Questions about the spread of the coronavirus have led the Door County Public Health Department to issue a statement clarifying the risk level for Door County.
In Door County the risk of exposure to the virus remains low, according to Public Health Manager Sue Powers.
“We have been preparing for emergencies like this since 2002,” Powers said. “Emergency preparation was mandated after 9/11.”
Powers said the Centers for Disease Control and PRevention (CDC) and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services are monitoring travelers from affected areas and notifying local health departments if someone from their area has traveled from affected areas.
“If a traveler is ill they are isolated,” she said. “If a traveler is well, they are quarantined, and monitored by local health departments.”
If a traveler arrives in Door County who may have been exposed to the virus, the local health department contacts that person and follows up regularly to find out if they are showing any symptoms of the virus.
Those symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath, which may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after someone is exposed to the virus. Symptoms have ranged from a mild illness (like a common cold) to severe pneumonia requiring hospitalization.
Wisconsin has one reported case of the coronavirus. That patient has been isolated.
Powers said she remains more concerned about common influenza than the coronavirus, and urges residents to be vigilant in guarding against the flu. She said the steps that help prevent the spread of the coronavirus are the same as those used to protect against colds and flu:
- cover your coughs and sneezes
- wash hands frequently
- stay home when you’re sick
Door County has not seen a lot of hospitalizations for the flue this year, but there have been 2,100 hospitalizations statewide this flu season, including three pediatric deaths, Powers said.
Door County Emergency Management is working on preparedness efforts as it relates to the coronavirus event as there have been no confirmed cases within the County to warrant any sort of response effort. The goal of preparedness is to ensure the whole community has the tools to be informed and know how to best protect themselves and their families. Door County Emergency Management would like to encourage the public to follow local, state, and federal public health guidance as it relates to this event.