With each day that passes, COVID-19 numbers are rising in Wisconsin including Polk and surrounding counties.

As of print time Tuesday, November 17, St. Croix County has seen 3,242 total cases with 1,759 being current. 34 residents are currently hospitalized. Polk County has had 1,364 total cases. Of these, 748 are current with 24 cases hospitalized. Pierce County has had 1357 cases of COVID-19 of which 309 are current.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), anyone who is a close contact of someone with COVID-19 should get tested. If you test negative during your quarantine period, you will still need to complete your full 14-day quarantine before it is safe to go back to work or be around others. It is important to self-quarantine and self-monitor to protect yourself, your family, and your community.

You are a “close contact” if any of the following situations happened while you spent time with the person with COVID-19 (even if they didn’t

have symptoms):

Had direct physical contact with the person (e.g.,hug, kiss, handshake).

Were within 6 feet of the person for more than 15 minutes.

Had contact with the person’s respiratory secretions (e.g., coughed/sneezed on, contact with dirty tissue, sharing a drinking glass, food or towels or other personal items).

Stayed overnight for at least one night in a household with the person.

The DHS wants to remind that someone who is sick with COVID-19 can spread it two days before they show any symptoms. Not everyone with COVID-19 will have symptoms, but they may still spread it to others.

State and local leaders are pleading with residents to take safety precautions to slow the spread of the virus.

November 11, Gov. Tony Evers delivered the Democratic Radio Address on Executive Order #94, advising Wisconsinites to stay home to save lives.

“As you know, earlier this year, we took steps to contain COVID-19 by issuing a safer at home order. Unfortunately, that order was struck down by the Wisconsin Supreme Court—a decision that hamstrung our ability to respond to the virus.’

“Since then, Wisconsin has become a national hotspot. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation estimates 5,000 Wisconsinites could be lost to COVID-19 by January 1st if no further actions are taken to get this virus under control. That means another 2,500 people who might not be with us on New Year’s Day.

Wisconsin, this is serious. This crisis is urgent.’

“That’s why I signed Executive Order #94 advising Wisconsinites to stay home to save lives. We must get back to the basics of fighting this virus just like we did last spring, and it starts at home. So, please, cancel the happy hours, dinner parties, sleepovers, and playdates at your home. And if a friend or family member invites you over, offer to hang out virtually instead.’

“And if you think you might be exposed to COVID-19, please go get tested. And then make sure you’re quarantining at home while you’re waiting for your results and for 14 days after you’ve been exposed. It’s important to remember that just because you test negative today doesn’t guarantee a negative test tomorrow, so please stay home.’

“Otherwise, if you have to leave your home, limit it to essential needs and errands, and always wear a mask and stay six feet apart.’

“We must offer our neighbors the promise of a better tomorrow—a promise that each of us must play a part in delivering by doing everything we can.’

“Right now, we’ve got plenty to prove and a lot to lose. Let’s get to work, and let’s move forward, together. Thank you, Wisconsin.”

Baldwin’s Western Wisconsin Health has closed their fitness center to on-site work outs at least until January 1st. Members will continue to have access to ZOOM workouts and Les Mills work-outs and perhaps some outdoor activities. The fitness team is working on plans to help people stay active. They will be using the fitness center to conduct COVID-19 testing starting Tuesday, November 17.

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