Mad island ferry

A Madeline Island Ferry line worker prepares to dock at Madeline Island. Officials are discouraging people from visiting the island in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Madeline Island officials said the island should not be considered a “safe haven” for people hoping to elude COVID-19, and the island’s ambulance service director issued guidance for residents who have symptoms related to the coronavirus or other diseases.

La Pointe supervisors reminded people this week that health officials are discouraging traveling to Ashland and Bayfield counties — and to Madeline Island.

“Beyond the imminent threat of exposure from those traveling in from other parts of the state and country, the island lacks the medical resources and facilities necessary to provide care to those who may be affected,” the release stated.

The consequences of contracting COVID-19 on the island could be more devastating than in mainland locations with access to medical resources and supplies, the release said, and the island is home to many people with compromised immune systems and the elderly, who are at greatest risk.

Cynthia Dalzell, director of Madeline Island Ambulance Service, said anyone who has a fever of more than 100 degrees, a cough and shortness of breath should contact Memorial Medical Center for an E-visit on its website before coming to the Ashland hospital.

The director asked that anyone advised to go to the hospital to arrange to transport themselves. EMTs have plans in place if called to a home, and Dalzell said residents who may be seriously ill and call an ambulance to get to the hospital won’t necessarily get prompter care.

Dalzell recommended calling 911 if experiencing persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or the inability to wake up, and bluish lips or face. Wear a mask or scarf, and let the ambulance staff know you may have COVID-19.

Town supervisors in their release said the La Pointe Community Clinic will continue to operate but as of Tuesday the Beach Club and Lori’s Store are closed — though providing the public with limited essentials.

People who must travel to the island must take all COVID-19 precautions, try not to expose other people and self-isolate for no fewer than 14 days.

The release reminded people that travel off the island is not always possible.

To read the Dalzell’s news release, visit

(Copyright © 2020 APG Media)

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