Three of the 10 Chippewa County residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 have now fully recovered, said county Public Health Director Angela Weideman.
To be considered recovered, it has to be at least seven days since symptoms started to appear, but at least three consecutive days without taking a fever-reducing medicine and showing no ongoing signs of other symptoms, she explained at a weekly press conference about coronavirus in the community.
“If the fever is gone, they still may have a cough or chest pains,” she said. That person would not be fully recovered, she said.
There is a national guideline that suggests people should be taking additional tests to show they are now COVID-negative, but Weideman said they don’t want to use all those tests.
None of the 10 COVID-positive patients are hospitalized, she added. Four of the confirmed cases are people younger than 40, with the other six older than 40, she said.
“Our nurses check in with our positive cases every day,” she said.
About 350 people have now been tested in Chippewa County, including 90 “suspect” cases, where they are awaiting results.
None of the 10 cases are health workers, EMS or law enforcement, she added.
Weideman reiterated her comments from last week that she is finding that anyone locally who wants to get a test has been able to get one. If anything, she is finding that getting tests done and getting results back has become easier, as more private labs are handling tests.
However, getting results is still taking one or two days, she said.
Weideman praised area residents for following social distancing guidelines and staying at home.
“We are all at risk, and we really are all safer at home,” she said. “The next few weeks is a really critical period.”
While local hospitals haven’t seen the influx of COVID-19 patients, Weideman said they are asking that anyone who has extra medical gloves, masks and gowns to consider donating them.
Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matt Kelm said he isn’t aware of his department writing any citations to people who are ignoring the social distancing guidelines, or having too many people on their premises. Like Weideman, Kelm thanked the public for following the rules.
“We don’t have enough officers to make people do this,” Kelm said.
When the public calls 911, Kelm said they shouldn’t be surprised to hear questions about their health, ahead of a visit from an officer or EMS official. He said people also shouldn’t be surprised if an officer enters a residence while wearing personal protective equipment.
“They are just preventative measures we may put in place,” Kelm said.
Chippewa Falls schools superintendent Heidi Taylor-Eliopoulos reiterated that free meals for anyone 18 and younger are available 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the district’s nine area schools, and that they aren’t asking anyone prove they live within the district’s boundaries. She said the district is planning to switch to a long-term learning plan next Monday.
“We are all at risk, and we really are all safer at home. The next few weeks is a really critical period.” Angela Weideman, Chippewa County public health director
“We are all at risk, and we really are all safer at home. The next few weeks is a really critical period.”
Angela Weideman, Chippewa County public health director
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