The Dunn County Health Department has issued a local order after the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down the Wisconsin Department of Health Services safer at home order.
Together health department Director KT Gallagher, Dunn County Sheriff Kevin Bygd and Menomonie Police Chief Eric released a joint statement regarding the next steps to keep the community safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response the health department issued administrative order 20-01 which states mass gatherings are advised to be avoided, businesses shall use safe business practices, all non-essential travel is discouraged and schools shall remain closed. The order is effective immediately and will remain until May 26.
“Our next steps center on working in partnership with citizens, business owners, clergy and other various community members to implement best practices to protect ourselves from COVID-19,” the joint press release states. “This is absolutely necessary because COVID-19 can spread from one low-symptom person to dozens of people without them even realizing they are jeopardizing the health of others.”
Local law enforcement will no longer enforce or respond to possible violations of the previous state order, the release states, as the new order looks to turn from an enforcement order to a partnership.
County residents are advised against gathering in groups of 10 or more people at place of work, play or worship. Gatherings that bring together people in a single room or confined space should preserved physical distancing, follow all public health recommendations issued by the health department, the DHS and the Centers for Disease Control.
Business are ordered to have policies in place to monitor their staff on a regular basis for symptoms or COVID-19 or exposure to a known case, support working from home, encourage hand washing, wearing of masks and physical distancing and have supplies to ensure proper disinfection and cleaning. Business must also cooperate with public health investigations related to confirmed or suspected cases of the virus and assist in identifying and contacting contacts of cases, end all door-to-door operations and review and consider integrating guidelines of safe business practices presented by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (wedc.org/reopen-guidelines/).
Travel that is non-essential outside of one’s community is discouraged. Residents are allowed to travel to work or take care of dependents. Those that work in the Twin Cities area are asked to be extra cautious and monitor themselves for symptoms. Individuals who travel outside of their community should limit contact to non-households members for 14 days and monitor symptoms closely.
In accordance with the Supreme Court’s order, all public and private schools in the county will remain closed. Staff are allowed on school property for basic operations, to distribute food or to support distance learning.
“It is our most sincere hope that if we all work diligently together to adhere to the above guidelines we will protect our most important community commodity, the lives of our citizens,” Gallagher, Bygd and Atkinson said.
Those in need of assistance or those with questions are encouraged to contact the health department, sheriff’s office or Menomonie Police Department.
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