Health Department issues Lincoln County COVID-19 Recommendation #1

Guidance on large events, social gatherings, business practices provided

 

BY THE LINCOLN COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT

LINCOLN COUNTY – We recognize that the State of Wisconsin and Lincoln County have made great progress in controlling the spread of COVID-19. It is essential that we all do our part in doing what is reasonable and necessary to stop the transmission of COVID-19.

Lincoln County is issuing the following recommendations as part of its continued commitment to control the transmission of the virus throughout our communities. We will continue to monitor data such as disease and disease exposure in the community, percent of those tested, and hospital capacity to assist us in monitoring the current situation. This data will assist us in modifying recommendations and best practices as needed.

Safety of Individuals: For individual health and the safety of the community, all individuals should:

  1. Maintain new social norms, such as physical distancing, good hygiene, and frequent cleaning.
  2. Avoid gathering in large groups over 50.
  3. Wear a cloth face covering in order to protect those around you.
  4. Stay home when sick; do not go to school or work and avoid congregate settings. Contact and follow the advice of your medical provider and public health department.
  5. Monitor yourself for symptoms of COVID-19; isolate from others if you develop symptoms.
  6. Sick or symptomatic individuals who are experiencing symptoms are strongly encouraged to be tested.
  7. If you test positive for COVID-19 or are exposed to someone, follow local health official directives regarding isolation and quarantine.
  8. Avoid unnecessary travel, the Centers for Disease Control ​has a U.S. map with case information by state. When traveling, practice physical distancing and good hygiene.
  9. Use virtual options to meet others versus face to face (doctor visits, meeting friends, services, purchasing, etc.)
  10. To the extent possible, vulnerable individuals should continue to stay home, wear a face covering when making essential trips, and not be exposed to large groups.
  11. The recommendations listed above are especially important for protecting our vulnerable populations defined as ​people with compromised or weakened immune systems, and people with serious underlying health conditions.

Mass and Social Gatherings. ​Mass gatherings are those planned or spontaneous indoor or outdoor events with a large number of people in attendance. Mass gatherings should only be held if ​all​ of the following strategies are met:

  1. Lincoln County Health Officials recommend gatherings should not exceed more than 50 people; and
  2. Indoor events should limit number of individuals to not exceed more than 25% of the total occupancy limit established by the local municipality; and
  3. Physical distancing of 6 feet must be maintained at any gathering; and
  4. In order to reduce disease spread, face covering is recommended. It is important to know that face covering does not take the place of 6 feet physical distancing; and
  5. Frequent cleaning and disinfection, including hand washing/hand sanitizer availability; and
  6. No sharing of equipment, supplies, food (potlucks) etc.

Recreation and Amusement Activities

  1. To the extent possible, all reservations and payments should be made in advance online or
  2. by phone.
  3. Tee times, appointments, performances, shows, or other planned events must be scheduled to ensure that social distancing can be maintained between all individuals at all times.
  4. Businesses shall limit the number of individuals on the premises (including employees) to 25% of the total occupancy limit established by the local municipality.
  5. Seating, stations, or recreational areas must be spaced to ensure at least 6 feet of social distancing between each individual.
  6. High touch areas including door handles, rides, railings, buttons, games, touch screens, and equipment must be disinfected between each use. If it is not possible to do so, the area must be closed.
  7. Large Events​: Such as festivals, parades, concerts at this time are detrimental to the health of our community and should not be held.
  8. Youth Sports:​ It is not recommended to hold youth sports at this time by the Wisconsin Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  9. Outdoor Playgrounds and Splash Pads:​ It is not recommended to have playgrounds open at this time.
  10. Low Contact Recreation Activities: ​Recommended with best practices implemented; limited number of people participating, good hygiene, no sharing of equipment, and 6 feet distancing.
  11. High Risk Recreation Activities: ​All contact sports are only recommended with household members at this time.
  12. Licensed Swimming Pools:​ It is recommended at this time to have no more than 25% capacity in pools.

Public and Private Schools, Childcare Centers, Summer Programs

  1. Child Care:​ The Department of Health Services’ Emergency Order #6 remains in effect. In consultation with the Department of Health Services, the Department of Children and Families may adjust the child-to-staff ratios for childcare settings.
  2. K-12 schools.​ Public and private K-12 schools shall remain closed for pupil instruction and extracurricular activities for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, which ends June 30, 2020. Schools may continue to facilitate distance learning or virtual learning. Schools may continue to be used for government functions and food distribution. This does not apply to facilities operated by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. Schools and school districts should review Department of Public Instruction and Department of Health Services guidelines. Schools and school districts should begin planning for additional or expanded operations and think creatively on how to serve their students while ensuring the safety of their students, staff, and community.
  3. Summer Camps and Summer School: ​Follow recommendations from the Wisconsin Department of Health and Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Long-Term Congregate Living

  1. Follow regulatory authority guidelines and best practices from Wisconsin Department of Health and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
  2. It is strongly recommended to have no outside visitors, as well as group activities or communal dining.
  3. Implement active screening of residents and staff for fever and respiratory symptoms.
  4. Remind residents to practice social distancing and perform frequent hand hygiene.
  5. Screen all staff at the beginning of their shift for fever and respiratory symptoms. Actively take their temperature and document the presence of a fever and respiratory symptoms.
  6. Call Lincoln County Health Department when a resident is tested for COVID-19.
  7. Complete facility self-assessment tool​ to assist in the development of a response plan for your facility.

