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LTE – Dunn County Board of Supervisors – 12-23-2020

December 14, 2020

Dear Fellow Citizens of Dunn County, WI:

For the past nine months, the Dunn County Health Department has been issuing guidance to keep residents and our communities safe from the COVID-19 pandemic. Many followed those guidelines and for that we thank you. Some did not, and we are now seeing the frightening consequences.

In the last two months, Wisconsin has seen a surge in Covid-19 cases, along with hospitalizations and, sadly, deaths. Unfortunately, we have seen higher case rates than New York City did at the height of the first surge. On Friday, November 13, 2020, the State recorded 301,165 cases and a total of 2,739 fatalities. To put this in perspective, it took Wisconsin almost eight months to get to 100,000 cases; it took 36 days to get to 200,000. This growth is alarming and should be a matter of utmost concern for us all.

Dunn County has had more than 3,100 cases since the start of the pandemic. Our hospitals in the region are full. Health care providers are overwhelmed. We recorded an average of over 50 new cases per day during November. More than 15% of those tested were positive. The maximum rate needed to safely re-open businesses is 5%. We have had 20 deaths among our residents from COVID-19.

All of this has had a huge impact on our Health Department, medical clinics, and hospitals. Our highly capable staff has been working overtime, seven days a week. But despite their heroic efforts they are operating in a crisis standard of practice, meaning they can’t keep up with all the contact tracing needed to keep us safe. The burden of the pandemic puts the ability to respond to other medical needs in jeopardy. The time may soon come when medical staff will have to decide who gets care and who does not. School districts have had to revert to virtual learning because of staffing shortages due to the outbreak. This is serious and grows more serious daily.

We all want our economy to re-open fully, our schools to re-open fully, and sports to resume. But in order for this to happen safely, we each must sacrifice what we want to do in favor of what we need to do.

As this situation worsens and we navigate the holidays we, the undersigned members of the Dunn County Board of Supervisors, urge you to do what you can to help turn the tide of this pandemic. Your actions are critical to stopping the spread of COVID-19:

o Stay home as much as possible;

o Wear a mask when out and about – it protects others and it protects you;

o Maintain at least six feet of distance from others when out of your home;

o Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly;

o Limit private gatherings to only members your immediate family; and

o Avoid indoor gatherings of ten persons or more.

There is presently no local order requiring you to take these steps. But we urge you to do what’s right to defeat this threat to our health and safety. We urge you to care for your neighbors. Please do your part. Mask Up Dunn County!

Sincerely,

Dave Bartlett,
Dunn County Board Chairperson

Gary Stene,
Dunn County Board Vice-Chairperson

Diane Morehouse,
Dunn County Board Supervisor

Jim Tripp,
Dunn County Board Supervisor

Brian Johnson,
Dunn County Board Supervisor

Chuck Maves,
Dunn County Board Supervisor

Kelly McCullough,
Dunn County Board Supervisor

Jim Anderson,
Dunn County Board Supervisor

Tom Quinn,
Dunn County Board Supervisor

Vaughn Hedlund,
Dunn County Board Supervisor

Sarah Kennedy,
Dunn County Board Supervisor

Mike Kneer,
Dunn County Board Supervisor

John Calabrese,
Dunn County Board Supervisor

Jim Zons,
Dunn County Board Supervisor

Sheila Stori,
Dunn County Board Supervisor

Carl Vandermeulen,
Dunn County Board Supervisor

Don Kuether,
Dunn County Board Supervisor

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