3rd Death, Community Spread Confirmed in Door County

The Door County Public Health Department has confirmed there is now community spread of the COVID-19 virus in Door County. Community spread means that there is spread of the infection for which the source of infection is unknown.

The health department also confirmed the third death related to COVID0-19 and two new cases, bringing the county’s total to 14. Seven of those cases have recovered.

Friday evening Gibraltar School sent a letter notifying parents that a staff member working in the building has been exposed to COVID-19 outside of the school building. The school building has been closed since early March for all but essential staff. After the exposure, the school will perform a deep cleaning of the entire building and ask exposed staff to self-quarantine.

“In addition, we are taking the cautionary step to discontinue the food delivery program for the immediate future,” the school announced. “We are exploring other opportunities to provide food delivery through other sources.”

Door County Pulse Podcasts · Dr. Jim Heise and Brian Stephens on Hospital Preparedness and Guidelines for Businesses

The developments came on a day that Wisconsin cases surged again. The state reported the highest one-day total of new cases since the outbreak began, largely as a result of increased testing. However, the percentage of tests taken that came back positive also reached its highest level since April 9. The state announced 460 new cases, and 12.7 percent of tests came back positive.

In an interview Friday for the Door County Pulse Podcast, Door County Medical Center CEO Brian Stephens and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jim Heise said their thinking has changed regarding the peak of the outbreak in Door County.

“When we first started talking about this, we thought we would see an increase in cases and then a tapering off, but I think partly because Safer at Home has been a success story in terms of flattening the curve,” Stephens said. “I’m not sure we’ll really see a peak in the traditional thought of what a peak would be.”

“It’s more going to be a situation of a relatively flat line over time, and then there’s going to be spikes,” Stephens said. “As a health care facility and a community we’ve got to be prepared to get our arms around those.”

Stephens said he now believes the hospital will have to maintain a state of readiness for an influx of COVID-19 patients for at least a year or until a vaccine is discovered.

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