COVID-19 Update

covid-header

6/26/20 UPDATE: 

What we have been up to at LHCC:

We have continued to celebrate Certified Nursing Assistant Week.

We have sixty-six amazing, caring and talented CNA’s who are angels that wear scrubs.

Thank you to Penny and Gary W. for recognizing these special staff members with a great meal on the last day of their special week. We appreciate the kindness!

UPDATE……

We have two important pieces of information to share with you.

First - We are in the planning stages of providing outdoor visits with your loved ones. We are working with our public works department to have a moveable Plexiglas section that we will set up in the outdoor area in front of the conference rooms (where we have our care conference.) You would be able to park on the side driveways and take the sidewalk to the outdoor visiting area. This area has shade if needed on a hot sunny day. We would like to plan visits for a couple of hours before and after lunch. You will be able to schedule a time with our Recreation Department (741-3677) Front door visits, face time and Zoom will still be available and please call the Recreation department for a visit.

Second - We are having our front parking lot fixed and repaved. This work is scheduled to start on July 20th, 2020 and will be done no later than August 30th 2020. During this time there will be no admittance through the front entrance and will be rerouting using our back employee entrance.

We will have more information about resident gift /package drop offs as it gets closer. Please watch for updates or call 262-741-3677. Stay well and healthy as always!


6/22/20 UPDATE: 

What we have been up to at LHCC:

This week is the start of a very special week. We are celebrating Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) week. As you are all aware, the CNA position has a vital role in the wellbeing of your family member. Their work is endless during the course of the day. We at LHCC are grateful for the work and dedication these staff members provide on a daily basis. It is said that there are not many people that can do what the CNA can do!!! Thank you to all our CNA’s for providing the care and compassion to all of our residents. We appreciate each and every one of these amazing staff members!

St. Croix Hospice provided S’mores to the staff in recognition of the work of CNAs at LHCC. We were also treated to walking tacos this week! Thank you for the treats!!! Stay tuned next week for updates about the rest of CNA week.

We reported last week that we were hoping for some updates for family visiting. We are sorry to share that the Wisconsin Department of Health Services has not provided any changes to the original statement limiting family visits to closed door and window visits. We know this continues to be difficult for us all. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services may be able to answer any concerns or questions you may have.

As always, please reach out to the Recreation Department at 262-741-3677 to set up any visit requests whether it be at the doors, via FaceTime, via WhatsApp or even Zoom.

Stay well.


6/15/20 UPDATE: 

What we have been up to at LHCC:

This week we had baked a lot of cookies finding which flavor we preferred. White chocolate chip, Monster or Molasses? Which one do you think was the favorite?

The end of last week we received a huge donation for a pedal assist tri-shaw bike. Thank you so much to the family that gifted such an amazing bike for us. We will definitely be taking residents for rides outside, when we are allowed by state officials to open the doors. We have it on display in the lobby. Here is a picture. Nothing says summer like a ride on a bike. We will see you outside soon!

Many of you have been asking…When we will be able to visit in person? We continue to follow the guidelines from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. As of this week we have not been able to allow visits. We anticipate more information regarding a visit program in the upcoming week. We will be in touch as soon as we get the approval for visits and the guidelines that we will need to be followed.

Somebody once said, Tough times never last…but tough people do!!!!!

Stay strong and be well!


6/8/2020 UPDATE:

What we have been up to at LHCC:

This week has brought with it some wonderful weather! We all know a family or friend who enjoys a warm day. With these warm, sunny days we have been spending time outdoors on our patios. Sometimes, a few of us like to enjoy a meal or two outside also. Our master gardener, Paul, has planted flowers in the front and on the patios which add an extra special touch of color. Thank you to Paul for continuing to care for the flowers while we are indoors. We had started some tomato plants from seeds and they are growing nicely in the planter boxes the eagle scouts made for us last year. Now all we need is a little pig in the patio and we will be set for BLT sandwiches this summer. 

In our last update, we talked about those that had retired from LHCC. In this update, we would like to mention the new staff that have joined LHCC in the past couple of weeks. In the Recreation department, we have two new faces. Tracey has transferred in to the department from Scheduling and Maddy is new to LHCC. In the Business Office, Patty is our new Business Office Manager. Heather is our new Staffing Coordinator in the Scheduling department. Tracy is our Director of Nursing. Jamie is our new Ancillary Supply Coordinator. Madeline, Madison, Katie, Elaine and Danielle have joined the Nursing department as CNA staff. 

