UPDATE: Starting this week, Governor Evers has issued a "Safer at Home" order and only those individuals needing to perform essential functions should be out.

    As of today (Monday), Green Lake County has conducted 25 COVID-19 tests on its residents, 12 with negative results and 13 still pending.

   According to Green Lake County Health Officer Kathy Munsey in a Monday press release, the 13 pending tests are considered low-risk; however, she notes these numbers can change by the day, if not by the hour.

   “These numbers change by the hours so I hesitated to even put out numbers, but I do want the public to understand why we are taking the precautions we are taking. Green Lake County is not immune,” she said.

   And as such, Munsey advises residents to practice social distancing, stay at home and wash their hands.

   “This is a very mobile society and people travel, which puts us all at risk,” she said.

   She explained COVID-19 is caused by a new coronavirus that was first identified late last year, and is spread from person to person via droplets produced by coughing or sneezing. In most individuals, the virus may cause mild symptoms; however, in some people, it can cause more severe illness, such as pneumonia.

   The rest of the release reads:

   The CDC’s website has good information about 2019 Novel Coronavirus: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus

   If you have a fever, cough, or shortness of breath and have traveled or possibly had contact with a COVID-19 positive case, please contact your healthcare provider right away and stay home (self-isolate). If you are over age 65 or have a chronic medical condition, call your doctor even if your symptoms are mild, as you may be at increased risk for complications from COVID-19. It is very important that you call before going to any clinic or hospital unless it is an emergency in order to keep other people from getting infected. We do not want to overwhelm our health care systems during these stressful times.

   Green Lake County has had to implement procedures to keep the public and ourselves safe during this pandemic. If you have an appointment at the County Government Center, please call first. We are attempting to provide as many services over the phone as possible. Public Health has contacted schools, faith-based communities, long-term care facilities, businesses, EMS, clinics, local law enforcement and more to educate them on new practices to make us safer. Many have gone to virtual meetings and our schools have gone to virtual schooling in some cases. I applaud you all for the efforts you have taken to help your family and your neighbors get through this ordeal. It has been a challenge and I am inspired and overwhelmed by the outpouring of humanity to assure that our kids get fed, our shut-ins get their meals and needs are met. Our food pantry remains open, but we are doing curbside drop-offs to reduce exposures. Many grocery stores are offering special hours for seniors and even delivery services. People have come up with ingenious ideas to get through this pandemic.

   I encourage folks to try to remain calm during these difficult times. You can call 211 for your non-emergency questions related to COVID-19. If you want information on what is happening in Wisconsin, you can go to www.dhs.wisconsin.gov . This site will give you the Governor's latest declarations, state and county testing totals, which are updated daily, and many other state specific details related to COVID-19. For local coronavirus information, please visit the Green Lake County Public Health website at https://www.co.green-lake.wi.us/departments/health-human-services-health-unit/ or follow us on Facebook. If you want to vote absentee ballot, go to www.myvote.wi.gov .

   There are many ways you can reduce your risk to COVID-19 but staying home and washing your hands are two of the most important practices. We need to flatten the curve and this will take sacrifices, but it is necessary if we are to be successful in slowing the spread. It is challenging, but together, we will get through this. We are not able to control the pandemic, but we can control how we respond to it. Therefore, I ask you to go to reliable sources for facts, do not spread rumors, be kind to your neighbors, check in on them, take care of yourself by eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, and limit your exposure to the tsunami of information related to the pandemic and take time to reflect on all the good in the world.

   If you have any questions, call the Health Department at 920-294-4070.

   Stay Home and Save Lives,
   Kathy Munsey, RN
   Green Lake County Health Officer