3/17/2020 7:30:00 AM COVID-19 Roundup: Gov. Evers orders ban on gatherings over 50 people
Associated Press & River News Staff
MADISON (AP) - Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on Monday ordered a ban on all gatherings of more than 50 people, a dramatic move in line with federal recommendations and as other states took similar action to stop the spread of the new coronavirus.
Evers tweeted that he was ordering the ban, but said "critical infrastructure and services such as grocery stores, food pantries, childcare centers, pharmacies, and hospitals will be exempt." The order will force bars and restaurants to limit the number of customers on St. Patrick's Day on Tuesday.
He didn't say how long the order would be in effect. Evers planned to provide more details at an afternoon news conference.
Evers' order comes after he last week declared a public health emergency, ordered all public and private K-12 schools to close no later than Wednesday through at least April 6 and recommended gatherings no larger than 250 people.
Many other states and local jurisdictions across the country, including Dane County in Wisconsin, further limited gatherings to no larger than 50 in recent days. Others that have issued similar orders include neighboring Illinois, Ohio, Massachusetts, Washington state, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday recommended that gatherings of 50 people or more should be canceled or postponed throughout the country for the next eight weeks.
Also on Monday, Wisconsin's State Emergency Operations Center moved to a Level 1 response in order to coordinate the work of state agencies in one location, the first time it's been done for a health-related incident.
There were 33 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin, and one person who had recovered, as of Sunday. Those figures were to be updated Monday afternoon. The Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene has more than tripled its testing capacity, from up to 100 samples a day to about 300. The Milwaukee Health Department Laboratory has also been testing, but more private labs and hospitals across the state are expected to be able to process tests in the coming days and weeks.
Below is a list of press releases the River News has received with new pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic:
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, Mich. through at least Friday, April 3. If that date changes, the OCVSO will advise the public via it Facebook page, website, 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," the release states. "We apologize for the inconvenience but hope you understand."
For more information, contact the Oneida County Veterans Service Office at (715) 369-6127.
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.
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.
Call 211 Wisconsin System Assisting Oneida County
Oneida County authorities reminded residents of Monday of Wisconsin's 211 program to get the latest information regarding the COVID-19 outbreak.
"211 is a proven partner to assist with natural and man-made disasters and public health emergencies by providing easy access to information and ongoing connection to needed services. The 211 Wisconsin System can play three pivotal roles in emergent situations: public messaging, resource referrals and situational awareness," a joint press release from the Oneida County Sheriff's Office and the Oneida County Health Department stated.
Oneida County residents can phone dial 211 to receive up-to-date real time resource information during the current COVID-19 situation.
211 Wisconsin provides 24-7 information on health and human service needs and can answer many questions regarding COVID-19. If you have any questions, please dial 211.
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