COVID-19 test kit

This file photo provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows CDC's laboratory test kit for the new coronavirus. 

Barron County Department of Health and Human Services continues to investigate an outbreak of positive COVID-19 cases at Seneca Foods in Cumberland. On July 19, the first case connected to the plant was reported to Barron County Public Health. Since then the Wisconsin National Guard, Family Health La Clinica and Barron County Public Health have offered free testing to seasonal and full-time employees, as well as household members and close contacts. Approximately 44% of Seneca Foods employees in Cumberland have tested positive. 

“While this is a significant outbreak, it is not the only thing contributing to the high number of cases in Barron County, said Health Officer Laura Sauve. “Forty percent of the positive cases that have been reported over the past month are not related to the outbreak. They are being traced back to travel, gatherings and crowded areas and events.”

Barron County has seen a recent spike in cases with more than 260 new cases reported in the last month. 

“The virus is here in our communities, no one place is safer than another. We need everyone, everywhere, to continue following the recommendations to help slow the spread of this, continued Sauve.”

Recommendations include:

  • Avoid all gatherings-if you must gather, limit to 10 people or less indoors and 25 people or less outdoors
  • Wear a mask at all times when in public AND anywhere that keeping 6 feet from others is not possible
  • Stop all unnecessary travel 
  • Limit your contacts to those who live in your home
    • Work from home if possible
    • Stop unnecessary trips to stores
    • Stop eating in restaurants and going to bars-try takeout food instead
    • If you must do these activities, choose places practicing strict social distancing and following the Wisconsin Economic Development recommendations
  • People with underlying health conditions and older residents should consider having friends or family do their shopping and limit interactions with others
  • Wash your hands often
  • Cover your cough
  • Get tested at any signs of illness. Signs of COVID 19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, body aches, headaches, chills, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Some people have no signs of illness and still carry and spread the disease

If you have questions about COVID-19, please dial 2-1-1. You can also text COVID-19 to 211-211. For the latest information, follow Barron County Public Health on Facebook or visit the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website.

(Copyright © 2020 APG Media)

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