COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019)
Halloween during COVID
Be safe and stay healthy this Halloween to slow the spread of COVID-19. Remember that large gatherings and close contact with people outside of your household increase your risk. So, this year, find new ways to celebrate that don’t involve big in-person parties or traditional trick-or-treating.
Events to Avoid
The Department of Health Services (DHS) recommends the following events not take place this year:
- Large outdoor gatherings such as parties, festivals, and parades.
- Even though being outside decreases the risk, being in close contact with people you don’t live with increases the risk of spreading and contracting COVID-19.
- In-person indoor parties and celebrations.
- In-person costume contests and parties are not recommended, no matter where they might be held.
- Happy hours or socializing at bars.
- We’ve learned that going out to the bars helps the virus spread quickly.
- Traditional trick-or-treating from neighbor to neighbor.
- Going house-to-house and having in-person contact is not recommended.
Ideas for Celebrating More Safely
You can still enjoy the holiday. Just celebrate with fewer people in-person and/or more people online.
- Hold virtual costume contests and parties. Dress up. Get online with friends and other families to celebrate and rate each other’s costumes.
- Increase what you do at home to celebrate. Decorate where you live. Get the kids involved in making decorations. Bake Halloween-themed treats. Watch scary movies with your family, household, or as a group online.
- If your community hosts trick-or-treating this year, do it more safely. Leave individual grab bags (or paper cups) filled with goodies outside your door for children to take. If you can, watch and wave to trick-or-treaters through a window. Or, leave Halloween treats outside the door where friends and loved ones live for a contact-free way of celebrating.
- Instead of the usual close contact in a confined space, visit (or create!) a drive-through haunted house experience.
Gov. Face Covering Mandate
On September 22, Gov. Evers declared a new public health emergency and face covering order effective immediately to address the recent surge in cases among young people. You can find a copy a copy of this new public health emergency and face coverings order here.
This order was extended through November 21, 2020 on September 22, 2020. For more information, visit: https://evers.wi.gov/Pages/Home.aspx
General COVID-19 Information
COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) is a novel type of Coronavirus that was first found in Wuhan, China. The first case was confirmed in the U.S. in Washington on January 21, 2020. The World Health Organization declared it a pandemic on March 11, 2020. Governor Evers declared this a Public Health Emergency in Wisconsin on March 12, 2020.
How to Protect Yourself:
- Wash your hands.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Practice physical distancing - stay at least 6 feet away from other people.
- Wear a face covering, i.e. a mask.
- Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
- Consider avoiding large gatherings (more than 50 people).
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily (for example, tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles).
Learn what to do if you are sick: CDC 10 Things Fact Sheet or visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html
Why can’t we know more about individuals infected with coronavirus?
We are not sharing information about the person who has coronavirus because that is protected health information. If we think there is any exposure to a public place in the community, we would make that information public. Part of our role as public health is to do an investigation with contact tracing, including places where people congregate, and if anyone is considered a close contact they are notified. Please remember public health departments must also comply with state laws regarding confidentiality of information according to Wisconsin Stat. § 146.82.
NEW: Weekly Data Reports for Vilas County
View the weekly report here that provides a summary of testing and demographic data for Vilas County.
September 28 - Weekly Data Report
September 21 - Weekly Data Report
September 14 - Weekly Data Report
Should you get Tested for COVID-19?
Symptoms for COVID-19 may include: fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, headache, or fatigue. For a complete list, visit: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/symptoms.htm
Testing Sites for COVID-19
24/7 Hotline 1-833-981-0711 or 715-361-4850
Ascension Online Care is available at: ascension.org/OnlineCare.
- Ascension Eagle River Hospital, 201 East Hospital Road, Eagle River, WI
- Drive Through Testing Available (locations below): Prescreen required by Ascension Medical staff by appointment office visit, phone, or virtual.
- Woodruff (Howard Young) Monday - Friday, 9 am - 1 pm
- Rhinelander (St. Mary's) Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
24/7 Hotline 1-844-568-0701
* Contact hotline to obtain a prescreening evaluation
Hours: 7 am – 7 pm, Monday – Friday | 8 am – 5 pm, Saturday – Sunday
- Marshfield Center - Minocqua
- Call 715-358-1000 for symptom triage.
- 24/7 Hotline 1-877-998-0880 or 715-389-5976
- No Drive Through Testing Available.
Lac Vieux Desert Health Center
302 W Pine St STE 2, Eagle River
If you have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting test results, you should self-isolate and self-monitor in order to protect yourself and your community from COVID-19. Home isolation is over when you have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without using medicine that reduces fevers AND your other symptoms have improved for at least 24 hours AND at least 10 days have passed since you first had symptoms.
NOTE: If you never have symptoms, you should stay isolated for at least 10 days after you were tested.
Learn more DHS What Should I Do if I was Tested for COVID-19 and Awaiting Results (English)
Community Testing site information can be found on the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/community-testing.htm
- CDC - How to get tested
- CDC guidance on how to reduce the risk of spreading your illness to others.
- People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness.
COVID-19 Travel Guidance
COVID-19 is still spreading globally, in the U.S. and throughout Wisconsin. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from getting sick. The WI Department of Health Services recommends Wisconsinites cancel or postpone all travel, including travel within the state.
