COVID-19 Pandemic Update for the Afternoon of March 26th: Clark County Board of Supervisors Hold Emergency Meeting
Thursday, March 26th, 2020 -- 2:17 pm
Posted by Riley Hebert-News Director
March 26th, Afternoon
We have a COVID-19 update for you this afternoon.
The Clark County Board of Supervisors held an emergency meeting this morning to address some issues regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
The meeting was held with people having the option to call in as opposed to attending in person. First, the board was introduced to members of the COVID-19 Crisis Team that was created. Their purpose is to insure the health and safety of the county employees and citizens. They’ve been meeting twice a day and providing information to county employees and citizens in regards to what’s happening with the COVID pandemic. They provided a timeline of their response going back to early March as the situation became more serious. They also stressed the fluidity of the situation and how a new procedure implemented one day can be obsolete by the next. The Health Department has been acting as ground zero for this and they’ve been providing the brunt of the information. The department did elaborate a little more on the one confirmed case in Clark County. They won’t release the name of the individual or the town they live in, but they want to assure the community that the individual has self quarantined and they spent the majority of the day on Wednesday getting in touch with anyone the patient may have come in contact with. So, they said if you didn’t get a call you’re fine and they won’t put a target on the patients back by identifying them. As of this morning, the county has 24 negative cases and 14 awaiting results.
They also heard from the Clark County Sheriff. He encourages people to check facts and only follow reputable news sources when it comes to information being brought to the public as a lot of false information has made the rounds on social media. He also talked about steps they’re taking in the jail, which includes no visits or group activities. The board heard from the Emergency Management Director. His department is assisting the Health Department in any way they can and they’ve also activated the Emergency Operation Center to help during the pandemic. He’s also working on getting Personal Protection Equipment, or PPE, for the county’s emergency workers. They have received one shipment of equipment already, they’re working on getting a second and they’re looking to work with FEMA to receive more as well.
The Personnel Department worked to put their employees minds at ease, especially when the schools closed and many found themselves in need of childcare. They provided 80 COVID hours that employees can do during the pandemic. They also instituted a hiring freeze except in departments that need to have the option to hire new employees to help with the outbreak situation. They stressed that they have had no layoffs, the courthouse is open for business, but people must make an appointment at the courthouse with the respective department if they have business. They’ve also offered telecommuting options for their employees. The County Clerk discussed the elections. As of now, the April 7th Elections are still on, but absentee voting is highly encouraged, she stressed they need poll workers and they are taking every precaution for those that will still be voting in person.
The first resolution the board passed involved ratifying the Public Health Emergency the County Chair issued on March 16th. The resolution essentially gives the Clark County COVID-19 Crisis Team the power to confront the pandemic head and strive to keep the county’s employees and citizens safe during this time. It also provided the responses and actions the team has taken so far and the guidelines they’ll follow to keep people safe. The board then approved an ordinance that designates the county as self-organizes for administrative flexibility, which is pursuant to Wisconsin Statute. This gives the board more local control and greater flexibility. This was approved so the board could then approve the second resolution. That resolution is essentially a plan b in case the April 7th elections are postponed or cancelled. If the elections were postponed or cancelled, technically there would be no county board as their term expires in mid-April. The resolution approved would allow all the incumbent board members to retain their seats until the election is held. Any seat that doesn’t have an incumbent running could be filled by the county board at that time. Again, this will only go into effect if the election isn’t held.
Also, coming up tomorrow at 10am on 92.7 WPKG and 1370AM/98.5FM you’ll be able to hear the State of the Schools program. After the program, you’ll be able to hear my interview with Neillsville District Administrator John Gaier on the current situation of the district due to the closure by the COVID-19 Pandemic. You’ll also be able to hear just the interview on 107.5FM WCCN.
Just a reminder, the “Safer at Home Order” is in effect. With this order, they ask you avoid any unnecessary travel and you practice social distancing. You can still go outside and go for a walk, work in the yard, go for a bike ride, walk the dog, etc, but just practice social distancing when you do so. You can also go and pick up groceries, get gas, go to the doctor, go to the pharmacy or pick up food from a local restaurant. Again, just be safe, practice social distancing and practice good hygiene.
Now, taking a look at some state numbers, as of this afternoon, Wisconsin has 11,583 negative cases, 707 positive cases and 8 deaths.
Finally, just a reminder, people need to take this seriously. This falls on all of us. If people don’t take this seriously, things are going to get much worse. The sooner you follow the guidance of the CDC and the state, the sooner we can get Wisconsin back open for business and get things back to normal. But you must take this seriously. We must put aside petty partisan politics and work together. This is a trying time, but we will get through it with the right mindset and if we work together and help each other along during these difficult times. If there’s anything we can do at Central Wisconsin Broadcasting to help, please reach out. We have many resources available to you on our website and Facebook page and were happy to answer your questions. If we can’t, we can put you in touch with someone that can. But above all, stay calm, buy your groceries one week at a time like always and take care of yourself.