación a cubrir el operativo entre las 1:30 p.m. y las 2:30 p.m.; se solicita abstenerse de tomar fotografías de los pacientes o sus automóviles, a menos que el paciente otorgue su consentimiento.

Si tiene preguntas o necesidades inmediatas relacionadas con la COVID-19, llame al 2-1-1 o envíe un mensaje de texto con la palabra COVID-19 al 211211. Para obtener información actualizada, visite el sitio web y la página de Facebook del Wood County Health Department.

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(Hmong) Marshfield Location Free COVID-19 Testing with National Guard

Posted 5/28/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

05/28/20

CONTACT: Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer

(715) 421-8911

Muaj Kuaj Ntsuas Kabmob COVID-19 Pub Dawb Huav Wood County Nrog Rau National Guard:                 Nyob Lub Nroog Marshfield

Wisconsin Rapids, WI - Wood County Health Department tau thov kev pab los ntawm WI National Guard txhawm rau kuaj ntsuas COVID-19. National Guard yuav pab kuaj cov neeg ua tsav tsheb tuaj ua thib tos kuaj tus kabmob COVID-19 ntawm lub qhov ntswg nyob rau hauv Marshfield hnub Vas Asqhas, lub Rau Hlis tim 2 thaum 11 teev sawv ntxov txog rau 7 teev tsaus ntuj.

Qhov kev tshwm sim yuav muaj nyob ntawm Marshfield Fairgrounds chaw nyob yog 513 E 17th Street, Marshfield, WI  54449. Kev tshwm sim kuaj ntsuas yuav tsis muaj teem sijhawm kuaj. Npaj qhia chaw nyob, lub nroog nyob, thiab naj npawb xov tooj thaum koj tuaj txog qhov chaw kuaj. Kev kuaj ntsuas ntawm qhov kev tshwm sim no yuav pub dawb thiab qhib rau txhua tus neeg nyob hauv Wisconsin uas muaj cov tsos mob tshwm sim rau lawv. Txhua tus neeg 5 xyoos thiab laus dua uas muaj tsos mob tshwm sim li hauv qab no: ua npaws, hnoos, lub qhov ncauj tsis hnov qab, tsis hnov ntxhiab tsw, ua pa tsis tau, mob qa, nkees, mob ib ce, zawv plab, ntuav lossis xeev siab, ua daus no, thiab / lossis mob leeg nqaij tuaj kuaj tau.  Kev kuaj ntsuas xyuas muaj qhib rau cov neeg ua haujlwm tu mob, EMS, tub ceev xwm, cov tub ceev xwm ua hawjlwm rau hauv qhov chaw kaw neeg, thiab tus neeg uas tau nyob ze tus neeg mob tub kab mob COVID-19.

Vim tsis puab tias yuav siv sijhawm ntev li cas, nej yuam tsum npaj siab tias tejzaum yuav tau tos ntev thiab.  Lawv thov kom sawvdaw yuav tsum siv tsheb thauj neeg tuaj kuaj, tshav tsheb mus ua thib tos kuaj, thiab tsis pub tus neeg tos kuaj tawm hauv nwb lub tsheb thaum tseem tos kuaj.  Kev kuaj ntsuas yog kuaj koj huav koj lub tsheb xwb, yuav tsis muaj chav dej rau sawvdaw siv, yog li nco ntsoov siv chav dej ua ntej koj tuaj.  

Cov National Guard yuav yog cov kuaj ntsuas. Lawv yuav hnav lawv cev khaub ncaws ua tub rog thaib yuav siv PPE (cov khoom siv tiv thaiv tus kheej nrog rau looj tag nrho ib cev, looj ntsej muag, looj hnab looj tes, thiab lwm yam) thaum lub sijhawm tshwm sim no. Tom qab kuaj tag lawm, lawv mas hu tuaj qhia rau nej paub. Muaj ob lub hom phiaj tseem ceeb rau qhov kev tshwm sim zaum no. 1) Muab kev kuaj ntsuas rau pej xeem thaib zej zog tau tuaj kuaj ntsuam kabmob. 2) Qhia rau cov pej xeem paub txog tias tus kabmob COVID-19 kis mus thoob peb zej zog li cas lawm.  Tom qab cov xwm txheej no, peb tseem yuav ua haujlwm ze nrog peb cov chaw muab kev noj qab haus huv hauv zej zog los txuas ntxiv txhim kho lawv lub peev xwm kom tau raws li cov neeg mob xav tau.

“Ib yam teb meem nyob rau peb cov zos me yog tsis muaj tsheb thauj neeg mus qhov txhia chaw.  Peb txaus siab rau txoj kev pabcuam ntawm National Guard tau tuaj yeem muaj pab kev kuaj ntsuas rau peb Lub Nroog Wood County thiab.  Qhov tsis muaj tus kab mob tshwm sim rau peb zej zog tsis tau txhais tau tias peb lub zej zog tsis muaj tus kab mob no lawm.  Kev nyob sib nrug yuav tsum muaj ntxiv mus thiaj li yuav pab txo tus kabmob kom txhob sib kis.”  hais los ntawm Sue Kunferman, Wood County Officer/Director.  Tom qab kuaj tag lawm, koj yuav tsum rov qab mus ncaj nriam rau tom koj lub tsev thiab ua raws li cov lus qhia thaum nyob rau ntawm qhov chaw kuaj ntsuas qhia koj ua.  National Guard los yog health department mas hu xov tooj tom qab tuaj qhia rau koj qhov lawv kuaj tau rau koj. 

Cov neeg tshaj xov xwm yuav tuaj koom thaum 1:30 txog 2:30 teev tsaus ntuj, peb yuav hais kom lawv txhob thaij cov neeg mob los yog lawv lub tsheb tshwj tsis yog muab kev pom zoo tso cai los ntawm tus neeg mob.

Yog muaj lus nug txog COVID-19, hu tau rau 2-1-1 los yog sau lo lus COVID-19 rau hauv koj lub xov tooj xav mus rau tus naj npawb 211211. Yog xav puab ntxiv, mus rau Wood County Health Department website thiab Facebook page.

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Marshfield Location Free COVID-19 Testing with National Guard

Posted 5/28/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

05/28/20

CONTACT: Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer

(715) 421-8911

Free COVID-19 Testing in Wood County with National Guard: Marshfield Location

Wisconsin Rapids, WI – Wood County Health Department has requested assistance from the WI National Guard to scale up COVID-19 testing. The National Guard will be providing drive-through style COVID-19 nasal swab testing in Marshfield on Tuesday, June 2nd from 11am-7pm. 

The event will be held at the Marshfield Fairgrounds located at 513 E 17th St, Marshfield, WI 54449. The event is open to the community and appointments are NOT necessary. Be prepared to provide a current address, county of residence, and phone number when you arrive for testing. Testing at this event will be free and is open to any Wisconsin resident experiencing symptoms. Anyone 5 years and older with any current symptom: fever, cough, loss of taste/smell, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, body aches, diarrhea, vomiting or nausea, chills, and/or muscle aches is eligible for testing. Testing is also open to asymptomatic healthcare workers, EMS, law enforcement, corrections officers, and individuals with known exposure to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Due to the unknown amount of interest, prepare for potential wait times. It is requested that modes of transportation (cars, horse drawn buggies, etc.) form a line while waiting for testing, and that those who want to be tested, stay in or on their mode of transportation at all times. People will remain in their modes of transportation for testing and no restroom facilities will be available onsite, please plan accordingly.

The National Guard will be doing the testing. They will be in uniform and in full PPE (personal protective equipment including gowns, mask, gloves, etc.) during this event. Individuals will be contacted with results. There are two main goals for this event. 1) Provide our communities with mass testing.  2) Give public health better insight into how widespread COVID-19 is in our communities.  Following this event, we will continue to work closely with our local healthcare providers to continue building their capacity to meet patient demand.

