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Public Health Madison & Dane County received notification that two more people in Dane County have been diagnosed with novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19).

One individual was identified during our contact investigation as a close contact of the person who tested positive for coronavirus earlier this week. The second individual is a household contact of the close contact. Both people are isolated at home. They will remain at home until authorized by Public Health to return to normal activities. 

“Our contact investigation worked exactly as it’s supposed to: we identified people who might have been exposed and made sure they were tested and isolated at home,” says Janel Heinrich, Director of Public Health Madison & Dane County.

We are conducting a contact investigation to identify and follow-up with any people who had close contact with these individuals. Public Health staff will monitor these close contacts, instruct them on how to do daily symptom and temperature checks, and ensure they are isolating themselves.

“Given the increasing number of confirmed cases across the United States, we expect to see more positive tests in the future. We strongly encourage people to prepare and follow our recommendations to help prevent the spread of the virus,” says Heinrich.

Current Public Health Recommendations

Travel:
On March 11, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expanded their United States map of people with coronavirus to include whether a state has community transmission. Users can click a “+” symbol under the map to see a table that identifies whether a state is reporting sustained community transmission. Given this new level of detail, we are adjusting our travel recommendations.

We are now recommending people postpone or cancel nonessential travel to areas with community transmission of coronavirus. This includes both international travel to Level 2 and 3 countries with widespread illness and domestic travel to states with community transmission. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updates this information daily. If travel is essential, Public Health recommends a 14-day self-quarantine upon your return. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has more information about how to self-quarantine.

Events and Large Gatherings:
At this time, Public Health Madison & Dane County is recommending event organizers avoid bringing large groups of people together. We recommend canceling or postponing events as is feasible. Wisconsin Department of Health Services also recommends canceling or postponing large events and gatherings of more than 250 people.

If an event organizer still plans to host an event, please communicate to attendees that people who have been to an area where coronavirus is spreading within the past 14 days should not attend the event. This includes both international travel to Level 2 and 3 countries with widespread illness and domestic travel to states with community transmission. The CDC updates this information daily.

We encourage event organizers to follow CDC guidance as they plan and host their event. CDC offers ideas such as providing hand sanitizer, offering flexible cancellation policies for attendees, and identifying a space to isolate staff or participants who become ill at an event.

Additional Recommendations:
We have a number of fact sheets on our website to help individuals and families, faith and spiritual communities, schools, and workplaces prepare for coronavirus.

This is a rapidly evolving situation. For the latest information, visit the CDC’s coronavirus website, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website, or the Public Health Madison & Dane County coronavirus page.

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