Oneida County Health Department warns of potential community spread with COVID-19Submitted: 04/07/2020
Maya Reese
Maya Reese

Oneida County Health Department warns of potential community spread with COVID-19
RHINELANDER - DHS reports Wisconsin's total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases jumped to about 2,600, along with almost 100 deaths.

Oneida County now has five confirmed cases of COVID-19, though health officials say only two out of the five cases had recently traveled out of the state. Linda Conlon from the Oneida County Health Department said they've been monitoring things closely.

"In the case of our first individual that tested positive for COVID-19, we knew that she had traveled and likely been affected during travel, but for other cases we have not identified a source of infection," said Conlon.

Health officials are now thinking there is community spread, meaning there is an illness for which the source of the infection is unknown. Conlon said there are a few ways people in the Northwoods can prevent more community spread, including following the stay at home orders and keeping at least six feet distance from people.

"Make sure that you're disinfecting your hands. You have hand sanitizer. Keep your hands away from your face, which I think is more difficult than all of us realize," said Conlon. "Also when you enter your home, make sure that you wash your hands again before you are touching anything in the home."

More suggestions include washing your hands frequently and utilizing the disinfectant the stores are supplying for the grocery cart handles. Conlon said that though society isn't used to this type of isolation, it's imperative to stay at home.

"The longer that people ignore the order and feel like they can go out and do business as usual, the longer we are all going to be under these stay at home orders," said Conlon.

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