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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): What you need to know

Concerned that you have COVID-19 symptoms? Have questions? Click here to use our online screening tool. 

*Screening tool is unavailable in Internet Explorer; please use Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome or Apple Safari. 


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 now 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

Get answers to common questions about COVID-19 

Graphic of COVID-19 Chatbot

If you feel you may have COVID-19 symptoms or have any questions, please use our online screening tool. You can check your symptoms and learn more about next steps.


Start Screening


Note: Our screening tool is currently unavailable in Internet Explorer; please use Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome or Apple Safari. Please also turn off pop-up blockers.


You may also call our COVID-19 Helpline, open 24/7, at 877-998-0880.


Marshfield Clinic Health System Updates

Updated: Temporary patient and visitor restriction information

Temporary location closures and changes to hours

Information for high risk patients

Patient health screening update

Postponement of certain, non-urgent appointments

Changes to pharmacy services

Changes to optical shop hours

Family Health Centers temporary closure

COVID-19 How you can help

Business Health Solutions changes


News Updates

Hundreds respond to Marshfield Clinic's request to the community for sewn face masks

Gov. Tony Evers to order Wisconsinites to stay at home, will close non-essential businesses

A letter to the community: Help our health care staff be available to care for you

Marshfield Clinic Health System creates COVID-19 Community Support Fund


For additional tips, info and updates on COVID-19, visit our Shine365 blog.


MCHS Employees: Click here to access the online symptom tracker.


CDC Resources

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Coronavirus Disease 2019 Microsite

Coronavirus Symptoms PDF

Stigma Related to COVID-19


Additional Resources

WI DHS Outbreaks in Wisconsin

MCHS Symptom Log

10 things you can do to manage your health at home