“Rural living presents unique barriers, including transportation. We appreciate the assistance of the National Guard to be able to offer testing in another Wood County community. A lack of positive cases doesn’t mean we’re in the clear. Physical distancing has and will continue to be an effective strategy at minimizing the spread of disease,” said Sue Kunferman, Wood County Health Officer/Director. Following testing, people should return straight home and follow the instructions given at the testing site. Test results will be provided via phone by the National Guard or your local health department in a timely manner. 

Media are invited to attend between 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm, and will be asked to avoid taking photographs of patients or their cars unless consent from the patient is given.

If you have questions or immediate needs related to COVID-19, call 2-1-1 or text COVID-19 to 211211. For up-to-date information, please visit the Wood County Health Department website and Facebook page.

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Updated Information Regarding First COVID-19 Death in Wood County

Posted 5/26/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

05/22/20

CONTACT: Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer

(715) 421-8911

Updated Information Regarding First COVID-19 Death in Wood County

Wisconsin Rapids, WI – The Wood County Health Department and Wood County Coroner would like to correct information on the release shared earlier regarding Wood County’s first COVID-19 death. The department has become aware of underlying health conditions that were not previously disclosed, but were identified by the Wood County Coroner.

After reviewing medical records, this individual had health conditions that contributed to the person’s death along with COVID-19. These health conditions were not disclosed to the health department during the time of case interview.

The Wood County Health Department has completed a contact investigation and notified those who were in contact with the individual. 

If you have questions or immediate needs related to COVID-19, call 2-1-1 or text COVID-19 to 211-211. For up-to-date information, please visit the Wood County Health Department website and Facebook page.

First

Posted 5/22/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

05/22/20

CONTACT: Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer

(715) 421-8911

First COVID-19 Death in Wood County

Wisconsin Rapids, WI – One person has died in Wood County of complications surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19), health officials confirmed today. A person in their 30’s with no underlying health conditions, died on May 22. The death is the first in Wood County associated with COVID-19.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our community members,” said Susan Kunferman, Health Officer and Director for the Wood County Health Department.  “Our thoughts are with the family and loved ones.”

To date, nine people in Wood County and over 13,885 people in Wisconsin have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and there have been 485 deaths in Wisconsin. 

Health officials expect the number of confirmed cases to rise in the coming weeks with the safer at home order no longer in place. Testing and tracing efforts have been ramped up locally and statewide in an effort to battle the spread of the disease.

“We strongly encourage community members to stay home unless activities are essential. In doing so, you’re not only helping protect yourself, but also your family, friends, neighbors, and fellow community members,” Kunferman said.

If you have questions or immediate needs related to COVID-19, call 2-1-1 or text COVID-19 to 211-211. For up-to-date information, please visit the Wood County Health Department website and Facebook page.

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Wisconsin Supreme Court Overrules Safer at Home Order

Posted 5/14/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

05/14/20

CONTACT: Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer

(715) 421-8911

Wisconsin Supreme Court Overrules Safer at Home Order

Wisconsin Rapids, WI – On Wednesday, May 13th, the Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned the state’s Safer at Home order. With this ruling, businesses now have the right to be open. 

Public health will continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and has the obligation to address any outbreaks or spikes that occur. Should this happen, orders may be issued accordingly. The mission of the Wood County Health Department is to maximize the quality of life across the lifespan. This is accomplished through a number of ways including promoting health and preventing disease. “It is our job to protect our community, provide services and take appropriate action as necessary,” said Sue Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director and Health Officer. “The Safer at Home order provided us with time to prepare and has been successful in flattening the curve.”

The order is gone, the virus is not. In recent days, central Wisconsin numbers have begun to rise. While testing availability has increased, it cannot be assumed this is the only reason for the increase. Wood County residents are not immune to getting this virus and the numbers will continue to increase in the days and weeks to come. Today, Wood County has confirmed a total of six positive cases since the beginning of the pandemic, four of which were identified within the last week.

Be smart and continue to practice the guidance that has been shared over the last eight weeks. Maintain physical distance, avoid gathering in groups, use good personal hygiene, handwashing, etc. Do not go to work, the store, or anywhere else when you feel ill. Consider wearing a cloth face covering when out in public.

People who are vulnerable and at higher risk of severe complications of COVID-19 should stay home whenever possible. This includes people over the age of 65, people who live in nursing homes or long-term care facilities, and individuals with underlying health conditions or who are immunocompromised.

If you feel you have symptoms of COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider for testing options, or visit https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/testing for a list of community testing sites.

Local businesses will now play a big role in protecting customers and staff. Local, state, and national resources are available to help businesses adapt best practices. 

Wood County Business Toolkit: https://www.co.wood.wi.us/Departments/Health/CovidBusiness.aspx Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation: https://wedc.org/reopen-guidelines/

Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html 

If you have questions or immediate needs related to COVID-19, call United Way’s 2-1-1 or text COVID-19 to 211211. For up-to-date information, please visit the Wood County Health Department website and Facebook page.

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Recap of National Guard Testing and Order #36

Posted 5/11/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

05/11/20

CONTACT: Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer

(715) 421-8911

Recap of National Guard Testing and Order #36

Wisconsin Rapids, WI – On Friday, May 8 and Saturday, May 9 the National Guard assisted the Wood County Health Department to provide community testing in Wisconsin Rapids for individuals experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and frontline workers with or without symptoms. The Wisconsin State Emergency Operation Center and National Guard were instrumental in both making this testing available and administering the tests. 

Over the course of the two days, 267 people were tested and results have been processed on the majority of these tests. One new positive case was identified in Wood County and three positive cases identified in neighboring counties through the Wisconsin Rapids drive-through testing. In addition to the one Wood County positive identified through National Guard testing, another positive test was identified through a local health system. A total of 985 Wood County residents have now been tested for COVID-19, with four of those tests resulting positive. One of the four positive cases is currently symptomatic and isolated at home. Two have recovered and one remains asymptomatic. The asymptomatic patient is also isolating at home and monitoring for symptoms. Contact tracing is underway for both new positive cases.

The health department extends their gratitude to the National Guard and other community partners who assisted in planning, implementing, and promoting the testing site. For a current listing of community testing sites visit dhs.wisconsin.gov/testing.

Today, Gov. Tony Evers announced Emergency Order #36 which reduces restrictions on some businesses. Standalone or strip mall-based retail stores with entrances to the outside may offer in-person shopping for up to five customers at a time. Face coverings are strongly encouraged for staff and customers and physical distancing must be observed at all times. 

In-person retail businesses must:

  • Restrict the number of employees working on the premises; policies must ensure employees do not report to work if they have respiratory symptoms or have had contact with a known positive COVID-19 case.
  • Increase cleaning and disinfecting procedures.
  • Create clear markings where customers should stand while waiting to enter the store.
  • Follow required Safe Business Practices as outlined in the previous Safer at Home order.  

It is recommended that all businesses review the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) publications (https://wedc.org/reopen-guidelines). The publications include general guidelines for all businesses to follow as well as industry-specific advice. Specific guidance is provided for restaurants, retailers, manufacturers, professional offices, farmers, manufacturers, builders, hotel and motel operators, personal care services, and other fields. Businesses providing services rather than goods, such as hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, day spas, body art establishments, tanning facilities, and other personal care businesses, must remain closed at this time, but are encouraged to review the WEDC publications to prepare for re-opening. 

Some general advice for all businesses:

  • Ensure employees who are sick do not report to work.
  • Limit business travel whenever possible.
  • Support virtual meetings and work-from-home arrangements.
  • Ensure employees have access to hand sanitizer or handwashing, gloves, and face masks when appropriate.

Local seamstresses have been busy making homemade masks. Both United Way of South Wood and Adams County and Marshfield Area United Way have homemade masks available for distribution. These masks come with both wearing and washing instructions. 

