COVID-19 hits home

The state Department of Health Services said Wednesday that Bayfield County still has only one confirmed case of COVID-19, and Ashland County remains without a confirmed case.

Across Wisconsin, 585 patients have tested positive and six have died of the disease caused by coronavirus. Just over 10,000 people have tested negative.

Health officials warn that those statistics likely are very misleading, in some cases dangerously so.

No one knows how many people in Wisconsin might be carrying the virus but not yet exhibiting symptoms or showing only mild symptoms that they dismiss as a cold or allergies.

And health officials warn that looking at virus-free counties and assuming people there are safe to ignore best health practices could get people killed and prolong government lockdowns.

“We all need to work together to and stay home,” DHS says on its coronavirus page. “This will help us flatten the curve and protect the capacity of the health care system to serve those who will suffer with the most severe disease from COVID-19. Keeping our health care system from becoming overwhelmed so it can care for us during this epidemic is our number one priority.”

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