Waushara County reports 7 positive tests, 4 have recovered
by Robert Sivick
Waushara County District Administrator
On Wednesday, May 13th the Wisconsin Supreme Court rendered its opinion in Wisconsin Legislature v. Palm, et al. That opinion struck down the extension of Governor Evers’ “Safer at Home” order and removed restrictions designed to limit the spread of COVID-19. This in no way means COVID-19 is no longer a threat or the public health emergency is over. That’s because the Court’s opinion only addressed legal, not medical issues.
In order to fill the vacuum created by the Supreme Court’s decision, Waushara County issued recommendations pursuant to its public health authority. Those recommendations and a slew of other helpful information is available at co.waushara.wi.us. Take some time to review this crucial information as following the recommendations will not only keep you but our community safe and healthy.
As I write this on Monday, May 18th, Waushara County has seven positive tests for COVID-19. Undoubtedly that number will rise in the next few weeks due to loosened restrictions bringing increased social interaction. Additionally, increased testing will also likely result in the discovery of more persons carrying the virus.
We are fortunate Waushara County’s community and business leaders, particularly its restauranteurs and tavern owners are responsible. Unlike other communities in the Badger State, after the Supreme Court decision we did not see people standing shoulder to shoulder in taverns potentially increasing the spread of this disease. Instead, our merchants follow best practices in not only safeguarding employees but patrons through protective measures such as increased social distancing.
However, these protective measures alone will not bring things back to normal. You may have noticed most eating and drinking establishments are not packed despite having been closed since March. That’s because people are still apprehensive and illustrates the multi-front war we are fighting. Opening the economy will not make COVID-19 go away and the threat of the virus will continue to hamper the economy due to people restricting their activities out of fear.
In the short term we have to maintain best practices such as regular hand washing, maintaining social distance, and wearing a mask when that’s not possible. In the long term, scientists around the world are working on a vaccine which when administered widely will allow us to return to normal.
Aside from the obvious problems created by the COVID-19 pandemic are those not so obvious. One is the severe shortage in the nation’s lifesaving blood supply. Every Summer the need for blood rises due to injuries from increased outdoor activity and automobile travel. That situation is even worse this year as many blood drives are held at schools and workplaces, largely shuttered over the last two months. Additionally, postponed elective surgeries are being performed also increasing the need for blood.
To address this problem your County government in conjunction with the American Red Cross is holding a blood drive on Thursday, June 4th in the Courthouse basement from Noon to 5:30 PM. Every medical precaution will be taken so if you are healthy and feel comfortable donating blood please do so. Walk in donations are welcome but try to make an appointment by calling 1-800 RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or by visiting redcrossblood.org.
So far Waushara County has avoided the worst of COVID-19 unlike many other Wisconsin counties. That’s due to your community spirit and cooperation with local public health officials and experts. If we keep up the good work we will win this long and difficult battle. Stay safe and God bless you.