Wisconsin DHS reports 19 coronavirus cases in 7 counties, officials expect number to rise

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MADISON -- Wisconsin has 19 coronavirus cases in seven counties as of Friday, March 13. For the first time, that includes Milwaukee, Racine, and Sheboygan counties.

Health officials with the state say they fully expect that number to rise -- which is why Governor Tony Evers proclaimed a public health emergency.

Here is the breakdown of what we are seeing in terms of the number of cases:

  • Waukesha County, 1
  • Milwaukee County, 2
  • Racine County, 1
  • Sheboygan County, 3
  • Fond du Lac County, 6
  • Dane County, 5
  • Pierce County, 1

Julie Willems Van Dijk

It's the news state health officials expected to come -- not if but when.

"This increase in cases is exactly what we were anticipating," Julie Willems Van Dijk, Wisconsin Department of Health Services deputy secretary, said.

FOX6 News has confirmed that one of the patients is a man living in the North Shore who just came back from a trip to Europe.

Ann Christiansen

"The affected individual returned from travel, received notification that he was exposed while abroad and immediately self-quarantined himself while he was at home," said Ann Christiansen, North Shore Health Department director.

Officials said he did the right thing in self-quarantining and he is said to be doing well, recovering from his signs and symptoms.

In addition, the City of Milwaukee Health Department has reported a confirmed case -- an adult woman between 30 and 35 years old who is in isolation as they check the status of people she might have come in contact with.

The owners of 330 Kilbourn Tower in downtown Milwaukee notified tenants that a person who worked in the building tested positive for the virus. However, which county that person lives in as it relates to the number of confirmed cases was not shared. The building will be deep-cleaned over the weekend.

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Statewide Guidance

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) has made recommendations to cancel events with more than 250 people. If you have less than 250, DHS has now released guidance on how it should be handled -- evaluating critical needs of the event, who is attending and the community status of the spread where the event is happening.

Also released Friday, new guidance on travel which advises no travel within areas where there are more widespread cases. That includes three states -- New York, Washington and California.

This spread is changing drastically -- and DHS anticipates other states to be added to that list too. They say the positive cases we are seeing are the result of either contact with someone infected -- and travel, both domestically and internationally. Planning for this pandemic is still underway. But to help slow the spread of the virus, citizens are urged to keep social distance and continue to wash your hands.

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