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Community transmission of COVID-19 is occurring throughout Wisconsin. Governor Evers has issued a ‘stay-at-home’ order that requires people to mostly stay at home except for essential travel like buying groceries, picking up medicine, and caring for others. Schools are closed statewide, and all bars and restaurants are closed with limited exceptions. This intense social distancing is needed now to prevent many COVID-19 infections and save lives in the coming weeks and months.
COVID-19 is a dangerous and highly contagious disease. Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness, but it causes serious illness in about 20%. Some people have no symptoms, but they can still spread the virus. The overall risk of dying appears to be about 1% to 2%. Adults over age 65 and people with serious medical conditions have the highest risk of severe illness or death. The risk of death is also increased for people 50—64 years old. There is no treatment or vaccine. The only way to stay safe from COVID-19 is to avoid getting infected.
Protect yourself and your family by staying at home. Stay away from people if you must leave home. Keep a distance of at least 6 feet. The virus can spread through the air to nearby people, and it can spread by touching contaminated objects. Frequent handwashing is important. Clean and sanitize objects and surfaces that are routinely touched.
If you develop fever or cough, keep away from other people in your household. Anyone who is sick with COVID-19 symptoms should wear a mask and remain isolated at home to protect other household members. Everyone living in the same household should self-quarantine for 14 days. Call your health care provider before coming to the clinic or hospital for a respiratory illness, except in an emergency. You can use our
online screening tool if you have questions or need advice.
Marshfield Clinic Health System is taking extraordinary steps to be ready for a large increase in COVID-19 cases. Check this page frequently for the latest updates.
Last updated: March 26, 2020
Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Minnesota Department of Health, Johns Hopkins, Marshfield Clinic Health System
Current Situation and Recommendations
Over 85,300 COVID-19 cases and 1,246 deaths have been
reported in the US. The true number of cases is certainly much larger. The number of cases is expected to double every week without control measures, but social distancing now will reduce the number of cases in the coming weeks. If people stay apart now, COVID-19 will infect fewer people and cases will be spread out over a longer time (flattening the curve). This helps prevent a surge of COVID-19 cases in a short time that can overwhelm hospitals and intensive care units.
The virus spreads easily from person-to-person, similar to the flu virus. COVID-19 commonly causes fever and cough, and it may also cause shortness of breath, sore throat, muscle aches, and feeling tired. Symptoms usually start about 5 days after infection, but it may take up to 14 days.
Intense 'social distancing' is important
to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the coming weeks and save lives. Stay at home and stay away from other people. Wash your hands often, use a tissue for coughs and sneezes, and avoiding touching your face. Use disinfectants to clean surfaces that are touched by different people.
Availability of COVID-19 lab testing is still limited in Wisconsin. Marshfield Clinic has recently started clinical testing through a commercial laboratory. Public health labs also offer testing, but availability is limited. Patients who are hospitalized are the highest priority for testing at this time. Due to the limited supply of tests, most people with mild respiratory illness cannot be tested.
If you need medical care for cough or fever, call your health care provider
before coming in (except in an emergency). Contact your provider right away if you have high fever, shortness of breath, or weakness.
For the latest public health recommendations from CDC, visit
www.cdc.gov/covid19. If you are an older adult, review this CDC checklist to be prepared:
COVID-19 Checklist: Older Persons