If you have questions or immediate needs related to COVID-19, call United Way’s 2-1-1 or text COVID-19 to 211211. For up-to-date information, please visit the Wood County Health Department website and Facebook page.

###

May 5, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 5/7/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

May 6, 2020 Updated Numbers Wood County COVID-19

Posted 5/7/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

(Spanish) Free COVID-19 Testing in Wood County with National Guard Assistance

Posted 5/5/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

(Hmong) Free COVID-19 Testing in Wood County with National Guard Assistance

Posted 5/5/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

Free COVID-19 Testing in Wood County with National Guard Assistance

Posted 5/5/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  

05/05/20

CONTACT: Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer

(715) 421-8911

Free COVID-19 Testing in Wood County with National Guard Assistance

Wisconsin Rapids, WI – Wood County Health Department has requested assistance from the WI National Guard to scale up COVID-19 testing. The National Guard will be providing drive-through style COVID-19 nasal swab testing in Wisconsin Rapids Friday, May 8th and Saturday, May 9th from 8am-4pm. 

The event will be located at the Wood County Highway Department located at 555 17th Ave N, Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54495. The event is by appointment only. Please call 715-421-8931 to schedule appointments. Be prepared to provide a current address, county of residence, and phone number when you arrive for testing. Testing at this event will be free and is open to any Wisconsin resident experiencing symptoms. Anyone 5 years and older with any current symptom: fever, cough, loss of taste/smell, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, body aches, diarrhea, vomiting or nausea, chills, and/or muscle aches is eligible for testing. 

Due to the unknown amount of interest, prepare for potential wait times. It is requested that modes of transportation (cars, horse drawn buggies, etc.) form a line while waiting for testing, and that those who want to be tested, stay in or on their mode of transportation at all times. People will remain in their modes of transportation for testing and no restroom facilities will be available onsite, please plan accordingly.

The National Guard will be doing the testing. They will be in uniform and in full PPE (personal protective equipment including gowns, mask, gloves, etc.) during this event. Individuals will be contacted with results. There are two main goals for this event. 1) Provide our communities with mass testing.  2) Give public health better insight into how widespread COVID-19 is in our communities.  Following this event, we will continue to work closely with our local healthcare providers to continue building their capacity to meet patient demand.

“Positive cases that are identified through this event will be isolated. Contact tracing of these cases will be used to stop further spread in our communities. If there are not many positive cases, we can use that data to explore reopening activities. A lack of positive cases as a result of this event doesn’t mean we’re in the clear. Physical distancing has and will continue to be an effective strategy at minimizing the spread of disease,” said Sue Kunferman, Wood County Health Officer/Director.

Following testing, people should return straight home and follow the instructions given at the testing site. Test results will be provided via phone by the National Guard or your local health department in a timely manner. 

If you have questions or immediate needs related to COVID-19, call 2-1-1 or text COVID-19 to 211211. For up-to-date information, please visit the Wood County Health Department website and Facebook page.

New Order Opportunities, Parks and Forests to Open, Returning from Warm Climates

Posted 4/29/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

04/29/20

CONTACT: Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer

(715) 421-8911

New Order Opportunities, Parks and Forests to Open, Returning from Warm Climates

Wisconsin Rapids, WI – On Monday, April 27, Gov. Tony Evers announced expanded opportunities for non-essential businesses. All businesses may now do curbside drop-off and pick-up of goods and animals; this includes businesses such as dog groomers, small engine repair shops, and upholstery shops. The order also allows outdoor recreational rentals such as boats, golf carts, kayaks, ATVs, and other similar recreational vehicles. Additionally, automatic or self-service car washes can operate. All of these businesses must operate free of contact with customers by providing payment options online or over the phone, enact proper disinfecting practices, and must be able to be performed while maintaining physical distancing. 

Additionally, Gov. Evers issued a release detailing the reopening of 34 Wisconsin State Parks and Forests on May 1, 2020, with special conditions. Before making your way to one of Wisconsin's beautiful spots, call 1-888-305-0398 to get your 2020 State Park pass, which will be required starting May 1. Camping, group camps and shelters will remain closed until May 26. More information on the reopening and remaining restrictions is available here. 

With Wisconsin state parks and forests opening and fishing season right around the corner, the importance of staying safe while engaging in outdoor activities remains. Continue to maintain physical distancing at all times and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer and sanitize surfaces frequently touched by others. Purchase items you need in your essential shopping trip in your home community. 

What does home community mean? Use your best judgement; stay in general areas, near where your kids go to school, where you grocery shop, and your place of worship. Strive to make no additional stops outside of your community, other than your destination. 

Many Wisconsinites spend their winters out of the frozen tundra and in warmer climates. This year travels may bring home more than memories and souvenirs. Upon returning home, it is recommended that individuals self-quarantine for 14 days. For essential needs, bring groceries with you or have someone stock your home with essentials, groceries, medications, etc. before your arrival. If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, cough, difficulty breathing, chills, shortness of breath, or sore throat, contact your healthcare provider.

If you have questions or immediate needs related to COVID-19, call 2-1-1 or text COVID-19 to 211-211. For up-to-date information, please visit the Wood County Health Department website and Facebook page.

###

Seeking Sewers to Make Homemade Masks

Posted 4/28/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

Safer at Home Extension and Badger Bounce Back

Posted 4/24/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

04/24/20

CONTACT: Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer

(715) 421-8911

Safer at Home Extension and Badger Bounce Back

Wisconsin Rapids, WI – Gov. Tony Evers has directed Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm to extend the Safer at Home order through 8 a.m. Tuesday, May 26, 2020, or until a superseding order is issued. Safer at Home has saved lives, protected health care workers and critical employees, and prevented hospitals from being overrun. According to the Associated Press, a recent survey found Americans remain overwhelmingly in favor of stay-at-home orders and other efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

The extension of Safer at Home includes a few changes. Some changes allow more businesses and activities to open, while other changes help make businesses safer for employees and customers. The changes in this order include: 

  • Public libraries may now provide curb-side pick-up of books and other library materials. 
  • Golf courses may open again, with restrictions including scheduling and paying for tee times online or by phone only. Clubhouses and pro shops must remain closed.
  • Non-essential businesses will now be able to do more: deliveries, mailings, and curb-side pick-up. 
  • Arts and craft stores may offer expanded curb-side pick-up of materials necessary to make face masks or other personal protective equipment (PPE). 
  • Aesthetic or optional exterior lawn care or construction is now allowed.

The public should continue to follow simple steps to avoid exposure to the virus and prevent illness including: 

  • No social gatherings (including playdates, sleepovers, parties, large family dinners, visitors)
  • Frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water
  • Cover coughs and sneezes, consider wearing a face covering when out in public
  • Avoid touching one's face
  • Stay home and limit all non-essential travel 

On Monday, April 20th, Governor Evers announced the Badger Bounce Back, which is Wisconsin’s plan to decrease COVID-19 cases and deaths and get Wisconsinites back to work. This makes a phased reopening of businesses possible and gets people back to work in the safest way possible. Before moving into the Badger Bounce Back phases, there needs to be increased lab capacity and testing, increased contact tracing, support for isolation and quarantine, increased health care capacity, and increased availability of personal protective equipment. Decisions to move from phase to phase are guided by data,

which allows Wisconsin to re-open while preventing a second wave of COVID-19. For more information on Badger Bound Back visit the Wood County website. 

For general questions about COVID-19 please call 2-1-1. For up-to-date information, please visit the Wood County Health Department website and Facebook page.

###

COVID-19 Food Resources in Wood County

Posted 4/24/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

REQUEST FOR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT DONATIONS

Posted 4/23/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

If you are interested in making homemade masks, a pattern is available here. We appreciate all of your!

