‘We know that it is here and spreading quickly,’ local leaders warn

DANE COUNTY -- Dane County Executive Parisi and Madison Mayor Rhodes-Conway are urging members of the community to immediately take further steps to reduce their travel and in person interaction.

The community has hit a critical point in its response to COVID-19 and will face more challenges given the evidence of community spread, they said Friday in a news release.

While the current number of confirmed cases in Dane County is 138, it is safe to assume that there are many more cases that are out in the community but not confirmed.

If residents are in contact with other people for any reason, they should assume that they may be exposed and that they may be spreading the disease.

“It is going to get worse before it gets better. Given the rise in the number of people we have identified with COVID-19, we know that it is here and spreading quickly,” said Parisi. “We are at a point where people need to assume if they go out to facilities or come into contact with other individuals, they have come into contact with COVID-19.”

More from the news release:

Like so many other communities across the nation and the world, Public Health Madison & Dane County has been actively fighting this virus using proven public health tools like monitoring people who test positive and conducting rigorous contact investigations.

However, public health and healthcare interventions alone are not enough to contain the virus. There aren’t vaccines or treatment options available yet, enough personal protective equipment in the quantities needed, or efficient and available testing for people experiencing symptoms. What is available is guidance for minimizing contact, quarantine orders, and isolation procedures. These are our best and only tools to not overwhelm our healthcare system and save lives.

Everyone has an active role in protecting our community. By staying at home, you are protecting the most vulnerable people as well as the people we rely on for healthcare and other essential services.

“The consequences of your actions may be life or death. The virus doesn’t spread itself, people are spreading it; we are spreading it. Madison and Dane County are calling on everyone in Dane County to take this seriously and do their part,” said Rhodes-Conway.

In the coming days and weeks our community will face harsh realities and difficult choices. There are a number of vulnerable populations that are going to be disproportionately impacted by this pandemic, and it’s vital that our community stands together as we move into this new stage of response.

Dane County and the City of Madison encourage all residents to follow Governor Evers' Safer at Home order and stay home, as well as Public Health Madison & Dane County’s recommendations to monitor themselves for symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat) at all times and isolate themselves from others if they develop these symptoms.

For up to date community health information, please visit the Public Health Madison & Dane County website at www.publichealthmdc.com, and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at publichealthmdc.

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