We would like to welcome all these wonderful people and we can’t wait for you all to meet them in person.

5/31/2020 UPDATE:

What we have been up to at LHCC:

We started off Memorial Day with a picnic meal at lunch. We had bratwurst, potato salad and brownies. Then in the afternoon, we had a variety of ice cream treats to sample.

Staying socially distant during the Memorial Day Holiday gave us many opportunities to be aware of the sacrifices of others and freedoms afforded us by the brave men and women who gave their life to defend and protect us all. 

This week, our beauty shop services have resumed to the delight of many of us! If you would like your family member to receive a haircut or style, please call 262-741-3677 to schedule an appointment. 

This week, we prepare to say thank you and farewell to three staff members who, collectively, have worked for Lakeland Health Care Center for more than 100 years. Each of these women have shared compassion, kindness and service to others for many years and they are the reason we smile as stories and memories are shared of our time together. A new beginning for Kathy, Kay and Terri. They are closing the LHCC book to begin a new chapter. Enjoy this treasured time in your life! 



5/23/2020 UPDATE:

What we have been up to at LHCC:

This was a wonderful week to sit out on our patios. The weather was warmer and the sun felt amazing! It was great to see Kay working to plant flowers in the patio area along with our amazing master gardener, Paul, who was planting in the front of the building. This gives promise that sunny skies will prevail!

We want to thank our volunteers for reaching out, keeping in contact and continuing to hope for the day that we are once again able to have music, clinic, the gift shop and beauty shop open. We miss you all and hope you all are staying well.

We have had another generous week of well wishes and want to thank Judy’s family and Allen for their support. We are so thankful for all of the support from our family and friends.

On this Memorial Day:
“Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause.” -Abraham Lincoln


5/18/2020 UPDATE: 

What we have been up to at LHCC:

This week, we continued to celebrate National Nurses Week. On Mother’s Day, we started to Celebrate Long Term Care Week. We loved the many visitors for Mother’s Day! Whether it was by phone, FaceTime or at the front door, it was so nice. Also, all the flowers that arrived were so beautiful and truly brightened up the day! During the week, we had many family/friends help us celebrate the special week by providing us with lunch and snacks. We greatly appreciate the support and nourishment you provide us. We would like to thank: Robin, Tracey and Howie, Kyle and St Croix, Penny and Gary, Jan and Dave, Suzanne and Bob, Becky, Stacey, Tracey and Seasons. Thank you, sincerely! We had a birthday party this week, we celebrated Florence Nightengale’s 200th Birthday. That is a LOT of candles! During our celebrations, we took the opportunity to help one of our staff. Last week, there was a fire in East Troy that our friend in the therapy department was involved in. Her and her dog survived, but they lost everything. Our staff pitched in and in one day we raised over $500.00 to help her. Someone writes: “Give your Best and the Best will come back to you. We see, by the examples of giving this week, that we are a part of a great and caring community. Thank you for your kindness and support.

-Liz Aldred




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 12, 2020

CONTACT: Carlo Nevicosi, Deputy Director 262-741-3223 nevicosi@co.walworth.wi.us

Walworth County Facility Confirms First COVID-19 Case

Lakeland Healthcare Center, a county-operated senior care facility, announced today that a staff member has tested positive for COVID-19. No residents have shown signs or symptoms of COVID-19 and all residents and their families have been notified.

“Our elderly are among the most vulnerable and we have taken swift action to control the spread of this disease”, stated Elizabeth Aldred, Superintendent of County Institutions. “Our top priority is to protect our residents and quickly resolve this situation”.

The facility is implementing a number of strategies to contain disease spread. These include enhanced employee and resident screening practices, adjusted staff schedules, and a requirement for approved visitors to wear full PPE. Additionally, facility leadership is coordinating with the State Laboratory of Hygiene to procure supplies to test all residents and employees.

The facility has been preparing for the possibility of positive cases for some time. “We have worked closely with our Public Health Department to strengthen our infection control strategies”. Aldred further indicated that the nursing home is large enough to isolate any residents that may test positive. A vacant wing has been modified to offer a negative pressure space.

(END)


5/12/2020 UPDATE:

What we have been up to at LHCC: 

Our community is so wonderful! We have been shown an outpouring of support again this week.

