Walworth & Rock Counties Return to Phase One COVID-19 Guidance; UPDATED: Walworth’s recommends no in-person instruction

(Walworth County Div. of Public Health press release – Nov. 20) Walworth County Return to Phase One Guidance

Banner note: In Phase One, Walworth County’s recommendation is for there to be no in-person instruction in K-12 through higher education.

The Walworth County Division of Public Health is recommending the community return to Phase One of the Walworth County COVID-19 Phased Guidance. A 27% positivity rate, strain on health care systems, and an increase in the number of deaths contributed to this recommendation.

“Our data and metrics indicate that as a community we should move to Phase One of our Phased Guidance,” said Walworth County Public Health Officer, Erica Bergstrom. “When applied, this guidance helps increase physical distance and decrease the number of contacts associated with infected individuals.”

County health officials express that there is significant concern about spread of the virus during the holiday season as friends and family gather. This potential impact on top of the existing high level of spread has the potential to further stress our health care system. “We need to make sure that individuals are still able to receive the care they need, and it will take all of us as a community to ensure that cases of COVID-19 are minimized.”

In addition to the universal practices recommended across all phases, like physical distancing, use of face coverings, and avoiding large gatherings, Phase One guidance also recommends the following:

  • Reduction in capacity to 50% or 25% based on facility type, size, and distancing ability
  • Utilization of contactless and virtual services
  • Utilization of curbside delivery and takeout services at restaurants, instead of in-person visits, as much as possible

Find the Phased Guidance document on the Walworth County website: https://www.co.walworth.wi.us/893/Phased-Reopening-Guidance

For more information please contact Walworth County Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health at (262) 741-3200, email walcoph@co.walworth.wi.us, follow-us on Facebook or visit us online at www.co.walworth.wi.us.

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(Rock County Press Release – Nov. 16)

Rock County Returns to Phase One of Reopening Plan

Banner note: In Phase One, Rock County’s recommendation for K-12 through higher education is “Provide virtual options and flexibility to shift to virtual. Transition to virtual school for a minimum of two weeks after any holiday or seasonal extended break.”

Rock County, WI – Health Officer, Marie-Noel Sandoval, announces today that Rock County is returning to Phase One of the Rock County Reopening Plan with some modifications. High community spread, rapid increases in the number of people testing positive, and rising numbers of hospitalizations and deaths are all factors that led to this decision.

Since November 1st, the Rock County Public Health Department has had reports of 2,364 individuals testing positive for COVID-19. This means that 30% of the total number of cases reported so far have been within the past 16 days. During October, there were more positive cases reported in Rock County than all of the previous months of the pandemic combined. There have also been 14 deaths due to COVID-19 reported since November 1st. The daily number of hospitalized patients has doubled since the beginning of the month. Rock County hospitals have stated that they are near their capacity and have reported critical staffing shortages.

What will change when we move to Phase One?

  • Everyone should avoid gatherings of any size between individuals who are not members of the same living unit or household.
  • Public and private gatherings, festivals, carnivals, fairs, concerts, parades, and contact/team sports should not take place.
  • Schools should provide virtual options and flexibility to shift to virtual and transition to virtual school for a minimum of 2 weeks after any holiday or seasonal extended break.
  • Libraries, faith-based services, office settings, restaurants, bars, retail establishments, service establishments, community centers, shopping malls, auctions, gym/recreational facilities, pools, and places of amusement should limit capacity to 25%.
  • Salons, body art facilities, pet groomers, and spas should not allow walk-in clients.
  • Outdoor playgrounds and garage/rummage sales should be limited to ten people or less.

The Rock County Public Health Department would like to thank everyone who is doing their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Remember to wash your hands, wear a mask, watch your distance, and stay home as much as possible.

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Rock County Public Health Department serves Rock County citizens by collaborating with partners to ensure a healthy, thriving Rock County. For the latest information about COVID-19 in Rock County, visit the Rock County Public Health Department website at www.co.rock.wi.us/publichealth and follow us on social media @rockcountyphd.

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