The first confirmed case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in Jefferson County on Thursday, March 19, according to the Jefferson County Health Department. The patient has been cooperative in assisting the health department with contact tracing, they said in a press release.
The patient was tested at a facility outside of Jefferson County but is a resident of Jefferson County. The patient recently traveled domestically and is self-quarantined at home and is being monitored.
Meanwhile, Walworth County confirmed a third case of COVID-19 on Friday, March 20 and officials said it showed evidence of community spread of the coronavirus. Community spread means an infected person had no exposure to a known case of COVID-19 and did not travel to a place with known community spread. Two of the county’s three positive cases had no known contact with confirmed cases and had not traveled to an area with community spread, Walworth County Division of Public Health officials said in a news release Friday.
Rock County also had a second confirmed case, a 29-year-old, identified on Friday, March 20, bringing the total in our extended area to six.
Officials urged social distancing as an effective way to limit the spread of the virus. They recommend staying home as much as possible, avoiding public places and staying six feet away from other people during activities such as grocery shopping.
The Jefferson County Health Department and area health care providers are partnering together to complete contact tracing and follow-up guidance.
“We are in daily contact with this individual to monitor their symptoms and ensure they are receiving the support they need to be able to continue isolation at home,” said Gail Scott, director of Jefferson County Health Department. “Jefferson County Health Department is ready to deal with an increased number of cases. We will continue to work with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and our local partners, to assure our community remains safe and healthy,”
Fort HealthCare has also been preparing for the potential spread of coronavirus in the community.
“We are prepared to handle the potential increase of patients while maintaining and providing ongoing care for non-Coronavirus patients.” Mike Wallace, president and CEO of Fort HealthCare “The spread of COVID-19 puts us on heightened alert to expand our processes to keep our community and employees safe.”
Wallace said the hospital is working closely with the Jefferson County Health Department and under the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, as well as other healthcare partners to monitor, plan and respond to COVID-19. “Throughout the past few weeks, our team has been working diligently to ensure the safety of our patients, team, and the communities we serve,” Wallace said.
The health department is continuing to identify and contact anyone who has been in close contact with a person who is confirmed to have COVID-19. These people are asked to quarantine themselves for 14 days and are monitored for fever and respirator systems.
he situation with COVID-19 continues to rapidly evolve. Those who are experiencing a fever, cough or shortness of breath should contact their primary care provider in advance of visiting or do a virtual health visit at e+CARE at www.forthealthcare.com/ecare/ to screen for COVID-19. Those who have been exposed and are symptomatic are tested for COVID-19.
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid exposure to the virus. Clean hands often, avoid close contact, cover coughs and sneezes, clean and disinfect and practice social distancing by staying home if at all possible.