Thank you to Bob’s friends Judy and Suzanne, Season’s Hospice, Blenda, and all of the family members and friends that have been sending well wishes and Mother’s Day greetings.

We continue to connect via our new iPad and through all of your cards, letters and so many flowers this week. Thank you!

This week is a special week, it is National Nursing Home week and the end of Nurses week. This year’s theme is Sharing Our Wisdom. We will be seeking out words of wisdom from our residents and will include them all in next week’s communication. We will be celebrating Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday with a cake and root beer floats to close out the week.

Stay well.
-Liz Aldred


5/4/2020 UPDATE: 
Another installment of what’s been going on:

We would like to start out by continuing to express our gratitude to those that have been making our days better during this time that we can’t be with others. Thank you for reaching out to set up a FaceTime call, a phone call or even meeting us at the front doors to talk. Our days are brightened by your cards and letters that come in.

We would also like to say thank you to our community members and family friends that provide services to the staff and residents. This week we would like to thank the following people: Tiffany’s friend Kelly, The Wilson Family, Duane’s friend Lynn, Shirley’s friend Roxann, Cheri and Agnes’ friends Matt and Chrisy, Mel’s friend Duane and Cardinal Cares for their kindness of providing special treats, meals, iPads, masks and flowers. Words cannot adequately express the gratitude we have for everyone that is thinking of and remembering us as we stay socially distant.

Abraham Lincoln said: “The better part of one’s life consists of his friendships.” Thank you for your friendship.

We have included pictures of some wacky staff who have been transformed (below). Can you guess which staff member is beneath each costume?

Stay healthy and well!


4/27/2020 UPDATE:

Another installment of what has been going on in the facility:

We continue to be humbled by the outpouring of support for our staff and residents. We are a part of a compassionate community and we are humbled to experience such acts of caring.

Such examples include a beautiful bouquet of handmade tissue flowers. We have displayed them in our newly expanded staff breakroom for all of us to enjoy. Every day we walk into work and are greeted with positive affirmations and well wishes that encourages all of us to give our best to your loved ones. We thank you for the support. We have also had families, county employees and friends make us what we call “ear savers”. As staff, we are all wearing masks and these little homemade helpers provide relief for our ears. We have also appreciated the time and talents of those who have made us masks. As stated above, we are truly grateful.

This week has been wonderful for looking out the window. Early in the week, we looked out our windows and saw a “caped” miniature horse named Dexter. He was helping his friend Kyle, from St. Croix, walk around the building. They found us all looking out our windows. This was such an enjoyable time. Later in the week, we again were poised at the window looking at Bitsy, the most talented black labradoodle, that came to wish all the residents a "pawsome" day! Bitsy demonstrated how much she just loves to catch her red Frisbee and catch her Frisbee and catch her Frisbee. You can view the slideshow of Bitsy's visit below. These moments are an example of the kindness and support or our community. These acts of kindness and support truly are appreciated and help us during this time of separation. Thank you!!!

Thank you also to St. Croix for providing a wonderful lunch this past week.

In other news…As of this coming week we will not be having beautician services. The officials at DHS have determined such service is not essential and therefore LHCC will comply, for the safety of everyone, by suspending the service until further notice.

Thank you again for staying in touch.

-Liz Aldred


4/25/2020 UPDATE:
Our doors are still closed to all visitors, so, LHCC residents were pleasantly surprised to look out their courtyard windows and see this adorable mini horse named Dexter looking back at them! Thank you so very much to St. Croix Hospice for stopping by and spreading joy to all of our residents! 

4/17/2020 UPDATE: 

What we have been doing……

We would like to start out and send a THANK YOU out to our families and friends that have shared kindness, support, snacks and meals for the residents and staff. Since our “Stay At Home” order was initiated, we have seen the kindness of others shine through and fill us with joy and food. Thank you to all that participated in sending pizza for the staff. We have had delicious chicken, potatoes and dessert pizza for the residents and also Italian beef sandwiches for the staff. All of this kindness helps to bring a lot of smiles, joy and happiness to all of us. Thank you.

We have also been trying to keep in contact with our families and friends: sharing birthday wishes, daily contacts and just checking in moments. We do this with the Whatsapp app or using FaceTime, or when you send your cards, letters, posters and pictures. We deliver your best wishes as often as you send or drop them off at the front door. Just so you know, these connections bring a lot of smiles and happiness, so continue to drop off candy, snacks, cards and any treats that your family enjoys.

