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April 2, 2020

3/16/2020 10:00:00 AM
Roundup: OCVSO takes DAV van offline due to COVID-19 concerns
River News Staff

Updated 3/16/20, 12:35 p.m.

The following is a list of press release regarding the cancellation or postponement of upcoming events due do coronavirus concerns:

OCVSO suspending operation of DAV van

Effective immediately, the Oneida County Veterans Service Office is suspending service on the Oneida County DAV van that takes veterans to medical appointments at the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center in Iron Mountain, MI through at least Friday, April 3. If that date changes, we will let you know via our Facebook page, our web page, and the media.

Most of our volunteer drivers, as well as our veteran passengers, fall into the high risk category and we cannot take the chance of putting their health at risk. We apologize for the inconvenience but hope you understand.

For more information, contact the Oneida County Veterans Service Office at (715) 369-6127.

Iron Mountain VA Restricts Visitors

IRON MOUNTAIN. Mich. - For the safety of patients, visitors and staff, the Iron Mountain VA Medical Center is changing its visitation policy for all its heath care facilities in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin to help to combat the spread of the Coronavirus. Effective at noon CST today, March 16, the VA medical center and its seven community-based VA clinics are not allowing visitors for most patients and staff until further notice.

Visitors will be prohibited from entering the medical center unless it is necessary for providing medical care, supporting patient care activities, or visiting under exigent circumstances, such as grave illness or imminent death of a family member under care in the facility.

All patients and visitors that do need to come into the medical center or its community-based VA clinics will continue to be screened for signs of respiratory illness and exposure to COVID-19 prior to entry. If screened positive, an individual will be treated appropriately.

Enrolled Veterans who have flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath, should call the nurse triage line at 906-774-3300 (toll free 800-215-8262), extension 17066, before visiting their provider at the VA medical center or local VA clinic.

Community Music Festival canceled

The Community Music Festival scheduled for this coming Sunday at Nicolet College has been cancelled. Jim Nuttall, the Theater Director at Nicolet College, confirmed in an email to the River News Monday morning.

Rhinelander Ice Association melting ice, effectively ending winter season.

Due to the COVID-19 concerns and recent event cancellations, the Rhinelander Ice Arena will be melting the ice as of Monday, March 16, the Rhinelander Ice Association stated Sunday in a Facebook post.

The Rhinelander Figure Skating Club (RFSC) with support of the RIA, has cancelled the upcoming spring show and the mini camp, competition and test session based on the recommendations of United States Figure Skating. The RFSC and RIA will evaluate if the show can be held at a different time.

The upcoming Buzzsaw Men's Tournament is also cancelled. Any skills nights, learn to skate, open skates, noon time hockey, and any other ice events have been cancelled.

"This is an unfortunate but necessary turn of events. We hope to offer additional programming over the summer and next fall to offset this shutdown," the RIA stated in a press release.

First Congregational Church cancels services and activities

The First Congregational Church of Christ has canceled all services and activities until Friday, April 10 (Good Friday), a church spokesperson told the River News Monday.

Rhinelander Chamber Business Showcase canceled

The Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce announced Friday morning that its 2020 RACC Business Showcase, scheduled for Saturday, March 21 has been canceled.

"Due to the escalating and uneasy nature of COVID-19, the Chamber has been evaluating upcoming events," RACC director Lauren Sackett said in a letter released to the public.

"After discussions over the last several days between the Chamber, Rhinelander School District, and Oneida County Health Department and in congruence with the Governor's and DHS recommendations of all non-essential gatherings of 250 or more people be cancelled or postponed, the Rhinelander Chamber is announcing the cancellation of the 2020 RACC Business Showcase. Pre-registered businesses can opt to either receive a 50% refund as stated in the application or hold their registration for our 2021 event."

As of Friday, the chamber's Business After 5 scheduled for Wednesday, March 18 was still taking place at Gerhards Kitchen and Bath Store.

Storm spotter class canceled

The National Weather Service storm spotter class scheduled for Rhinelander Tuesday, March 17 has been cancelled due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 Virus, Oneida County Emergency Management officials stated in a press release Friday.

"The National Weather Service will offer online alternative arrangements for their storm spotter classes this season. CDC guidance continues to suggest that social distancing can be effective at limiting the overall spread of the virus; therefore, the National Weather Service will need to protect attendees and their employees by providing the spotter training via remote means," the release stated.

The National Weather Service will provide a pre-recorded presentation and links to the Skywarn Web Training Material at The training material will serve as a supplement and could help keep track of individuals that have taken the training. Please visit the National Weather Service/Green Bay Office webpage to learn more.

Candidate forums canceled

The League of Women Voters of the Northwoods (LWVNOW) has canceled two candidate forums regarding local races. Canceled are a forum involving the Rhinelander City Council District 3 and 7 races scheduled for Monday at the Rhinelander District Library and a forum involving the Oneida County Board District 11 race that was to be held Wednesday at the Crescent Town Hall.

"It is with much regret that the LWVNOW has determined that it is in everyone's best interest to cancel both of the scheduled candidates forums," the group stated in a press release. "The League is assuming that many of the people attending and participating in the Forum, both candidates, our staff and the public would be in the 'high risk' population for the coronavirus. We are also following the recommendation of the LWVUS and the CDC. We proactively reached out to our local health department and were given the same guidance to err on the side of caution in this public health emergency."

In lieu of the forums, the group is recommending voters refer to the LWV's ​Vote411 Candidates Guide,​ which all forum participants have participated in.

Mayor nixes Rhinelander St. Patrick's Day Parade

Downtown Rhinelander's Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade, scheduled for this afternoon was canceled Friday by declaration of mayor Chris Frederickson.

"In light of the most recent mandate from Governor (Tony) Evers' office canceling gatherings involving 250 or more people, Mayor Chris Frederickson is regretfully canceling the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Downtown Rhinelander," a City Hall press release stated.

The St. Patrick's Day Parade has been taking place in Rhinelander since 2012.

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