RETRACTION re: COVID-19 in Whitewater

RETRACTION:  On 3/28 the Banner posted an article referencing social media comments that according to reliable sources there are three confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the community.  The Banner staff apologizes that we did not sufficiently confirm this information before going to “press.”  We are working to do so on this story, but at this time cannot confirm the accuracy of the report.  It is our goal to always provide accurate information, and we are instituting a new policy regarding sources in order to avoid future confusion.  We appreciate your reliance on the Banner as a means of keeping up with local news and events, and hope that you understand that this misstep occurred in the best interest of the health and safety of our community in the midst of a rapidly developing outbreak.  

The remainder of the article is well referenced:

As of 3/27, Rock County reports 12 confirmed cases of COVID-19, Jefferson has 6 cases, and Walworth has 5. The state has had a total of 842 positive tests and 13 deaths. Since widespread testing still is not available, there are undoubtedly many additional infected persons who may even be unaware that they could spread the illness to others.

Dr. Ryan Westergaard, Chief Medical Officer & State Epidemiologist for Communicable Diseases in the Wisconsin Department of Health Services stated today that he believes all counties in the state should now be considered to be at high risk of the virus.

There appears to be increasing compliance with social distancing and staying at home, but based on recent data from Unacast, there’s still way too much traveling still taking place. Unacast, a location data and analytics firm based in Norway and New York, has utilized data culled from mobile phones to create a “Social Distancing Scoreboard,” assigning countries, states and counties a letter grade for their change in average distance traveled. As of 3/23 the company gave Wisconsin a D for having only reduced distance traveled by 19% compared with pre-social driving. Walworth county was rated a C with a 20% reduction, but both Jefferson and Rock counties were rated Fs, with only a 8% and 3% reduction respectively.

In accordance with the Governor’s “Safer at Home” mandate, all residents are strongly urged to stay at home until at least April 24. Exceptions include for solitary outdoor recreation (walking, jogging, gardening, etc.) essential employment, medical services or getting groceries. Some grocery stores, including Pick ‘n Save and Festival in Fort Atkinson, offer online ordering with pickup that allow the customer to avoid the risks involved in walking through the aisles.

Let’s do our part in keeping the virus from getting out of hand in our community.

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