This coming up week we will enjoy playing bingo from our rooms, eating freshly popped corn and watching our newly made pinecone/peanut butter bird feeders.

Thank you again for your kindness through all of this change. Lakeland Health Care Center appreciates it more than you know.
-Liz Aldred

Pictured below is a banner that was made for LHCC's employees. It reads "Never was so much owed by so many to so few" -Winston Churchill. It is accompanied by the hashtags #healthcareheros #onthefrontline #healthcareemergencyresponders and it pictures the Walworth County logo in Superman's light. It is hung in the back hallway where all employees enter the building everyday. 

banner

4/2/2020 UPDATE: 

Lakeland Health Care Center is continuing to offer exceptional quality care to our residents amidst this pandemic. As such, we have limited the number of admissions being made to our facility for the duration of the "Safer at Home" order. It is important that, as a Health Care Center, we provide appropriate screening for all potential residents to make sure that we reduce the level of exposure to our current residents. Increased screening helps our community by freeing up hospital beds for those directly impacted by the Coronavirus.

In order to ensure the health and well-being of our residents, we have implemented a variety of new protocols that include restricting admissions to exclude people with respiratory illnesses, unless they have tested negative for COVID-19. To reduce the risk to our other residents, all new residents will remain under isolation protocols for 7 days following admission or going out to an appointment. In addition to taking care of the physical health of our residents, we continue to provide programming to meet their spiritual and social needs. This week, our staff are hosting a spirit week to bring some Spring into the air. Make sure to ask about our fun dress code and our activities including a Grill Out for "Opening Day - Not at the Ball Park". Also, LHCC is participating in HAPPY HEART HUNTING. Please drop off hearts to be displayed for your loved ones & our residents. Check out Happy Heart Hunt on Facebook for more information.

Thank you, 
Liz Aldred - Walworth County Superintendent

3/30/2020 UPDATE:

Walworth County currently has 6 laboratory confirmed cases of the disease as of 3/29/2020.

Number of Laboratory Confirmed Cases

Travel Associated (Domestic): 2

Close Contact of Confirmed Case: 1

Community Transmission: 3

View the most current information at: https://www.co.walworth.wi.us/856/COVID-19

Find Wisconsin information here: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/index.htm

Key Updates:

Elections

· The Wisconsin Elections Committee has release guidance for municipal clerks on providing a safe and healthy environment for voting.

o View the guidance here: https://elections.wi.gov/node/6787

o The WEC is also designing a webinar for clerks to use to train poll workers, working on hosting a live Q&A session for clerks to ask questions, and developing videos for Election Day process for training purposes

Testing

· Testing resources continue to be limited in Wisconsin. To try and conserve resources many hospitals have limited who may be tested to those requiring hospitalization, residents of long term care facilities, and health care workers. As more tests are approved this criteria may expand.

· Messaging: You don’t need a test to know what to do and testing does not change treatment. If you are symptomatic stay home until at least 7 days have passed since symptoms started, you have been fever free for at least 72 hours without the use of medication, and your other symptoms have improved. If your symptoms do not improve or worsen call your health care provider.

Personal Protective Equipment

· Strategic national stockpile resources continue to be distributed to identified entities. DHS is currently evaluating the last request that was processed and identifying allocations.

· DHS is working on procuring and shipping out PPE for law enforcement entities in coordination with Wisconsin Emergency Management.

· Non-essential workers should not expect to receive additional PPE at this time.

· Strategies need to continue to focus around conserving PPE as it is unknown when additional PPE will be released.

2-1-1 Here to Help

· Please continue to direct individuals with questions about COVID-19 and the Safer at Home or other executive orders to call 2-1-1. This is a service operated by the United Way for all of Wisconsin. They can help answer general questions and triage calls. This will in turn keep our public health and dispatch lines free.

o https://www.impactinc.org/impact-2-1-1/covid-19-coronavirus/

Volunteer Registry

· Individuals wishing to help public health in the future by being a volunteer can register through the Wisconsin Emergency Volunteer Registry. Individuals who register through this link receive a background check and have the option to then be called on to assist with any number of emergencies across Wisconsin.

o https://weavrwi.org/


3/24/2020 UPDATE:

Walworth County currently has three laboratory confirmed cases of the disease as of 3/22/2020. One case is associated with domestic travel. Two of the cases are associated with community spread of the illness.