Before traveling, consider the following:
- Is COVID-19 spreading where you’re going? You can get infected while traveling.
- Is COVID-19 spreading in your community? Even if you don’t have symptoms, you can spread COVID-19 to others while traveling.
- Will you or those you are traveling with be within 6 feet of others during or after your trip? This increases your risk of getting infected and infecting others.
- Are you or other travelers at high risk for becoming hospitalized from COVID-19?
- Do you live with someone who is at high risk for becoming hospitalized from COVID-19?
Do not travel if you are sick, or if you have been around someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days. Also, do not travel with someone who is sick. If you are at risk for serious illness from COVID-19, you should reduce your chances of catching the virus and avoid all travel both inside and outside of your community.
If you travel, despite recommendations, the WI Department of Health Services has guidance to follow.
Coronavirus Face Covering Do's and Don'ts:
CDC recommends that everyone use a cloth face covering to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Wear a cloth face covering to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Wash your cloth face covering frequently, ideally after each use, or at least daily. Have a bag or bin to keep cloth face coverings in until they can be laundered with detergent and hot water and dried on a hot cycle. If you must re-wear your cloth face covering before washing, wash your hands immediately after putting it back on and avoid touching your face. Resource: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/protect.htm
- Guidance from the State of "Should I wear a Cloth Face Mask?"
- Fact sheet on how to make a cloth face mask: CDC Fact Sheet
- COVID-19 face covering questions and answers: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-faq.html
- CDC webpage on How to Select, Wear, and Wash a Mask
Guidance for Businesses,Organizations, Community Groups & Individuals
Vilas County Government has issued a Declaration to Re-open Businesses that went into effect on Thursday, May 14, 2020. It is the responsibility of the business owner to make sure that any state and local licenses that are held are valid to open at this time. Additionally, confirm that your insurance coverage, i.e. liability, fire, etc., will be valid if you choose to open.
Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has guidelines and best practices for businesses to keep workers and customers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Industry-specific documents are available and are updated on a regular basis.
Chamber of Commerce site provides the "Coronavirus Small Business Issues and Solutions Guide"
WI Department of Health Services has information for employers on how to slow or prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace, disinfection and cleaning guidelines, information on when employees recovering from COVID-19 can return to work and other guidance.
WI Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection has COVID-19 guidelines and recommendations for food supply, delivery and recreational facilities.
- Outdoor COVID-19 Toolkit
- Faith and Spiritual Communities
- Schools - Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction's COVID-19 and CDC Guidance for Schools and Childcare
- Reopening School Guidance: https://dpi.wi.gov/sspw/2019-novel-coronavirus
- Other Groups: CDC's website for Guidance
VCPHD COVID Fact Sheet - Community
VCPHD COVID Fact Sheet - Businesses
VCPHD COVID Fact Sheet - Faith-based Communities
VCPHD COVID Fact Sheet - Childcare
VCPHD COVID Fact Sheet - School Reopening
VCPHD COVID Fact Sheet - Sports
- WI COVID-19 Information - Updates, Orders, Badger Bounce Back, etc.
- Dealing With Coronavirus Anxiety: Expert Tips
- Daily Life and Coping
- DHS COVID-19 Fact Sheet
- CDC Fact Sheet - Symptoms
- DHS - Shopping Tips
- CDC Fact Sheet - Stop the Spread of Germs
- CDC - Cleaning and Disinfecting
- CDC COVID-19, Information for Travel
VCPHD Media Releases:
- 8-18-20 Vilas County First Death - COVID Related
- 8-5-20 VCPHD Update & Gov. Mask Mandate
- 7-3-20 VCPHD has its 11th Case of COVID-19
- 5-29-20 Announcement in Regards to Large Gatherings
- 5-14-20 WI Supreme Court Decision - Safer at Home
- 4-21-20 Gov. Evers Increases Testing Capabilities
- 4-7-20 VCPHD FAQ
- 4-5-20_Fourth COVID-19 Case in Vilas County
- 3-30-20_Third COVID-19 Case in Vilas County
- 3-26-20_Second COVID-19 Case in Vilas County
- 3-25-20_First COVID-19 Case in Vilas County Press Release
- 3-25-20_Courthouse restricted access
- 3-20-20_Vilas County Advisory to Seasonal and Second Homeowners
- 3-11-20_COVID 19 What you Need to Know
- 3-14-20_250 Mass Gatherings
- 3-16-20_50 Mass Gatherings
More COVID-19 Resources:
- COVID-19 Update: BadgerCare Plus Children and Medicaid Purchase Plan Premiums Suspended
- Governor Evers Emergency Order #21 Suspends Several DHS Administrative Rules for EMS, Home Health Agencies, Hospices, Nursing Homes, Nursing Aide Training Programs, Feeding Assistant Programs, Community Based Residential Facilities, Adult Family Homes, and Narcotic Treatment for Opiate Addiction.
- Governor Tony Evers issues temporary ban on evictions and foreclosures. For updated information, visit https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/News_Media/LandlordTenantCOVID19FAQs.aspx (5/18/20)
- The programs and initiatives in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act are intended to assist business owners, as well as certain nonprofits and other employers, with whatever needs they have right now.
You can also stay informed by visiting:
- CDC - Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)
- Wisconsin Department of Health Services - COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019)