Attachment 

Badger Bounce Back

Posted 4/20/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

Badger Bounce Back is Wisconsin's plan to decrease COVID-19 cases and deaths to a low level and increase capacity in our health care system so that a phased reopening of businesses is possible. And that means people can get back to work.

Garage Sales, Rummage Sales, Other Out of Home Sales COVID-19 

Posted 4/15/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

04/15/20

CONTACT: Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer

(715) 421-8911

Garage Sales, Rummage Sales, Other Out of Home Sales COVID-19 

Wisconsin Rapids, WI – April showers bring May flowers and garage sales; however, this year per the Governor’s Safer at Home Order, garage sales, rummage sales, or any other out-of-home sales are not essential and are not allowable. 

“Spring cleaning, organizing, and decluttering is a great way to relieve stress, but this year we may need to hang on to unwanted items for a little longer,“ said Sue Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director and Health Officer. Sales that would occur via an online platform and mailed would be allowable. 

Safer at Home is working; in Wisconsin, initial projections show that without Safer at Home, there would be significantly more cases of COVID-19 and deaths associated with COVID-19. By staying home we are flattening the curve. Keep up the good work! Continue to stay at home except for essential travel, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer and sanitize surfaces frequently touched by others.

If you have questions or immediate needs related to COVID-19, call 2-1-1 or text COVID-19 to 211-211. For up-to-date information, please visit the Wood County Health Department website and Facebook page.

 

Safer at Home is Working

Posted 4/15/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

Safer at Home is working; in Wisconsin, initial projections show that without Safer at Home, there would be significantly more cases of COVID-19 and deaths associated with COVID-19. By staying home we are flattening the curve. Keep up the good work! 

Safer at Home and Faith Based Gatherings

Posted 4/8/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

04/08/20

CONTACT: Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer

(715) 421-8911

Safer at Home and Faith Based Gatherings 

Wisconsin Rapids, WI – On March 24th Governor Evers issued a Safer at Home order. The order bans all gatherings with 10 or more people. It is not limited to indoor gatherings and includes any defined space, parking lots and festival grounds. This encompasses faith based gatherings, drive-in services, weddings, and funerals. It is important to limit gatherings only to people living within the same household to avoid transmitting the virus through social networks.

At this time, we continue to ask that community and faith based organizations do not encourage families or individuals to leave their homes. The safest place for everyone is at their own home. It is imperative people are exposed to the least amount of person-to-person contact as possible, for the safety of all.

“This is a challenging time for all and we have to make big sacrifices for a little while to ensure the health of our most vulnerable populations is protected,” stated Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director and Health Officer. “For many in our communities, religious gatherings provide hope and are a source of strength. We look forward to the day we can again allow gatherings to take place.”  

Community and faith based organizations have an important role in slowing the spread of COVID-19, especially among high-risk populations. Community and faith based organizations often serve those who are most vulnerable, such as older people and those with serious underlying health conditions, like heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes, who are at higher risk of developing severe COVID-19 illness. 

Thankfully, with technology, there are options for staying connected to religious networks during this challenging time. Many churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and other places of worship are offering worship through television, radio, and livestream on the internet. “Individually, and as families, taking time to be mindful, meditate, and pray is a great way to safely practice spiritual beliefs during the pandemic,” says Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Officer.

If you have questions or immediate needs related to COVID-19, call 2-1-1 or text COVID-19 to 211-211. For up-to-date information, please visit the Wood County Health Department website and Facebook page.

It's Safer at Home

Posted 4/8/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

What you can and can't do during the Safer at Home order. Remember always practice physical distancing and wash your hands.

No Celebrations

Posted 4/8/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

The Safer at Home order mandates Wisconsin residents stay home, leaving only for essential needs. Holidays, family gatherings, faith based gatherings, grill-outs, etc. are NOT exceptions to the order.

Wood County Riverblock Building to Close to Public April 6th, 2020

Posted 4/3/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

04/03/20

CONTACT: Doug Machon, Wood County Board Chair

(715) 421-8400

Riverblock Closed to the Public Due to COVID-19

Wisconsin Rapids, WI – As COVID-19 continues to impact us locally, the Wood County Riverblock Building will be closed to the public effective Monday, April 6, 2020. This is being done to preserve the health and safety of our staff and clients while continuing to maintain the ability to provide essential services, including our response to COVID-19.

“This decision was difficult to make as we know the services provided by Wood County are important for many community members. Services will continue to be provided through alternate avenues, but at this time we are reducing our direct contact with the public,” stated Douglas Machon, Wood County Board Chair.

Staff are available by phone for appointments and questions. Direct lines for each department in Riverblock who interface with the public are listed below.

Health Department: (715) 421-8911

Human Services: (715) 421-8600

Land Conservation: (715) 421-8475

Parks & Forestry: (715) 421-8422

A detailed list of services still being provided can be found at the Wood County website: https://www.co.wood.wi.us/ If you have questions or immediate needs related to COVID-19, call 2-1-1 or text COVID-19 to 211-211.

Community Spread and Enforcement of Safer at Home Order

Posted 4/2/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

04/02/20

CONTACT: Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer

(715) 421-8911

Community Spread and Enforcing Safer at Home

Wisconsin Rapids, WI – Although Wood County continues to hold steady at two confirmed COVID-19 cases, it can be assumed there is community spread. There are not enough resources to do widespread testing for the virus; there are likely unidentified positive cases. The term community spread means a person’s disease cannot be traced to a specific individual or source. “If you leave your house and go into a public place, assume you will come into contact with someone carrying the virus,” said Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director and Health Officer. “Staying home is the only way we can slow the spread of the virus, we all have to make big sacrifices for a little while; we will get through this.”

Governor Evers’ Safer at Home order is in place to protect the public. Only essential businesses may remain open. Travel must be restricted to travel to the essential business where you work or for an essential reason. Essential reasons include shopping for food (including pet food), medical supplies, prescriptions and other necessities. Getting essentials should be happening once per week, by one person in your household. If you are a single-parent household, do your best to plan ahead to limit the trips you must take with your children.

Failure to abide by the Governor’s order is a criminal offense under §252.25 of the Wisconsin Statutes. Law enforcement will investigate any observed or reported violations of the order. In cases where persons do not comply with the order, law enforcement has the option of issuing a citation under a Wood County ordinance, which carries a forfeiture of $200.50. For serious or continued violations, a criminal arrest can be made under the above state statute.

”The health and the safety of our community is our highest priority," Wood County Sheriff Shawn Becker stated. “To keep our community safe you need to follow the Safer at Home order and limit your outings. As we continue to monitor and get calls and emails about non-essential activities happening in Wood County, we will be placing more emphasis on enforcement in order to protect people during this serious health crisis. Please obey this order; it will save lives.”

“According to projections, Wisconsin will reach its peak death rate around April 26 with 25 deaths per day,” said Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director and Health Officer. “Case numbers and deaths will continue to rise and orders are meant to be followed. We are working closely with local law enforcement to determine enforcement plans. Do your part and stay home.”

Remember to continue to check-in with those most vulnerable in our communities, especially anyone who may be isolated during this time. Call, email, video chat, or send a letter. 

If you have questions or immediate needs related to COVID-19, call 2-1-1 or text COVID-19 to 211-211. For up-to-date information, please visit the Wood County Health Department website and Facebook page.

Stay Safe

Posted 3/27/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

03/27/20

CONTACT: Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer

(715) 421-8911

Stay Safe

Wisconsin Rapids, WI – As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, the goal remains to protect human life and keep our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed. With case numbers and death counts rising in Wisconsin, and to preserve testing supplies for those who need them most, it is critical we continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) guidelines for testing. 

Not everyone can be tested for COVID-19. Priority is given to hospitalized individuals, residents of long-term care facilities and other congregate settings, health care workers, and other essential services such as first responders, law enforcement, and other public safety roles. Individuals who are not symptomatic should not be tested. As always, testing is at the discretion of the medical provider.

