Oneida County hit a record number of new COVID-19 cases Friday. 34 more people have tested positive for the virus. The previous record was set three days prior with 31 cases.
The Oneida County Health Department is the latest in a string of health officials to urge people to follow public health guidelines.
“People want to get back to their routines, but there is nothing routine about this pandemic,” said Linda Conlon, Director of Oneida County Health Department. “In Oneida County, over 500 people have had COVID-19 and Wisconsin has had over 80,000 cases. This virus may cause long term, debilitating effects that are not well understood. Assuming you can get the virus and will ‘just get over it’ is a dangerous gamble. We have the power to stop this surge in cases; it won’t go away by itself.”
The health department said the increase is a combination of school returning to in-person instruction and less vigilance in following public health guidelines.
Oneida County Health Department urges everyone in the community to:
- ∙Avoid gatherings. Skipping gatherings limits the chance for the virus to spread. Nearly 4 in 10 people who test positive say they gathered with people they do not live with.
- Wear masks. Masks are required indoors, and we strongly recommend them outdoors anytime you are near others from outside of your household.
- Wash your hands.
- Stay 6 feet apart.
- Adhere to isolation standards. If you are sick or have been diagnosed with COVID-19, stay home. It is important to avoid contact with others. We know that you can spread COVID-19 to others beginning two days before symptoms start until several days after symptoms start and about one day after you recover; this is known as the “infectious period”. You can spread COVID-19 to others even if you never develop symptoms. See Isolation release flyer for those who are diagnosed with COVID-19
- Adhere to quarantine standards. If you had contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (at home, work, school, or anywhere else), you may be at risk of infection. Follow public health standards of staying home for 14 days after your last close contact with someone with COVID-19 even if you test negative during this period. It is important to self-quarantine and self-monitor to protect yourself, your family, and your community. Anyone who has been exposed to COVID-19 is encouraged to get tested.
“It is up to each of us to keep our communities safe and healthy. All of us need to take action and set good examples. Think about your neighbors, friends, family, and not just yourself. The bottom line is Public Health and our Health Care Systems are becoming overwhelmed, not only in Southern Wisconsin and more populated areas but also in Northern Wisconsin and rural communities," said Conlon.