Four more positive cases of COVID-19 in the Red Cliff community have been recorded following a wedding held Aug. 29 in Washburn. The outbreak prompted the tribe to issue a stay-at-home resolution, and the Bayfield School District is working to determine the status of allowing students to return to the building Tuesday.
The Red Cliff Community Health Center and Bayfield County Health Department said in a news release Friday that at least four new cases had been traced to a wedding held at the Harbor View Event Center.
Extensive contact tracing is underway, and close contacts are being notified, Red Cliff said. Meanwhile, Bayfield County encourages anyone who attended the wedding or related celebrations afterward who develop symptoms get tested for COVID-19.
“Anyone who attended this event should isolate for the remaining quarantine period until Sept. 11,” Bayfield County Health Officer Sara Wartman said. “Furthermore, they should not participate in any gatherings or get-togethers over the upcoming holiday weekend and they should self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19.”
Because of the rapid increase and unknown extent of illness in the Red Cliff community, the medical director and public health recommend an immediate closure of non-essential businesses within Red Cliff reservation boundaries.
Legendary Waters Resort & Casino is abiding by the order and has temporarily closed.
The tribe’s stay-at-home order calls for people living on the reservation to stay in place except to engage in necessary activities and work beginning today and extending until further notice.
Superintendent Jeff Gordon posted that all Bayfield School employees were to work from home today and he would be working with the school board and health professionals to decide whether to open the building on Tuesday.
“We ask that any students that attended the event work with their school to do virtual learning for the next week as an extra precaution now that schools are back in session,” Wartman said. “Keeping schools open and preventing transmission of COVID-19 in our communities is a high priority. We ask all residents to support our schools by having their students virtually attend school if they were at this event, if they were in contact with persons known to have COVID-19, or if students are feeling ill with COVID-19-like symptoms.
Bayfield County on Thursday reported 50 confirmed cases, seven of which are active. One death has occurred, 42 patients have recovered and 60 people are being monitored.
The county’s COVID-19 activity level is rated moderately high.
Ashland County has recorded 41 positive cases as of Thursday, with 30 recoveries and one death. It is monitoring 48 people.
A free drive-up COVID-19 testing site is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 11 at Hayward Wesleyan Church, 10655 Nyman Ave. To expedite testing pre-register at register.covidconnect.wi.gov.