There is simply not enough resources or the capacity to test everyone. This means you need to stay home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Individuals who feel well or only mildly ill can still spread the virus. Older adults and those with underlying health conditions are the most vulnerable to the virus and seemingly healthy individuals could be asymptomatic and spread the virus to them – stay home. The only tool to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and protect the capacity of our healthcare system is physical separation from one another.  

Essential businesses must comply with the guidance and directives for maintaining a clean and safe work environment and maintain social distance to the extent possible. All employers and employees need to consider how best to decrease the spread of the virus and lower the impact of COVID-19 in their workplace. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. See the CDC COVID-19 Disinfection Guidance.

Check in on those members of our community, particularly anyone who may be isolated during this time. Call, email, or talk through the door. Make sure to limit face-to-face interactions with anyone particularly vulnerable to coronavirus.

If you have questions or immediate needs related to COVID-19, you can: call 2-1-1 or text COVID-19 to 211-211. For up-to-date information please visit the Wood County Health Department website and Facebook.

 

Coronavirus Information (Spanish)

Posted 3/26/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us
Attachment 

COVID-19 Case Numbers Increase

Posted 3/26/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

03/26/20

CONTACT: Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer

(715) 421-8911

COVID-19 Case Numbers Increase

Wisconsin Rapids, WI – Today the Wood County Health Department received notification of a second individual diagnosed with COVID-19. The individual is in their 20’s and resides in South Wood County. This individual had traveled outside of the United States. They followed recommendations for self-isolation while awaiting test results and continue to remain isolated at home. 

Please respect the privacy of persons being testing for COVID-19. In the United States, HIPAA refers to a law designed to provide privacy standards to protect patients' medical records and other health information provided to health plans, healthcare providers, and health departments. Details about COVID-19 cases are confidential.

In spite of restrictions on groups, the number of people infected with COVID-19 continues to grow. Physical distancing—the practice of keeping at least 6 feet apart from others and avoiding direct physical contact—is proving the only effective means of slowing the rate of infection. Staying home when it is not essential to leave, is extremely important. Please be smart- do not leave your home when it is not necessary.

During the Safer at Home order it is important to remember both employees and employers have rights. The U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, provides information on common issues employers and employees are facing due to COVID-19.  For more information visit https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act will help American businesses with fewer than 500 employees by giving funds to provide employees with paid leave, either for the employee’s own health needs or to care for family members. The legislation will ensure that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the virus while at the same time reimbursing businesses. 

For general questions about COVID-19 please call 2-1-1. For up-to-date information please visit the Wood County Health Department website and Facebook. 

Safer at Home

Posted 3/25/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

03/24/20

CONTACT: Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer

(715) 421-8911

                                                    SAFER AT HOME

Wisconsin Rapids, WI -- Today Governor Evers’ announced a Safer at Home order effective at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 25. Individuals in the State of Wisconsin are ordered to stay at home or at their place of residence, unless providing essential services or completing essential tasks. All non-essential businesses must close. Please stay home if you can, you are safer at home. 

Under the Safer at Home order, Wisconsin residents are able to complete essential tasks including: 

  • Perform tasks essential to maintain health and safety, such as obtaining medicine or seeing a doctor;
  • Get necessary services or supplies for themselves or their family or household members, such as getting food and supplies, pet food and supplies necessary for staying at home;
  • Care for a family member in another household; and
  • Care for older adults, minors, dependents, people with disabilities or other vulnerable persons.

Businesses allowed to operate under the Safer at Home order include: 

  • Health care operations, including home health workers;
  • Critical infrastructure;
  • Businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise vulnerable individuals;
  • Fresh and non-perishable food retailers, including convenience stores, grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and food banks;
  • Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food and goods directly to residences;
  • Pharmacies, health care supply stores and health care facilities;
  • Child care facilities, with some limitations; 
  • Gas stations and auto repair facilities;
  • Banks;
  • Laundry businesses, dry cleaners and services necessary for maintaining the safety, sanitation and essential operation of a residence, including garbage collection;
  • Hardware stores, plumbers, and electricians;
  • Educational institutions, for the purposes of facilitating distance learning;
  • Roles required for any business to maintain minimum basic operations, which includes security, and payroll; and  
  • Law and safety, and essential government functions will continue under the recommended action.

For a full list of essential businesses or if you are unsure if your business qualifies as essential, go to wedc.org/essentialbusiness for more information; Gov. Evers’ full order is available here . Non-essential

businesses must close or they may be subject to fines or imprisonment. Individuals who leave their home to attend to essential business or tasks outlined above do not need to carry documentation of their destination at this time.  

Public health officials are using the term social or physical distancing. At this time it is the only effective means of slowing the rate of infection.  Limit your contacts overall; no dinner parties, no sleep overs, no kids at the playgrounds, no gathering; people need to be in contact with as few people as possible. 

If you have been contacted by your local public health department or told by a physician to stay in isolation, you need to stay isolated. If you have returned from an area with known community spread of the virus, you should self-quarantine for 14 days. Failing to stay in isolation can result in $10,000 fine or imprisonment. These measures would be drastic; ideally, these measures are followed voluntarily. Enforcement is not something local officials want to have to do. 

Everyone has a role in working together to prepare for what is ahead of us. Take some time and think about how you and your friends and family are handling the implications of the pandemic. Connect with loved ones by phone or video chat. Do not hesitate to ask for help if you are feeling overwhelmed. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text 66747 to speak or text with a trained crisis specialist. 

Stay home, stay well.  

For general questions about COVID-19 please call 2-1-1. For up-to-date information please visit the Wood County Health Department website and Facebook. 

 

REQUEST FOR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT DONATIONS

Posted 3/23/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

03/23/20

CONTACT: Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer

(715) 421-8911

   REQUEST FOR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT DONATIONS

Wisconsin Rapids, WI -- Wood County public health officials are requesting donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) to supplement existing supplies in the event that there is a surge of patients. During this unprecedented public health emergency, stocks of PPE for healthcare providers are essential, according to Sue Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer. Healthcare personnel working in our hospitals and clinics need PPE when caring for patients. Adhering to infection prevention and control practices prevents the further spread of coronavirus. 

The Wood County Health Department is encouraging all outpatient surgical and procedural centers, ambulatory surgery centers, dental providers, veterinarians, schools, construction companies, nail/hair salons, and others to donate their unused PPE that is not immediately needed to assist healthcare providers, healthcare facilities, and first responders.

PPE items requested include N95 respirators, surgical masks, gowns, gloves, face shields, and safety glasses/goggles.

Many offers of help from the community have been received, including the sewing of masks. These offers are greatly appreciated. Regarding masks, the health department asks that you contact the department before making them as current guidelines, including patterns and appropriate materials, are being determined.  

Donations can be made to the Wood County Health Department and will be distributed where needed. To make arrangements for a donation, call the Wood County Health Department, 715-421-8911. Please do not drop them off at the department.

For general questions about COVID-19 please call 2-1-1. For up-to-date information, please visit the Wood County Health Department website and Facebook. 

New COVID-19 Information

Posted 3/20/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

03/20/20

CONTACT: Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer

(715) 421-8911

NEW COVID-19 INFORMATION

Wisconsin Rapids, WI -- With limited testing materials available nationwide, Gov. Evers encourages those who are asymptomatic or experiencing mild symptoms to stay home and self-isolate. This will help conserve testing materials for those who are severely ill and require hospitalization or are considered high-risk individuals. This also helps reduce exposure to the virus for our healthcare professionals.

There have been delays in receiving test results. Individuals should not assume they are negative until they hear results from their provider. 

As of 5:00pm Friday March, 20th, 2020, Gov. Evers has prohibited public and private mass gatherings. “Mass gathering” means 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, whether inside or outside, at the same time. 

Hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, day spas, tattoo parlors, body art establishments, and tanning facilities have been ordered to close as of 5:00pm today. New guidance has been released strongly recommending the postponing of elective and non-urgent dental care treatment until the public health emergency has passed. 

Regionally, Marathon County has now confirmed one case of COVID-19 in a person with recent travel within the United States. Wood County still has only one positive case. In Wisconsin, out of 3,455 tests, 206 have come back positive. In Wisconsin, there are now three confirmed deaths, a male in his 50s from Fond Du Lac County, a male in his 90s from Ozaukee County, a male in his 60s from Milwaukee County. 

For general questions about COVID-19 please call 2-1-1. For up-to-date information please visit the Wood County Health Department website and Facebook. 

Child Care Centers to Scale Back Due to Coronavirus

Posted 3/18/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

03/18/20

CONTACT:  Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer

(715) 421-8911

CHILD CARE CENTERS TO SCALE BACK DUE TO CORONAVIRUS

Wisconsin Rapids, WI -- Today, Gov. Tony Evers directed the Department of Health Services (DHS) to restrict the size of all child care settings. Centers may not operate with more than 10 staff present at a time and may not operate with more than 50 children present at a time. 

The restriction on size goes into effect at 8 a.m. on Thursday, March 19, 2020. The restrictions will remain in effect for the duration of the public health emergency. “Child care is an essential service for many of the folks working on the front lines to provide healthcare and vital services to our communities during the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Gov. Evers. “This is another step forward to ensure that service continues, while protecting our child care providers who are going above and beyond their regular duties to support our families, communities, and state.” 

Providers are being asked to prioritize families of healthcare and essential service providers, using good faith to determine who those families are. Those using care who can keep their children at home are being asked to do so. The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) and DHS have updated guidance for providers to implement this emergency order. 

“If you have capacity to care for kids whose parents are on the front line of COVID-19 response, especially health care providers, please consider helping your neighbors during this difficult time,” said Sue Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer. 

If you need assistance finding childcare, contact Childcaring at 800-628-8534.

For general questions about COVID-19 please call 2-1-1. For up-to-date information visit the Wood County Health Department website and Facebook.

Testing and Gatherings Update for Coronavirus

Posted 3/18/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

03/18/20

CONTACT:  Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer

(715) 421-8911

TESTING AND GATHERINGS - CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

Wisconsin Rapids, WI -- Health Officials from Wood County continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic. Yesterday, Gov. Tony Evers issued an order to close Wisconsin bars and restaurants and ban gatherings of 10 or more people until further notice. Bars and restaurants may continue to provide takeout and delivery food services. Critical services - like grocery stores, food pantries, child care centers, pharmacies and hospitals - are exempt from the order and are encouraged to remain open. 

Community transmission has been identified in Wisconsin. At this time, Dane, Kenosha, and Milwaukee Counties have community spread. Numbers in Wood County remain unchanged with one positive. In Wisconsin, out of 1,577 tests, 106 have come back positive. Wisconsin has not had any deaths. The Wood County Health Department has completed its investigation of the positive COVID-19 case and all appropriate contacts have been identified and follow-up with affected Wood County residents has been completed.  

Due to testing limitations, new guidelines have been issued for those eligible for testing. Individuals who are not experiencing symptoms should not be tested. Testing will be prioritized for hospitalized individuals and health care workers with symptoms of COVID-19. With these testing limitations, it is more important than ever to remain home when sick. If you are symptomatic and feel you may be eligible for testing, please call the clinic or hospital.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you think you may have COVID-19, you should call the clinic or hospital before going

  • Marshfield Clinic Health System COVID-19 Helpline: 877-998-0880, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week 
  • Aspirus COVID-19 Call Center: 844-568-0701, Mon-Fri 7am-7pm, Sat/Sun 8am-5pm

Please do not call 9-1-1; this should be reserved for those needing critical emergency attention.

“Wood County Health Department is keeping track of this pandemic,” said Sue Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer. “We are working closely with federal, state, and local partners to be prepared for any changes to the situation here and to make sure information is shared with the public.” The county also continues to have cases of influenza and RSV at this time.

Continue to avoid groups and maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet when possible. It is important to remain calm and consider your neighbors and their needs; there is no need to hoard food and supplies. 

For general questions about COVID-19, please call 2-1-1. For up-to-date information, please visit the Wood County Health Department website and Facebook page. 

Large Event and Mass Gathering Guidance

Posted 3/16/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

Large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities. Examples of large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies. These events can be planned not only by organizations and communities but also by individuals.

Therefore, CDC, in accordance with its guidance for large events and mass gatherings, recommends that for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States.

Events of any size should only be continued if they can be carried out with adherence to guidelines for protecting vulnerable populations, hand hygiene, and social distancing.  When feasible, organizers could modify events to be virtual.

This recommendation does not apply to the day to day operation of organizations such as schools, institutes of higher learning, or businesses. This recommendation is made in an attempt to reduce introduction of the virus into new communities and to slow the spread of infection in communities already affected by the virus. 

Guidance for Child Care Providers

Posted 3/15/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

Guidance for Child Care Providers

To promote consistent practices based on the best available information about COVID-19, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) has worked with DHS and the Department of Public Instruction to provide guidance to providers of child care, Head Start, and 3 and 4-year old kindergarten programs. DCF recommends that these programs remain open unless it is not feasible based on the situations detailed in the guidance.

Please visit the DHS COVID-19 webpage for updated guidance for schools, child care programs, and universities.

Confirmed Case Coronavirus

Posted 3/15/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

03/15/20

CONTACT:  Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer

(715) 421-8911

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS CASE CONFIRMED

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, WI —Wisconsin health officials confirmed that a person in Wood County tested positive for novel coronavirus after recently returning from a cruise. The patient is doing well, isolated at home. Health officials are investigating how the person may have become infected, and will be contacting individuals who may have had close contact with the patient. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you think you may have COVID-19, you should call the clinic or hospital before going. Please do not call 9-1-1; this should be reserved for those needing critical emergency attention. 

“The best thing people can do is practice every day good health habits – cover your coughs and sneezes by coughing into your upper sleeve, wash your hands often, and stay home if you’re sick. In addition, people should avoid all non-essential travel and contact with large groups, greater than 25-50.” says Sue Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer.

Individuals should practice everyday prevention measures like: 

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Carry and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if hand washing is not an option.
  • Do not touch your face (eyes, mouth, nose).
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Do not share eating utensils, water bottles, beverage containers or other personal items.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid close contact (6 feet or less) with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. If you develop a cough, fever, or shortness of breath or other respiratory symptoms after traveling, stay home and contact your healthcare provider for instructions before going to a clinic.

For more information about novel coronavirus, contact the Wood County Health Department, 715-421-8911.

Mass Gathering Guidance

Posted 3/14/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

The Department of Health Services (DHS) recommends that all non-essential gatherings of 250 people or more be cancelled or postponed statewide. Event organizers of gatherings less than 250 attendees should exercise caution in order to protect their communities. 

Coronavirus Update

Posted 3/13/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
03/13/20
CONTACT: Susan Kunferman, Wood County Health Department Director/Health Officer
(715) 421-8911
CORONAVIRUS UPDATE


Wisconsin Rapids, WI -- Officials from the Wood County Health Department, along with local health care systems, schools, emergency medical services, and other partners, have been in contact to prepare for continued response to the growing COVID-19 pandemic. The World Health Organization formally declared the coronavirus a pandemic Wednesday. On Thursday, March 12, 2020, Gov. Evers declared a public health emergency in the state of Wisconsin.

A new strain of coronavirus causes the disease COVID-19. Symptoms include cough, fever, and shortness of breath. In severe cases, pneumonia can develop. Those most at risk include the elderly, pregnant women, people with heart or lung disease, as well as anyone at greater risk of infection. For most, the virus is mild, presenting as a common cold.

