Sauk County COVID-19 reopening can’t move to next phase

County misses criteria for phase 2, lab tests delayed, community spread is “elevated”

Sauk County Public Health (SCPH) released new data which indicated a need to stay in Phase 1 of the gradual reopening plan for at least another week. The local data which caused SCPH to pause the movement from Phase 1 to Phase 2 include the following:

1. 33% of new COVID cases were not linked to a known source, indicating the potential for increased community spread. This measure was in the red range.

2. 51% of lab results were not sent to SCPH in a timely fashion, resulting in a delay in identifying and isolating new cases and their close contacts. This measure was in the red range.

3. There were more new cases in Sauk County over the previous 14-day period (6 new cases) than the threshold set for Sauk County. This measure was in the yellow range.

4. There are still not quite enough tests being conducted (819 per week instead of 910 per week) to have a really good sense of the risk and spread of COVID-19 in Sauk County. This measure was in the yellow range.

5. The number of new cases and the increased level of community spread across the region were also elevated. Both measures were in the yellow range.

“Sauk County Public Health monitors the local and regional COVID data to inform our local decisions about the best ways to protect the health and safety of our residents and visitors while keeping our economy moving forward,” said Tim Lawther, Sauk County Health Officer. “At this time, the best thing for Sauk County is to stay in Phase 1 of our reopening. We will reassess the data and make an announcement about whether we are ready to move into Phase 2 on June 15.”

Residents should continue to practice 6-foot social distancing, avoid crowds of more than 10 people wherever possible, stay home when not feeling well, wash their hands regularly, and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces. 

Businesses should continue to review and improve their operations, protocol, and policies to help reduce the risk of COVID for their customers and employees. 

If an individual business has a specific question about guidance and best practice after they have reviewed WEDC and SCPH guidance (https://www.co.sauk.wi.us/publichealth/business-guidance) and completed the self-assessment tool, they can email covid19@saukcountywi.gov and SCPH will compile answers to those questions on a FAQ webpage. 

For more information on COVID-19 and Sauk County’s response, please visit the SCPH website at https://www.co.sauk.wi.us/publichealth/coronavirus.

Data can be found at https://coviddata-saukpublichealth.hub.arcgis.com/.

Precautions people should take to help protect themselves during specific activities can be found on the SCPH website (https://www.co.sauk.wi.us/publichealth/protect-yourself-others#Precautio...).

There is a new self-assessment tool to help businesses identify areas for further improvement and access resources that may help them at (https://forms.gle/WaCXK3opxcCMkkC38).

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