"Early signs" of the spread of COVID-19 is being seen in communities in Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services said in an announcement about Gov. Tony Evers' order on March 13 to close schools.

Eleven new cases of the disease has been identified in Wisconsin, bringing the total to 19.

The new ones are in:

> Two in Milwaukee County

> One in Racine County

> Three in Sheboygan County

> One in Dane County

> Four in Fond du Lac County

"We are using every tool that we have to protect our community," the state health department said. "We did not make this decision lightly. We are all in this together to protect Wisconsin and the most vulnerable among us.

"We understand everyone will be impacted by this and have their lives disrupted, but we need to do this to protect our families and Wisconsin from this outbreak. Extraordinary measures like closing schools, restricting mass gatherings, and cancelling travel will slow the spread of the disease and help our health care system so those affected can get the care they need.

"We have been anticipating and preparing for community spread in Wisconsin. We have some early signs that this is beginning to occur in some communities and anticipate spread to more communities over the next few weeks."

(Copyright © 2020 APG Media)

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