Anyone who thinks they may have COVID-19 or has flu-like symptoms should call the clinic or hospital before going in for a diagnosis. Please do not call 9-1-1; this should be reserved for those needing critical emergency attention.

Currently there are pending tests, but no positive cases in Wood County. Wisconsin continues to see a rise in cases. There are a total of 1,629 cases in the United States, with 41 deaths. Wisconsin has not had any deaths. Washington, California and New York have sustained community transmission at this time.

Sue Kunferman, Wood County Health Officer, said parents should prepare for possible school closures. Additionally, many businesses are staying up to date on the situation and may be allowing employees to work from home as possible.

Community spread of the virus is likely. Please check Wood County Health Department’s social media and website for updates on recommendations. Health officials acknowledge that recommendations on how to prevent the spread of the illness may change.

People should be prepared for the possibility of further spread of COVID-19 in the community. State and local public health officials will consider community interventions such as social distancing; replacing in-person meetings with telework when possible; modifying, postponing, or canceling mass gatherings; implementing restrictions on visitors to residential treatment and living facilities; and closures of schools and childcare settings. Workplaces are encouraged to review sick leave policies.

The Department of Health Services website offers guidance for schools and universities, employers, community events/mass gatherings, and healthcare providers (DHS website). The Wood County Health Department supports the Department of Health’s recommendation of cancelling or postponing non-essential gatherings of more than 250 people. Although it is not mandatory at this time, it is highly recommended.

If you are considering international travel check the CDC website for countries with travel restrictions. For domestic travel, consider not traveling to places with community transmission. The CDC website maintains an up-to-date listing of states with community transmission. It is required that individuals traveling to areas with community spread self-quarantine and monitor for 14 days after visiting these places. Non-essential travel is not recommended.

Currently a vaccine or drug is not available for COVID-19. The focus is on containment and minimizing exposure. Individuals should practice everyday prevention measures like:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Carry and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if hand washing is not an option.
  • Do not touch your face (eyes, mouth, nose).
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Do not share eating utensils, water bottles, beverage containers or other personal items.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid close contact (6 feet or less) with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. If you develop a cough, fever, or shortness of breath or other respiratory symptoms after traveling, stay home and contact your healthcare provider for instructions before going to a clinic.

Wood County Public Health recommends anyone over 60-years-old, those with preexisting conditions, and pregnant women avoid crowds and non-essential travel.

More information can be found on the Department of Health’s website at https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/disease/covid-19.htm 

For additional questions, call the Wood County Health Department at 715-421-8911.

Attachment 

Coronavirus

Posted 3/12/2020 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us

There is a novel type of coronavirus (COVID-19) that was first found in China. It has spread to over 100 countries, and the first case was confirmed in the US in Washington on January 21, 2020. There are over a hundred thousand cases worldwide and thousands of deaths. The World Health Organization declared it a pandemic on March 11, 2020. Governor Evers declared this a Public Health Emergency in Wisconsin on March 12, 2020.

Officials from the Wood County Health Department, along with local health care systems, schools, emergency medical services, and other partners, have been in contact to prepare for continued response to the growing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Currently a vaccine or drug is not available for COVID-19. Community-based interventions such as school dismissals, event cancellations, social distancing, and creating employee plans to work remotely can help slow the spread of COVID-19. Schools, employers, and others should be planning for these potential interventions. Department of Health Services website offers guidance for schools & universities, employers, community events/mass gatherings, and for providers (DHS website)

Individuals should practice everyday prevention measures like: 

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Carry and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if hand washing is not an option.
  • Do not touch your face (eyes, mouth, nose) ever.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Do not share eating utensils, water bottles, beverage containers or other personal items.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid close contact (6 feet or less) with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you develop a cough, fever, or shortness of breath or other respiratory symptoms after traveling, stay home and contact your healthcare provider for instructions before going to a clinic.

Visit the CDC website for information about:

Coronavirus Information

Posted 3/2/2020 by velliott@co.wood.wi.us

This guidance is provided by the CDC for pandemic planning for the general public, schools and the workplace. We recognize the need to balance the risks of illness among students and employees with the benefits of keeping students in school and employees at work. This guidance offers specific steps for schools and businesses to take during typical and more severe respiratory conditions. It also provides information for making decisions at the community level about when to use these strategies for schools and businesses.

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/pdf/pan-flu-report-2017v2.pdf (Pandemic Planning)

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html (COVID-19 Guidance for Workplaces)

https://www.cdc.gov/nonpharmaceutical-interventions/pdf/gr-pan-flu-work-set.pdf (Pandemic Planning for the Workplace)

https://www.cdc.gov/nonpharmaceutical-interventions/pdf/gr-pan-flu-ed-set.pdf (Pandemic Flu Planning Schools)

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/pdf/plannextpandemic.pdf (Pandemic Planning for Families)

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html (CDC Link to COVID-19)

Measles Information

Posted 5/2/2019 by velliott@co.wood.wi.us

There have been no measles cases in Wisconsin residents since 2014. However, there are on-going measles cases in neighboring states. More information can be found at the links below.

https://www.cdc.gov/measles/about/faqs.html#protection

https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/publications/p4/p42174.pdf

http://immunize.org/askexperts/experts_mmr.asp#general

Who needs a MMR (measles mumps and rubella) vaccine? 

  • For children, two doses of MMR vaccine are needed for full protection. The first dose should be given at 12 through 15 months of age and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age.
  • Adults born during or after 1957 who received killed measles vaccine or measles vaccine of unknown type, or who cannot document having been vaccinated with a live vaccine or having laboratory-confirmed measles disease should receive at least 1 dose of MMR. Some people at increased risk of exposure to measles (such as healthcare professionals, college students, and international travelers) should receive 2 doses of MMR separated by at least 4 weeks.
  • Adults born before 1957 are considered immune and do not need a vaccine.
  • International travelers: Infants 6 through 11 months of age should receive one dose of MMR vaccine. Infants who get one dose of MMR vaccine before their first birthday should get two more doses (one dose at 12 through 15 months of age and another dose separated by at least 28 days).  Children 12 months of age and older should receive two doses of MMR vaccine, separated by at least 28 days.  Teenagers and adults who do not have evidence of immunity against measles should get two doses of MMR vaccine separated by at least 28 days.

For a dose to be considered valid, the patient needs some type of document that provides the date the vaccine was given and the type of vaccine administered. If someone has no documentation, they can/should receive an MMR now. 

 

Drinking Water Testing for High Nitrate - Towns of Armenia & Port Edwards

Posted 3/27/2019 by Wood County Environmental Health

Recent tests of wells in the Armenia area indicated levels of nitrate above the drinking water standard. Juneau and Wood County Health Departments are working with the DNR and area farmers to provide free nitrate water tests for residents in the Towns of Port Edwards and Armenia. The test will let participants know if the nitrate level of their drinking water is safe for consumption. Water with a high nitrate level is unsafe for infants, pregnant women and women who may become pregnant, as it may cause birth defects. For all other adults and children, some studies have shown that consuming water with high nitrates may cause cancers, thyroid disease and diabetes.

Who: Homeowners from the Towns of Armenia or Port Edwards

What: Nitrate Test bottle pickup at the Juneau and Wood county Health Departments

When: During regular business hours from March 25th through April 5th.

Collect your sample and drop off on the same day sample is collected.

Sample Drop Off Dates:

April 2nd, April 4th, April 9th or April 11th at the Wood and Juneau County Health Departments.

Samples will be analyzed by the Wood County Water Laboratory at no cost. Participants will receive nitrate results within a month. If the nitrate levels are unsafe, a confirmatory test may be taken by County staff followed by an offer of free drinking water and a water treatment system provided by the Armenia Growers Coalition.

The Counties and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources are working together to find a more permanent solution to high nitrates in the groundwater in this area. Questions?? Call 715-421-8911 or 608-847-722, ext 112 for assistance.