Avoiding unnecessary time in public locations is the best thing you can do to protect the most vulnerable in our county. We need to maintain a very slow and controlled spread of disease in order to not overwhelm our health care system. The best thing you can do is to stay home whenever possible. Continue to stay home when sick, wash your hands regularly, and avoid touching your face to help limit transmission.

Most up to date information on the status in Walworth County: https://www.co.walworth.wi.us/856/COVID-19

 Key Points:

· Messaging is beginning to shift away from a focus on being tested to “Stay Home. Save Lives.” It will take the whole community limiting public interactions in order to keep the most vulnerable in our population safe.

o Find the White House’s 15 days to Slow the Spread Info here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/03.16.20_coronavirus-guidance_8.5x11_315PM.pdf

· Rapid result testing has been tiered to prioritize testing for the most vulnerable and health care workers. Individuals who do not fall into a high priority group will not receive test results within 48 hours. Some labs are reporting a delay in test results of up to 16 days. Public Health does not have any control over how quickly results are reported.

· Governor Evers is expected to issue a “Safer at Home” order closing non-essential businesses effective tomorrow. More details are expected later today.

· Do it yourself masks for health care workers have surfaced on social media. Attached please find a very well written briefing from our partners in Washington Ozaukee Public Health on the risks associated with homemade masks.

· Data is beginning to suggest that individuals who have COVID-19 and develop symptoms may be able to transmit the virus a few days prior to the onset of symptoms. However, the most virus spreads while an individual is symptomatic. For this reason it is important to stay home when you are sick and wash your hands frequently. Even mild symptoms can spread the virus.

o Info on how the virus spreads from CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/transmission.html

· Many additional states have been identified with community transmission. Find the list at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

 Stay Up to Date:

· Situation Briefs

o Global: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports

o U.S.: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html

o WI: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/outbreaks/index.htm

Additional guidance on a variety of topics is available at: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/index.htm

CDC has updated information sections available at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/index.html


3/23/2020 UPDATE:

As you are aware, Lakeland Health Care Center is following the direction of the Department of Health Services and the CDC and has drastically reduced the access for non-essential medical personnel into the facility over the past few weeks. We know that this separation has been difficult on both our families and our residents. We appreciate the support that we have received from our families and the community and are striving to make the best of this situation.

Our therapeutic recreation (TR) department has created a variety of opportunities for our residents to continue to be able to socialize while maintaining necessary social distancing. Our therapeutic recreation staff have updated our traditional bingo game to "hallway bingo". By inviting residents to sit in their doorways, which maintains the recommended six feet between each person, we are able to enjoy at least one of our favorite activities. Staff are actively creating adaptations for other activities as well.

In order to help our families stay connected, our therapeutic recreation staff are also making FaceTime video chats available to assist families in connecting to their loved ones. Please feel free to contact us to arrange a video chat on your apple device.

Thank you, 
Liz Aldred - Walworth County Superintendent

3/12/2020 UPDATE: 

Walworth County Public Health is actively monitoring disease status 24/7 and is in frequent contact with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. We routinely control the spread of communicable disease and have all procedures in place necessary to respond to this disease. Walworth County currently individuals being tested for the disease but has zero confirmed cases of the disease at the time of this update.

With the expanded availability of testing it is likely that we will continue to see an increase in the number of cases identified throughout the US. The most important key to stopping the spread of disease remains staying home when you are sick. Continue to wash your hands frequently, cover your coughs and sneezes, and avoid touching your face. Individuals over age 60 and with coexisting conditions currently appear to be the most severely impacted by the disease. Symptoms of illness are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Call your medical provider if you develop symptoms. If you are symptomatic and seek care, please notify your provider, urgent care, or emergency department before arrival so they can prepare in advance and reduce the risk of transmission to patients and staff. Find out more about COVID-19 at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/symptoms.html

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has issued travel guidelines for domestic travel. Find more information about travel guidelines here:

https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/dph/memos/communicable-diseases/2020-04.pdf

We urge citizens to use their best judgement and avoid unnecessary travel to areas with high rates of the disease. The CDC has published a map and resource page on the number of cases across the US. Areas that have sustained community transmission represent a higher likelihood for citizens of coming into contact with the disease. It is recommended that people traveling to these areas self-quarantine at home for 14 days and monitor for symptoms. View the map: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has issued guidance for the hosting of mass gatherings and events. Current guidelines look at event size, who will be attending the event, and the event venue. This document also contains guidance for schools. Please find the guidance here: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/dph/memos/communicable-diseases/2020-05.pdf

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has a large variety of resources available directly from CDC. Visit their page to find more information: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/disease/covid-19.htm

We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as they become available. Remember this is a rapidly evolving situation and things change quickly.

