Person, now in home quarantine, had travelled internationally

Racine County has its first case of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

The Central Racine County Health Department made the announcement Friday afternoon. The person was exposed while traveling internationally and is currently isolated at home, according to the health department.

“Central Racine County Health Department is actively working with this case … and will continue to work with Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and our local partners to ensure the health and safety of our community,” said Margaret Gesner, health officer for Central Racine County Health Department. “It is important to note that this person is not linked with any school, child care, or long-term care facility.”

Local health departments are actively working to identify and contact anyone who has been in close contact with this individual, according to officials. These people are being asked to quarantine themselves for 14 days from their exposure and will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms.

People who are quarantined and develop symptoms are tested for COVID-19. The health department said it will work with counterparts on the state level to determine when the person can be released from isolation.

The Central Racine County Health Department, which serves communities in central and western Racine County, is not releasing any further information about the resident.

“We are working with our partners and local hospital systems to ensure we are protecting the community as a whole,” Gesner said. “Based on the latest CDC data, those at highest risk for serious disease include older adults, and people who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease.

“It is vital for the public to avoid getting sick by frequently and thoroughly washing their hands, covering their coughs and sneezes, avoiding touching their face, and staying home when sick.”

The Central Racine County Health Department serves the communities of Caledonia, Dover, Mt. Pleasant, North Bay, Norway, Raymond, Rochester, Sturtevant, Union Grove, Yorkville, Town and Village of Waterford, and Town and City of Burlington.

Gesner noted that with the declared Wisconsin and Racine County public health emergencies, the latest recommendations include:

  • Limiting non-essential large community events and gatherings of 250 or more people.
  • Those who provide gathering activities for older adults, such as senior centers and congregate dining facilities, should plan for alternative ways to remain engaged with them that minimize their risk.
  • Avoiding all non-essential travel according to CDC travel guidelines. For domestic travel, DHS recommends against all non-essential travel to any U.S state where the CDC deems there is sustained community transmission of COVID-19.
  • For all travelers returning to Wisconsin from high-risk areas including U.S. locations, DHS is recommending that those individuals self-quarantine at home for 14 days and monitor for symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Create a household plan of action in case of illness in the household or disruption of daily activities due to COVID-19 in the community. To develop a plan:

– Consider 2-week supply for prescription and over the counter medications, food and other essentials

– Establish ways to communicate with others (e.g. family, friends, co-workers)

– Establish plans to telework, what to do about childcare needs, how to adapt to cancellation of events

  • For people who are ill and suspect they may have coronavirus, they should call their health care provider. Racine County health departments do not have tests or testing capacity.