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Posted on: May 30, 2020

Positive cases of COVID-19 ID'd in seven local establishments

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Known positive cases of COVID-19 have emerged at seven establishments in Kenosha County, the Division of Health announced today.

The Division of Health is disclosing the establishments in cooperation with the businesses, in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.

These businesses do not have an “outbreak” situation, which the state defines as two or more positives in one workforce. They each only have one positive employee/case, as of right now, who are each being isolated at this time.

Kenosha County Health Officer, Dr. Jen Freiheit, said the businesses are working actively with the Division of Health. She encouraged other businesses that may see COVID-19 cases to participate in contact investigations and share information with employees and patrons. 

“We do not wish to stigmatize these and other businesses, nor is it meant to shame them into compliance,” Freiheit said. “We would, however, like to make the public aware that COVID-19 is still widespread in our community. And knowing that 26 percent of Kenosha County positive cases are without symptoms, it is reasonable to assume that there are people carrying the virus in any given location — not just these seven establishments.”

The Division of Health does not routinely share the names of establishments that have only one positive or that have an outbreak that can be quickly contained with cooperation. But given that it is near impossible to contact trace the number of individuals who visited these establishments, we are asking for the public’s help to assist us in containing the virus.

If you were at one of these facilities recently, we recommend that you get tested at the National Guard Community Testing site from June 1-6 at Westosha Central High School.

“When going out into the public or attending places where people are gathered, one must assume a level of risk for contracting COVID-19,” Freiheit said. “Some places present a much higher risk than others, as it depends on the amount of distancing, masking, length of contact, etc.”

While the public has a choice as to what level of risk they are comfortable with, Freiheit said the Kenosha County Division of Health wants to be as transparent as possible to help protect our population.

“We do not intend to publicize every business in the future that has a positive case, but ask that businesses help us in being able to provide lists of patrons that may have come into contact with a positive case,” Freiheit said.

Details on the affected businesses:

Dukes Country Saloon, 2324 18th St.; Coins Sports Bar, 1714 52nd St., and Mikki’s Rat Race Lounge, 8735 Sheridan Road, had previously decreased the number of seating and the latter two have a mandatory mask policy for all employees and will require all customers to wear a mask and leave if sick starting next week.

All are encouraging employees to stay home if sick and to not return until testing results come back negative or to quarantine for 14 days if a close contact to a positive case. “We are taking precautions and taking this seriously,” said Jerry Cousin, owner of both Dukes and Coins.

Two of the businesses have not had their dining rooms open since March, are providing only carry out, and therefore risk of virus spread is considered low. These establishments are Saigon Panda, 3105 80th St., and DeRangos, 2135 31st St. Both businesses are screening employees, have educated about symptoms with employees, and are wearing masks.

Two gas stations had a positive employee, but again, risk is considered low as the Division of Health contact traces any close contacts (i.e.: anyone within 6 feet of the positive person for longer than 15 minutes). These businesses are Kwik Trip, 8800 75th St., and Stateline BP, 12720 Sheridan Road. Both closed for a day to clean their business and will soon have Plexiglas between customers and employees. The positive employees at both of these establishments were asymptomatic.

All have received paper information from the Kenosha County Division of Health explaining what to do if an employee tests positive. In the coming week, Environmental Health Sanitarians will go over the Kenosha County Kickstart Plan with each establishment to ensure that they know how to keep their employees and customers safe. The Division of Health will be following up to review the course of action taken, and if additional actions are needed.

To provide businesses, organizations, and individuals with best-practice recommendations, the City and County of Kenosha in partnership with the Kenosha Area Business Alliance this week released the Kenosha County Kickstart plan.

This plan recommends that businesses reduce their capacities, have employees wear masks, and offer sick leave policies, among other things. The full plan may be viewed at https://bit.ly/KCKickstart. 

National Guard testing site details:

The National Guard testing site at Westosha Central High School in Paddock Lake will be open from noon to 8 p.m. each day Monday-Thursday, June 1-4, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 5 and 6.

Tests will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis, with results expected within roughly seven days. Anyone ages 5 and up can be tested, regardless of whether they are showing symptoms. No appointment is needed. The cost is free.

Visitors are asked to enter using the east school entrance on Highway 50. Westosha Central High School is located at 24617 75th St.

The National Guard will make an initial call to those who test positive, with the call coming from a number in the 608 area code.

The Kenosha County Joint Information Center urges people with questions about COVID-19 that they cannot answer online to dial 2-1-1 or visit the 2-1-1 website, https://211wisconsin.communityos.org/.

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