Key Points for Officials:

· It is likely that COVID-19 will move into our jurisdiction at some time. It is important that we remain prepared, not panicked. Continue to focus on continuity of operations and general preparedness. Steps you would take to control the spread of flu are effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19. Remind friends, family, and employees to stay home if sick.

· With no confirmed cases of disease in Walworth County, we are not currently closing public gatherings or events. Event organizers may use their discretion and the guidance provided by DHS to help inform their decision to cancel or reschedule events. Please distribute the message above the resources contained in it widely to your stakeholders.

· Adults over age 60 and with coexisting conditions are at the highest risk of complications from the illness. Organizations that work with these populations may want to take extra precautions to limit the spread of illness.

o Find more information about at risk populations: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/high-risk-complications.html

o DHS hosted a webinar for Long Term Care facilities. View the webinar here: https://livestream.com/accounts/14059632/events/9034343/videos/202751527

Stay Up to Date:

· Situation Briefs

o Global: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports

o U.S.: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html

· WI: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/outbreaks/index.htm


3/10/2020 UPDATE:

Walworth County Public Health is actively monitoring disease status 24/7 and is in frequent contact with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. We routinely control the spread of communicable disease and have all procedures in place necessary to respond to this disease. Risk status for COVID-19 in Walworth County is currently LOW. We have no confirmed cases of the disease as of 3/8/2020.

Two laboratories in Wisconsin are now able to test for the disease, increasing the number of people being tested throughout the state that meet testing criteria. This does not necessarily mean that there is more disease in the state but that people who previously would not have been able to be tested now qualify for testing. At this time we are not advising extra precaution be taken. To protect yourself continue to practice good hand washing, cover your coughs and sneezes, and stay home when you are sick. Flu and other respiratory diseases continue to circulate in our area.

Key Points:

· The situation continues to evolve rapidly.

· Many different respiratory viruses continue to circulate in our area.

· Walworth County Public Health is working to make sure we are speaking with “one voice” alongside other public health authorities by echoing the information distributed by CDC and DHS. In doing so we are mindful to not incite any undue panic while still providing useful information.

o WalCo HHS Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WalCoDHHS/

o Subscribe to HHS News Alerts: https://www.co.walworth.wi.us/civicalerts.aspx?CID=10&searchTerms=

· Risk of disease exposure continues to be travel outside of the US to a location with the disease circulating and/or confirmed close contact with an individual diagnosed with the disease.

· Preparedness measures now are the best way to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

· The best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the flu (Wisconsin is still seeing high levels of flu activity at this time), and other common respiratory illnesses is through the practice of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs).

o https://www.cdc.gov/nonpharmaceutical-interventions/index.html

Information for Businesses/Employers

· Scam Alert

 There have been numerous reports of scams and phishing attempts related to COVID-19. Please make yourselves and your organization aware of these types of fraudulent activities. https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/3/5/21164745/coronavirus-phishing-email-scams

· Focus your preparedness efforts on general continuity of operations planning. How will your business continue to operate if a significant portion of your employees call in sick? How will you operate if the vendors you depend on to provide resources or support call in sick?

o Pandemic Planning Guides for Businesses, Law Enforcement, Correctional Facilities, and General How to Protect yourself information: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/archived/business-planning.html

· Guidance on Mass Gatherings (Hyperlink): The CDC has released guidance on hosting gatherings and community events.

Information for Healthcare:

· DHS announced on Friday 3/6/2020 that due to the rapidly expanding availability of testing they will no longer continue to report the number of people being tested for the disease and will instead only report the number of positive and negative test results.

· CDC updated their definition for patients under investigation last week and DHS anticipates they will likely update that definition again this week.

· CDC Updated Testing Guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/clinical-criteria.html

· Privacy Reminders: Please remind staff that communicable diseases are confidential and staff should take extra precautions when discussing. Especially in a time when the community is at heightened alert maintaining patient privacy is a key part of preventing undue panic.

· COVID-19 is a disease that must be reported to Public Health. If a provider suspects the disease in a patient Public Health should be notified immediately.