All Businesses, Worksites, and Faith and Spiritual Communities: Lincoln County Health Officials recommends businesses follow the WEDC guidelines​ as well as any licensing regulations you need to follow. All public space and public buildings, include those buildings open to the public, should meet the following public health and safety practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  1. Allot 144 square feet of space per household unit in a business, both inside and outside and including decks and patios, which shall not in any event exceed an occupancy limit established by building code.
  2. Comply with physical distancing requirements of 6 feet between all individuals on the premises including but not limited to employees, customers, and members of the public and limit the number on the premises, both indoors and outdoors to meet this physical distance requirement. This shall not be construed to require physical distancing between individuals from the same household. This can be accomplished by adjusting the layout of your business to accommodate 6 feet physical distance.
  3. Cease door-to-door solicitation.
  4. Restrict the number of workers present on premises to no more than what is strictly necessary to perform operations.
  5. Increase standards of facility cleaning and disinfection to limit worker and patron exposure to COVID-19, as well as adopting protocols to clean and disinfect in the event of a positive COVID-19 case in the workplace.
  6. Adopt policies to actively screen and prevent workers from entering the premises if they display COVID-19-like symptoms or have had contact with a person with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19.
  7. Adopt policies to actively screen and prevent customers, visitors, and guests from entering the premises if they display respiratory symptoms or have had contact with a person with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19.
  8. To the greatest extent feasible, use technology to avoid meeting in person, including virtual meetings, teleconference, and remote work.

Additional Retail, Restaurant, Bars Recommendations: Lincoln County Health Officials recommends businesses follow the ​WEDC guidelines​ as well as any licensing regulations you need to follow.

  1. Businesses should limit the number of individuals in the business (including employees) to 25% of the total occupancy limit established by the local municipality.
  2. Remove all unnecessary touchpoints, especially those that cannot be sanitized. Examples include removing paper visitor logs and the use of pens to sign receipts (cashless and contactless transactions are recommended) and using drop boxes for hand delivery items. Disposable is encouraged.
  3. Consider ceasing any self-service or self-dispensing operations of any type of food or beverage as well as sampling of goods.
  4. Establish lines to regulate entrances with markings for individuals to enable them to stand at least 6 feet apart from one another while waiting outside if distancing requirements cannot be maintained to allow individuals in the building.
  5. Use alternatives to lines, including allowing customers to wait in their cars for a text message or phone call and scheduling pick-ups or entries into the store.
  6. Consider continuing curbside pick-up to reduce in- store traffic and mitigate outdoor lines.
  7. Accommodate the vulnerable populations by having dedicated shopping times.
  8. Review processes and workflow to ensure employees are at least 6 feet apart as often as possible.
  9. To the extent possible, stagger breaks and arrange the break areas and locker rooms to ensure social distancing.
  10. Space tables and bar stools at least 6 feet apart. Limit each table to a maximum of 6 guests. At bar areas, maintain at least 6 feet between each stool. Require customers to use seating options and close any area that is standing only.
  11. Staff must use gloves to avoid bare hand contact with food or unwrapped single-use items such as straws, stir sticks, or toothpicks.

Lodging:

  1. Close swimming pools, hot tubs, and exercise facilities. a. Prohibit guests from congregating in lobbies or other common areas, including providing adequate space to adhere to social distancing while queuing for front desk services.
  2. Adopt cleaning protocols for guest rooms and common areas based on WEDC guidelines. Provide training for housekeeping associates for proper handling of linens and cleaning/disinfecting supplies and provide appropriate personal protective equipment.
  3. Schedule at least 24-hour gaps in the use of rooms between guests.
  4. Room service may be delivered and left outside guest rooms.
  5. In-room mini-bars should be cleaned and sanitized between guests.
  6. Launder towels, linens, robes and all bedding on the warmest appropriate water setting and dry completely between each guest stay. Blankets and comforters should be laundered between each guest or encased in a duvet cover. The duvet cover should be laundered between each guest.
  7. Avoid housekeeping in rooms when occupied, except on request for extended stays, when guests are not in the room.
  8. Provide disposable cups in place of glassware.

Note for all businesses​: It is important to cooperate with Public Health investigations related to COVID-19 confirmed or suspected cases related to the business operations, including excluding employees based on public health recommendations and assisting public health with identifying and contacting.

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