Coronavirus ushers in a new reality

Daily life changes as COVID-19 comes to Wisconsin
Joe Block

The shelves at Dollar General in Mazomanie were empty of toilet paper by 3 p.m. Friday, March 13.

The village of Mazomanie and Wisconsin Heights School District discussed the COVID-19 outbreak at their board meetings last Monday and Tuesday. Little did they know how quickly events would unfold. A week after the discussions the school districts are closed, groups over 50 are banned, and there has already been a run on toilet paper. That being said, from the villages to the school districts and hospital, everyone was preparing.

“[COVID-19] is another one of those things in public education, you probably wouldn’t have been that taught in grad school, then it happens and it’s like ‘okay, we are going to bring ourselves together and do the best we can in the situation,’” said Wisconsin Heights District Administrator Jordan Sinz on the 9th. On the 15th--less than a week later--school was closed.

The local bank has been affected as well. The Peoples Community Bank shuttered their lobbies, while drive-throughs and online services remain.

Sauk Prairie Healthcare, with the hospital in Sauk Prairie and clinics stretching from Plain to River Valley and Wisconsin Heights, will only allow one symptom-free visitor to clinics and the hospital. They have provided guidelines as to who should come in for treatment. A key point is the following: “If you are NOT having an emergency condition, do not come to the Sauk Prairie Hospital Emergency Department to get tested. Attempting to use the Emergency Department for COVID-19 testing could result in you being sent home without being tested.”

The Sauk County board chose to delay their meeting this week until the following week. Local villages are examining their options for meetings.

Over the weekend grocery stores were busy but remained stocked. Dollar General in Mazomanie was out of toilet paper, but Piggly Wiggly in Sauk City had half-full shelves. Business at local gas stations remained the same as normal, including those providing groceries, like Kwik Trip and Shell.

6:8 in Sauk Prairie is operating as a clearing-house for community needs, matching volunteers with those in need. Those interested in volunteering should see their website at Residents can also make contact by phone or text at (608) 561-8468 or email Volunteers who can speak Spanish are available.

Visit the Star News website ( for updates and resources as things unfold quickly.

Heights Unlimited is proving help as well, and the school districts are providing meals. See “Resources” for more information on this and everything else. 

Be sure to visit our website at ( for updating news and resources. More information can be found on our Facebook Page (WiscStarNews). See our Twitter account for local emergencies: (Wisc_Star_News).

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