Health Department reports Lincoln County’s fifth COVID-19-related death
Public health system ‘beyond capacity’ to respond to newly diagnosed individuals within 24 hours
For the Tomahawk Leader
LINCOLN COUNTY – The Lincoln County Health Department (LCHD) on Friday, Oct. 16 reported Lincoln County’s fifth COVID-19-related death.
The department also said on Friday, Oct. 16 that response times for those who have tested positive “may be delayed” due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Lincoln County.
Fifth COVID-19-related death
According to a release from LCHD, the deceased individual was in their 80s and had underlying health conditions.
Lincoln County Health Department Director and Health Officer Shelley Hersil said LCHD is saddened by the loss.
“We extend our sympathies to their loved ones and all impacted,” she stated.
LCHD reported the county’s fourth COVID-19-related death on Monday, Oct. 12. That individual was in their 60s and had underlying health conditions.
‘Beyond capacity’: Response times may be delayed
LCHD said in a release from Friday, Oct. 16 that Lincoln County reported 120 new cases of COVID-19 last week. Due to this surge, response times for those who test positive ‘may be delayed.’
“Our public health system is beyond capacity to respond to each person newly diagnosed with COVID-19 within 24 hours,” LCHD stated. “The Lincoln County Health Department is doing our best to follow up with each positive case in a timely manner. Follow up will occur, but the response may be delayed. We ask that you stay home and wait for us to call you. There is no need to call the health department.”
LCHD said that those who are waiting to be contacted by the department should take the following steps:
- Isolate in your home and stay away from others.
- Notify individuals you have come in close contact with while ill and up to two days prior to developing symptoms.
- Create a list of close contact for the department that includes names and phone numbers.
- Call your medical provider with questions. They can provide you with documentation for work, if needed.
“Positive cases should separate themselves from others in their home to the best of their ability,” LCHD stated. “If possible, keep a separate bedroom and bathroom for the sick person.”
For more information for household contacts on separating and cleaning, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website at www.bit.ly/343B5Eb.
LCHD noted the department only follows up with Lincoln County residents.
“If you reside outside of our county, the county you live in will do follow-up with you,” LCHD said.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) has developed interactive dashboards for the public to track local disease and regional hospital capacity. Those resources are available at www.bit.ly/36lpv8R.
“COVID-19 can cause serious health complications and death, especially among older adults and people with chronic health conditions, that’s why it’s important that we all work together to prevent the spread of this disease,” LCHD stated. “Simple actions such as washing hands, physical distancing, wearing face coverings and staying home when sick can have a huge impact on the health and safety of Lincoln County.”
“I want to continue to remind everyone how important it is for all of us to protect our most vulnerable population,” Hersil stated. “With an increase of people with COVID-19 in our county, it is important for us all to take a look at what actions we can take to keep others healthy.”