With cases of COVID-19 rising sharply in Kenosha County, local government and health leaders are imploring the community follow some fundamental health and safety recommendations.
As of Friday, Kenosha County had some 7,200 cumulative, confirmed cases of the virus — a total that increased by more than 700 cases over the course of the week.
“We are in an urgent crisis with COVID-19,” said Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser. “I am calling on our community to take this very seriously — to take the steps we all need to be doing to protect ourselves and our loved ones from this virus, including wearing a mask and staying at home when possible. I know many of you are already doing that, but the significant, continuing spread of cases that we’re seeing shows that we all need to be on high alert.”
Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian urged citizens to take steps to keep themselves and their loved ones safe during the pandemic, such as washing their hands often, wearing masks and avoiding crowds.
“People should exercise good judgment,” Antaramian said. “People who feel ill should stay home and limit their exposure to others.”
Specifically, the Kenosha County COVID-19 Joint Information Center makes the following recommendations:
- Stay home if you do not need to go out.
- If you leave your home, expect that you may be exposed to COVID-19.
- Wear a mask and maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between yourself and others.
- Avoid all unnecessary travel.
- Avoid all public and personal social gatherings of any size.
- If you have to go out, avoid any businesses that are not following the state mask order.
- If you feel sick, stay home.
- Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face.
- Remember, this won’t last forever! We can make a positive impact for our loved ones, friends, businesses and our community by adhering to these recommendations.
“I understand that with schools in session and the holidays approaching, this is a difficult time to stay home and stay out of harm’s way,” Kreuser said. “But making these sacrifices now will help to keep us all safe and healthy and will get us that much closer to the days when the numbers will go down, and we’ll make that return to the normalcy that’s been missing from our lives.”
Kenosha County Health Officer Dr. Jen Freiheit echoed Kreuser and Antaramian’s appeal for the community’s cooperation with the recommendations.
“Getting through this pandemic is a team effort,” Freiheit said. “Ultimately, it’s up to all of us to protect ourselves and one another from the virus.”
Some additional information of note from the Kenosha County Division of Health:
- Public health advises asymptomatic people who are a close contact to a positive case to wait 5-10 days to get tested for COVID-19. Testing too soon after exposure can lead to false negatives, as the body will not yet have enough viral load. Those who have any symptoms even if mild (such as extreme fatigue or runny nose) can test immediately. Anyone who has had close contact to a positive case should quarantine until 14 days after their last contact with the positive individual.
- People sometimes receive test results directly from their physician or laboratory before they are uploaded into the state system that sends test information to local health departments. Once the Division of Health receives lab information indicating a positive case, it is assigned to a disease investigator who will make three attempts to contact the positive individual. Due to case volume, it is now sometimes taking a day or two for disease investigators to make contact with a newly received positive case.
- The Division of Health has trained local schools on how to assign isolation and quarantine dates. Please trust the dates that schools distribute to affected families.
- When one member of a household is identified as positive for COVID-19, the rest of the household contacts should be in quarantine for 14 days while the positive individual isolates alone. If the positive individual does not have access to his or her own bathroom and bedroom, then the rest of the household’s 14-day quarantine period does not begin until the positive individual has been well without fever-reducing medication for 24 hours.
More information about COVID-19, including local data and links to resources, is available at https://www.kenoshacounty.org/covid-19.