MADISON -- The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) and Public Health Madison and Dane County announced Tuesday, March 10 that a third person tested positive for coronavirus.
The first case involved a Dane County resident who returned from China and was placed under quarantine at the end of January. That case was announced Feb. 5.
The state's second positive case was confirmed late Monday, March 9 in Pierce County, which borders Minnesota in western Wisconsin. DHS officials said the person was exposed while traveling within the U.S. and was in isolation at home. Schools in the School District of Osceola were closed for deep cleaning Tuesday. Officials with the Somerset School District announced Monday night an individual (not a student) who attended the Destination Imagination event at Osceola High School on Saturday, March 7, has a confirmed case of coronavirus.
"Everyone, regardless of your health status, is susceptible," said Pierce County Public Health Director AZ Snyder.
The third person to test positive (the second positive case in Dane County) was exposed while traveling in the U.S. and was isolated at home, health officials said Tuesday, noting they were working to determine the people who were in contact with the patient to isolate or quarantine people and test those exhibiting symptoms.
"The diagnosis was made in the outpatient setting the patients called ahead and let them know they were coming personal protective equipment was worn appropriately and we think the risk is minimal," said Dr. Ryan Westergaard of the Bureau of Communicable Diseases.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services said people who traveled in the past 14 days to places with community spread of coronavirus (international and domestic locations) should self-quarantine themselves and monitor for symptoms for 14 days.
“We are working with our local health departments to make sure everyone who has been in contact with our confirmed cases is notified," said State Health Officer Jeanne Ayers in a news release. "We continue to urge state residents to take precautions to avoid illness. As guidance is evolving, it’s important for people to monitor the DHS and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) websites for the latest information and guidance on COVID-19.”
Keeping ahead of the virus is vital. If symptoms, like fever, cough, or difficulty breathing are present, they should contact their local health department and health care provider for possible testing.
People should call ahead before arriving at a health care facility for testing.
“As this is the second confirmed case of coronavirus in Dane County, we have the experience in caring for patients in isolation and contacting those who may have been in contact with the patient," said Janel Heinrich, Director of Public Health Madison and Dane County in the release. "We will continue working with DHS and CDC, as well as our local health care providers and other partners, to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the community."
Public Health Madison and Dane County and the Department of Health Services responsibilities include:
- Identifying and contacting anyone who has been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19. These people are asked to quarantine themselves for 14 days from their exposure and will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms. People with symptoms are tested for COVID-19.
- Performing follow-up testing for individuals who test positive to determine when a person can be released from isolation.
- Providing guidance to clinicians regarding testing.
- Preparing Wisconsin for community spread of COVID-19.
People should follow simple steps to avoid getting sick, including:
- Frequent and thorough handwashing with soap and water.
- Covering coughs and sneezes.
- Avoiding touching your face.
- Staying home when sick.