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Douglas Co. details recommendations for businesses reopening

SUPERIOR, WI -- Douglas County's public health experts issued additional guidance Friday for businesses considering reopening after the Wisconsin Supreme Court blocked the governor's "Safer at Home" order this week.

Kathy Ronchi, Douglas County Public Health Officer's, said the abrupt change required quick-thinking on the local level with counties and cities given the power to issue their own restrictions.

Ronchi said Douglas County's plan includes recommendations that are in alignment with the "Safer at Home" disease prevention strategies.

Below is Douglas County's guidance for businesses:

Businesses must take action to protect their workforce and customers. Follow the guidance documents available through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

  1. Learn about and implement COVID-19 prevention strategies as outlined by WEDC.
  2. Train staff in COVID-19 prevention strategies to protect themselves as well as customers by following CDC guidelines.
  3. Hold customers responsible for maintaining social distancing strategies while visiting your
    establishment
  4. Environmental Health staff is prepared to assist licensed businesses in developing COVID-19
    plans. Their office can be reached at 715-395-1304.

Ronchi said the county's Public Health Department will be monitoring the Wisconsin Electronic Communicable Disease Surveillance System (WEDSS) for COVID-19 test results each day.

The county will also be conducting contact tracing, monitoring possible local outbreaks, guiding businesses and the general public, and issuing mandatory orders if "compliance with guidelines are not followed and the community is placed at risk."

Below is Douglas County's guidance to residents:

  1. Stay at home if you are sick; contact your health provider for a COVID-19 test
  2. Minimize close physical contact with those outside of your household
  3. Minimize travel, especially to areas considered “viral hotspots” within and beyond our state borders
  4. Wear a fabric face covering if you must be in public
  5. Maintain 6-foot distances with others whenever possible
  6. Minimize congregating in groups of more than 20 people
  7. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water
  8. Avoid touching your face
  9. Comply with local public health COVID-19 isolation and quarantine orders
  10. If you choose to visit public places, be prepared to avoid crowds and sanitize hands when leaving.

Douglas County has had 868 people test negative and 12 people test positive for COVID-19. Ronchi said the most recent case was an infant and their mother who both tested positive for the disease.

Briggs LeSavage

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