COVID-19 Information Center

COVID-19 Information Center image

Declaration of Emergency

County Executive Jim Kreuser on March 12, 2020, issued a Declaration of Emergency in response to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) epidemic. Learn more here.

First Confirmed Case

Kenosha County logged its first confirmed case of COVID-19 on Monday, March 16, 2020. The affected individual is a 59-year-old woman with no travel history. Learn more here.

Total Confirmed Cases to Date

As of Tuesday afternoon, March 31, 2020, there have been 56 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Kenosha County.

Division of Health Guidelines

The Kenosha County Division of Health is recommending guidelines for individuals, businesses and organizations to follow, as preventive measures. They are:

  • All assisted living and long-term care facilities are to limit visitors beginning at 3 p.m. Friday, until further notice. This means visitors should not be allowed to come into these facilities, except for in certain circumstances, such as end-of-life situations. Employees and vendors will be screened daily.
  • Visitors will be restricted from the Kenosha County Jail and Detention Center.
  • Organizers of public gatherings of 50 or more people are encouraged to cancel these events, to reduce opportunities for person-to-person virus transmission.
  • People at higher risk are encouraged to stay home and away from large groups of people as much as possible. Higher-risk individuals include:
  • People 60 and older.
  • People with underlying health conditions including heart disease lung disease or diabetes.
  • People with weakened immune systems.
  • Social distancing is encouraged. This means attempting to remain six feet away from other people and avoiding handshaking and other unnecessary contact.
  • Nonessential travel for all individuals is discouraged. Those planning trips should weigh the benefits of going versus not going.
  • People are encouraged to work remotely if possible. Kenosha County is evaluating what services can be provided by county employees working from home, and businesses are encouraged to do the same.

When to seek medical evaluation and advice

  • If you have symptoms like cough, fever, or other respiratory problems, call your healthcare provider or your regular doctor. Do not go to the emergency room; call ahead to let them know you need to come in with these symptoms and do not sit in the waiting room. Emergency rooms need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs.
  • If you are having a medical emergency, call 911.

In addition to the recommendations listed above, the public can help:

  • Stay home when sick.
  • Practice excellent personal hygiene habits, including handwashing, coughing into tissue or elbow, avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Stay six feet away from people who are ill, especially if you are 60 and older or have underlying health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, or a weakened immune system.
  • Stay informed. Information is changing frequently.
  • Do not shake hands with anyone.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Kenosha County Division of Health continues to receive many calls with questions about COVID-19. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions.

Q: Where can I get tested/do you provide testing?
A: The Kenosha County Division of Health is currently not performing any tests. If you feel like you are experiencing symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19, it is important to call ahead to a health care provider before visiting.

All provider’s offices and emergency/walk-in clinics have different processes and criteria for testing. No matter the case, if you feel ill, you should quarantine yourself until you are able to be tested or until you are symptom free.

Q: Do you provide masks and personal protective equipment?
A: We do not have the capability to provide masks to the public. Our partners have very scarce PPE resources. Should public health receive any resources, we would share them immediately with our first-responder partners.

Q: What if my doctor will not allow me to get tested?
A: If your provider is not testing you and you feel as though you must be tested, you should follow up with an emergency department. Each provider may have different screening rules and limitations.

If you choose to follow up with the emergency department, you should call ahead and travel alone or with only one other person. DO NOT SIT IN ANY WAITING ROOM. Emergency rooms may have different testing means and processes.

Q: What are the testing guidelines?
A: Despite The Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene (WSLH) significantly increasing its capacity for COVID-19 testing, the number of testing specimens being received far exceeds their daily capacity. In order to conserve supplies for testing, WSLH and and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) are  prioritizing two tiers of cases for testing as of March 17, 2020:

Tier One (Individuals who):

  • Are critically ill and receiving ICU level care with unexplained viral pneumonia or respiratory failure
  • Are hospitalized (non-ICU) with fever or signs and symptoms of lower respiratory tract illness (cough, shortness of breath) and either known exposure to a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patient or travel to an area with sustained community transmission

Tier Two (Individuals who):

  • Are hospitalized (non-ICU) with unexplained fever and signs/symptoms of lower respiratory tract illness
  • Are health care workers with unexplained fever and signs/symptoms of a lower-respiratory illness, regardless of hospitalization

Test requests that do not meet these criteria will be sent to other labs in the state and country for testing, resulting in longer wait times.

Information for healthcare providers on the testing tiers is available at https://dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/index.htm. The state guidelines advise that patients without symptoms and patients with mild upper respiratory symptoms who are not health care workers should not be tested in order to ensure that there is capacity to test ill people.

Q: Did the positive case attend my church/work/office?
A: After learning of a positive case, we do a thorough investigation to determine everyone with whom the individual came into close contact. Then we make a connection with each of those close contacts.

If you do not receive a call within a couple of days, then you are not a close contact of a case and are thus not at risk from that positive case.

Q: What is Kenosha County’s “plan” for COVID-19?
A: With the rapidly evolving information and processes, the plan is ever-changing. Please follow up with the state or CDC websites for the most up-to-date information, and check out this page for the latest information locally.

Additional information from state and federal resources

CDC Coronavirus Disease Information Page

Wisconsin Department of Health Services