Lincoln County Health Department addresses COVID-19 concerns
As the current respiratory outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus) evolves, Lincoln County Health Department (LCHD) wants to make sure the community is informed and prepared. Although Governor Tony Evers declared COVID-19 a public health emergency on 3/12/20, overall risk for Wisconsinites remains low. As of 3/13/2020, there are no confirmed cases in Lincoln County.
The majority of people infected with COVID-19 will have mild symptoms, however it has the potential to cause severe illness and death in some. “Older adults, individuals with chronic diseases, and those with a weakened immune system, are more likely to have severe illness caused by COVID-19,” states Shelley Hersil, Health Officer/Director for the Lincoln County Health Department. “People at higher risk should take precautions when going out in public, such as making an effort to stay away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash hands often. Non-essential air travel and cruise travel should also be avoided at this time.”
If a person that has been exposed to COVID-19, through travel or personal contact, starts to develop fever, cough and has trouble breathing, they should call their healthcare provider immediately. Avoid going directly to the clinic or hospital if possible. Call your provider and inform them of your exposure to COVID-19; they will assist you getting the medical attention you need.
There have been many questions about travel in the recent weeks, especially with spring break approaching. As of 3/12/20 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) recommend the following for international travel:
All travelers should avoid all nonessential travel to China, Iran, South Korea and most of Europe (Level 3 Travel Notice). Older adults and those with chronic conditions should avoid travel to Japan (Level 2).
Travelers should practice normal precautions (avoiding contact with sick people, avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth, etc.) when traveling to Hong Kong (Level 1 Travel Notice).
All travelers, particularly those with underlying health conditions, should avoid all cruise ship travel worldwide. Older adults and travelers with underlying health issues should avoid situations that put them at increased risk for more severe disease, such as non-essential travel and long plane trips.
This situations is rapidly changing. The CDC updates this information daily; for international travel advisories visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.
There are areas in the United States where there is “sustained community transmission” of COVID-19, however the CDC has not issued recommendations related to domestic travel. Currently, DHS recommends against all nonessential travel to any U.S. state where the CDC deems there is “sustained community transmission” of COVID19. As of 3/11/20, the CDC has determined sustained community transmission in California, New York, and Washington. It’s important to note this situation is rapidly changing; travelers should refer to the CDC for a current list of states with community transmission at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html.