WAUSAU - Public health departments rely on contact tracing to stop coronavirus outbreaks before they happen.
But they can't do it without people to make the calls.
The Marathon County health department is hiring part-time contract workers to perform contact traces.
That involves determining how many people have been exposed to coronavirus by contact with a known positive case.
Those people are then contacted, tested and potentially quarantined.
People who are interested can apply by emailing a resume to email@example.com with "Contact Tracer: Referral Marathon County Health Department" in the subject line.
Judy Burrows from the Marathon County health department was very specific in describing what she's looking for from a potential hire.
"We're looking for somebody that has an interest and a desire to do this work," Burrows said. "Good people skills are important, paying attention to detail, that is very important, being able to document the information that we need."
The Centers for Disease Control considers contact tracing an essential measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Two weeks ago, Gov. Tony Evers announced that $75 million of federal funds will go toward enhancing the state's contact tracing efforts.
MADISON, WI - Cigarette smoking rates have dropped since Wisconsin's Smoke-Free Indoor Air Law went into effect 10 years ago.
In 2008, before the law passed, 20% of Wisconsin adults smoked cigarettes. By 2018, the rate had dropped to 16%. High school youth cigarette smoking rates dropped from nearly 21% in 2008 to nearly 5% in 2018.
State cigarette taxes were also increased during this time period and contribute to this reduction.
"Wisconsin is breathing easier today thanks to this law, but we know there are many people in our state who still smoke," said DHS Secretary-Designee Andrea Palm. "We urge smokers to take advantage of the programs available to help them to quit, especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic, as people who smoke are believed to be more susceptible to the virus, and can become severely ill with it."
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - President Donald Trump will begin his Independence Day weekend on Friday with a patriotic display of fireworks at Mount Rushmore, an event expected to draw thousands where masks and social distancing aren't required as coronavirus cases spike across the country.
Trump is expected to speak at the event, which has issued 7,500 tickets to watch fireworks that he says will be a "display like few people have seen."
NORTHWOODS - Wisconsin's lakes have a lot to offer their visitors. But some, like aquatic invasive species, are unwelcome due to the damage they can cause to native ecosystems.
There's a growing effort to prevent, contain, and control the spread of these aquatic invasive species, especially this holiday weekend. As part of the Clean Boats, Clean Waters program, volunteers will be stationed across popular boat landings, doing inspections and educating boaters on how to properly clean their boats.
"Any type of holiday weekend, especially the fourth of July when there's a lot more boat traffic, there's an emphasis on getting more awareness out there," said DNR recreation warden Justin Bender.
Aside from volunteers, most boat landings also have information posted on aquatic invasive species and the laws regarding boat cleaning. Citations for not properly cleaning your boats typically run $200-300.
- The U.S. headed into the Fourth of July weekend with many parades and fireworks displays canceled, beaches and bars closed, and health authorities warning that this will be a crucial test of Americans' self-control that could determine the trajectory of the surging coronavirus outbreak.
With confirmed cases climbing in 40 states, governors and local officials have ordered the wearing of masks in public, and families were urged to celebrate their independence at home. Even then, they were told to keep their backyard cookouts small.
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