RESIDENTS REMINDED TO TAKE STEPS TO STAY SAFE DURING FLOODING EVENTS

Posted 3/15/2019 by velliott@co.wood.wi.us
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 03/15/2019
Contact: Sue Kunferman (715) 421-8911

During Flood Safety Awareness Week, Wood County Health Department is reminding residents on how to stay safe during flooding events.

Click the link below to view press release.

Wood County Pharmaceutical Drop-off Locations

Posted 1/8/2019 by mlarson@co.wood.wi.us
Prevent misuse and protect the environment!
Bring unwanted, unneeded, or outdated prescriptions and over-the-counter medications to these local drop box locations...
  • Marshfield Clinic Health System Pharmacies
  • Marshfield Police Department
  • Nekoosa Police Department
  • Pittsville Police Department
  • Port Edwards Police Department
  • Town of Grand Rapids Municipal Building
  • Wisconsin Rapids Police Department
  • Wisconsin Rapids Walgreens 
  • Wood County Sheriff's Department
  • Rome Police Department (Adams County)
Bring: Prescription (controlled and non-controlled) and over-the-counter medications, inhalers, ointments, patches, non-aerosol sprays, creams, vials and pet medications.
  • Place all pills and capsules in a zip lock bag.
  • Liquids, creams and sprays must be in their original packaging.
Do Not Bring: Illegal drugs, needles/sharps, aerosol cans, bio-hazardous materials (anything containing a bodily fluid or blood), personal care products (shampoo, soaps, lotions, sunscreens, etc...), household hazardous waste (paint, pesticides, oil, gas).

For more information on locations and office hours, please view the attached flyer.

Congratulations to Kate Carlson, Wood County Distinguished Public Health Employee!

Posted 9/6/2018 by velliott@co.wood.wi.us
We recognize Kate for her professionalism, inspiration, and outstanding contributions to public health in Wood County and beyond. Kate is a strong leader. She continually strives to actively listen to and understand her clients, co-workers, team members, students, and other’s perspectives to better serve and educate those she comes in contact with. She often goes above and beyond to answer questions and provide accurate information to clients and teammates alike. Co-workers rely on Kate for knowledge and her willingness to help. Kate is known in the community as a reliable resource and is a credible voice for our department. Her strong leadership and mentoring skills help the environmental health team and its customers thrive. It is evident that Kate truly cares about her co-workers and community. Honest, accountable, self-directed, and respectful all describe Kate well. The Health Department’s mission and vision are clearly a part of her everyday work. Her passion for the field is admirable. It is with great pride that we commend Kate for her accomplishments.

Community Resources

Posted 6/19/2017 by mlarson@co.wood.wi.us
Behavioral (Mental) Health Bike Path - Roadmap
The purpose of this "Bike Path" (or roadmap) is to be a first step for families, and individuals under age 21, with behavioral (mental) health concerns. This easy to read guide helps connect Wood County residents with local, state and federal resources and services.

Wood County Area Mental Health and Substance Use Recovery Resources List
The purpose of this resource list is to provide a list of treatment facilities, recovery groups and other resources in Central Wisconsin for those needing counseling or assistance recovering from substance abuse. The information provided may not be inclusive of all resources, but can support those in need.

Free Wood County Community Trainings

Posted 6/19/2017 by mlarson@co.wood.wi.us
The Healthy People Wood County Coalitions, Wood County Wellness Program, and UW Extension have hosted several free community training's called Lunch-n-Learns. View the flyers for upcoming training's and the videos of past Lunch-n-Learns (recorded by Wisconsin Rapids Community Media) by following the links below.
Link April 2015 Lunch-n-Learn: PTSD from a Combat Veteran’s Perspective
Link May 2015 Lunch-n-Learn: Introduction to E-Cigarettes
Link September 2015 Lunch-n-Learn: Hoarding
Link October 2015 Lunch-n-Learn: Cyber-Bullying
Link December 2015 Lunch-n-Learn: The Holiday Blues – Depression
Link January 2016 Lunch-n-Learn: Addiction and the Family
Link February 2016 Lunch-n-Learn: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Interface
Link March 2016 Lunch-n-Learn: Cultural Diversity
Link March 28, 2016: Human Trafficking Training/Presentation
Link April 6, 2016: Dose of Reality - The Truth About Heroin In Our Community
Link April 2016 Lunch-n-Learn: Creating a Safe and Supportive Environment
Link May 2016 Lunch-n-Learn: Trauma-Informed Care - Terms and Triggers
Link June 2016 Lunch-n-Learn: Vicarious Trauma and Self-Care
Link July 2016 Lunch-n-Learn: Being “Well-Being” Focused
Link August 2016 Lunch-n-Learn: Preparing Children for a Lifetime of Learning
Link October 2016 Lunch-n-Learn: Identity Theft & Your Credit Report
Link November 2016 Lunch-n-Learn: Coping After Loss
Link December 2016 Lunch-n-Learn: A Civil Discourse on Substance Use, Addiction, Prevention and Treatment
Link February 2017 Lunch-n-Learn: Heart Health
Link March 2017 Lunch-n-Learn: Bring Back the Family Meal
Link April 2017 Lunch-n-Learn: Investing In Your Health
Link May 2017 Lunch-n-Learn: Bed Bugs & Lice & Fleas, OH MY!
Link June 2017 Lunch-n-Learn: Summer Time Fun & Safety
Link July 2017 Lunch-n-Learn: How to Survive (and Thrive) in a Multi-Generational Workforce
Link August 2017 Lunch-n-Learn: 4 Steps to Creating Balance in an Unbalanced World
Link October 2017 Lunch-n-Learn: Real Work/Life Balance
Link November 2017 Lunch-n-Learn: Cultivating Gratitude

Suicide Prevention Training: QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer)

Posted 6/19/2017 by mlarson@co.wood.wi.us
Suicide prevention is everybody’s business, and anyone can help prevent the tragedy of suicide.

Fact: If people in a crisis get the help they need, they will probably never be suicidal again.

View the attached flyer for more information on how to schedule a training.

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Posted 6/19/2017 by mlarson@co.wood.wi.us
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are serious childhood traumas that result in toxic stress that can harm a child's brain. This toxic stress may prevent a child from learning, from playing in a healthy way with other children, and can result in long-term health problems.

Below are links to the ACE Survey and a handout on understanding ACEs. 

Eliminate stigma and share your story of hope!

Posted 6/19/2017 by mlarson@co.wood.wi.us
Healthy People Wood County partnered with WISE (Wisconsin Initiative for Stigma Elimination) to record several Wood County stories of hope and recovery.

Go to the Rogers InHealth website link below for more information and to view video's of hope and recovery.

Congratulations to Val Elliott, Wood County Distinguished Public Health Employee!

Posted 4/18/2016 by krauter-egge@co.wood.wi.us
We recognize Val for her exceptional customer service, great attitude, and hard work. Juggling involvement in multiple teams and program areas, Val makes it all come together. Her efforts and hard work on various coalitions and projects does not go unnoticed! Helpful and flexible are traits that describe Val well. She is always willing to take on new tasks- in Environmental Health, Healthy People, Healthy Smiles and other department areas. Whatever the assignment may be, she puts forth 100% effort and completes it in a timely fashion with quality outcomes. Val believes in the Health Department’s proactive approach and has been actively involved in the strategic planning efforts among other department initiatives that align with our mission. Val consistently demonstrates kindness, dependability and strong work ethic. We appreciate Val’s dedication to public health and thank her for her hard work. It is with great pride and honor that we commend Val for a job well done.

Wood County Community Health Needs Assessment

Posted 9/16/2015 by krauter@co.wood.wi.us
The Wood County Health Department, in partnership with Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital, Aspirus Riverview Hospital and Clinics, Marshfield Clinic, and the Legacy Foundation is working together to determine health needs for Wood County.