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Oneida County Board Declares Emergency As They Hear About The Latest Covid-19 News


Oneida county's top health official says it's only a matter of time before the COVID-19 virus finds it's way to the Northwoods.

Oneida County Public Health Director Linda Conlon told the county board about the virus and how to prevent it such as washing hands and covering coughs and not being around sick people. She says a key is staying home if you're ill.

But she says health officials are hoping to achieve what is called "flattening the curve", or keeping the cases needing medical care at the level the hospitals can handle them...

"If we have the same issues other countries have had, we will run out of beds. For every patient, there's six patients for COVID-19 for every hospital bed. Obviously, that won't work. You can't fit six people in a hospital bed."

Health officials say if tough measures are done before the number of patients spike, the medical system will be able to handle those who are ill, keeping the peak below the possible spike. So far, the closest case is in Wood county.

Emergency Management Director Ken Kortenhof says they need to keep emergency responders healthy...

"A lot of the things we're trying to do is limit the amount of contact our reponders would have with a potential patient."

He says there's more screening being done by dispatchers before the crew heads to the call.

As of Tuesday morning, Conlon reported 12 people are pending COVID-19 tests, five have been negative, zero positive, with 17 total tests. But she says those numbers are changing almost by the hour. T

he board later granted Chair David Hintz limited emergency powers to do business without the full consent of the board.

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