For a comprehensive update on the coronavirus and Village services/operations, click here.
-- UPDATE ON MARCH 22, 2020 --
Dear Residents in the North Shore:
In less than two weeks so much of our lives have changed. We are acutely aware of the impacts COVID19 has had on our community and our daily lives. The seven municipalities of the North Shore are working together through a North Shore Emergency Operations Center to coordinate our response to this pandemic. We are still learning and adapting to this fast pace illness spreading through ourcommunities. Our daily goal is aimed at keeping everyone healthy and safe and to get our lives back to normal as soon as possible.
I recognize some questions have come from the community asking about cases of COVID-19 and our response. I wanted to address two critical ones with this letter with the hope the information clarifies and minimizes confusion for everyone.
How many positive COVID-19 cases are in the North Shore?
Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management has provided this dashboard map (https://mcoem.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html…) that identifies positive tests in Milwaukee County. This is a useful resource to directly track cases on an ongoing basis. While the dashboard is effective for showing tested case information, it does not relay the challenges with testing and communal spread. Here are the specifics:
• While the map has its benefits, it does not help people understand the message about unofficialcases, given that these are only confirmed positive with a test result.
• The testing criteria for labs like the WI State Lab of Hygiene is set by WI Department of Health. WI DHS has prioritized testing based on those who are critically ill with otherwise unexplained illness and healthcare workers with unexplained illness (https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid19/index.htm). This continues to limit who is tested; therefore, numbers of confirmed positive are lower than the true number of cases.
Moving forward it is important for our communities to understand there are unknown cases who have mild symptoms or are asymptotic altogether. Given the nature of the illness and the limits on our testing capacities, North Shore Health Department (NSHD) recommends proactively isolating at home if you have signs or symptoms for at least 7 days since the symptoms first began AND for at least 3 days after symptoms resolve. Symptoms are generally characterized as cough, shortness of breath, fever, butwe are learning more about mild symptoms not presenting with these classic signs. If you feel unwell, isolate at home.
What is the notification process when someone does test positive?
1. NSHD is notified of cases when they present to us either by a provider alerting us a person is being tested or by a confirmed positive test coming to us through the State’s disease reporting system.
2. Unfortunately, with delays in the processing of COVID-19 samples, there are gaps in NSHD being notified. This then feels to the public like the NSHD is slow to notify contacts, but this is the time it takes for the testing and notification process to unfold.
3. To proceed with notification NSHD needs a positive test result and information on the person’s contacts so we can reach out to those exposed. The Health Department takes on the role of notification as we are able to assess the level of risk based on the type of situation where the exposure occurred and give direct guidance to those impacted.
This is a fast-moving disease and the positive test results do not account for the number of people who have the disease but won’t be tested because they don’t meet the criteria. While the positive test cases may appear low, NSHD is confident there are more cases out there. Again, our message is for people to stay home, limit time in public, and take preventative measures like hand washing to prevent further spread of COVID-19 throughout our community.
Thank you to everyone for their support of the NSHD during this unprecedented time. We will continue to connect and share information on our website, through our daily briefings, and through social media.
Be well,Ann ChristiansenHealth Officer/Director
-- UPDATE ON MARCH 16, 2020 --
Under the authority of Wis. Stat. § 252.03, the Public Health Officers of all Milwaukee County municipalities, including the Health Departments of Milwaukee City, Cudahy, Franklin, Greendale, Greenfield, Hales Corners, North Shore (Bayside, Brown Deer, Fox Point, Glendale, River Hills, Shorewood and Whitefish Bay), Oak Creek, South Milwaukee/St. Francis, Wauwatosa, and West Allis/West Milwaukee Village, in coordination with all municipal Mayors, Village Presidents, and the Milwaukee County Executive, order the following:
A. Effective as of 2:01 a.m. on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, and continuing until further notice, public and private Mass Gatherings, defined below, are hereby prohibited in Milwaukee County and all of its municipalities. This order builds on the restrictions in the “Order Prohibiting Mass Gatherings of 50 or More People” issued by Governor Evers on March 16, 2020, to meet the needs of the Milwaukee metropolitan area, which is beginning to experience community transmission.
B. Food and Beverage Service Restrictions and Exemptions
1. Restrictions: The locations listed below are ordered to closed until further notice, unless otherwise exempted in sub 3 below:
i. Liquor, beer and wine sales in Milwaukee County and its municipalities are restricted to carry-out sales and delivery only, to the extent permitted by law. No onsite consumption is permitted.
ii. Food and beverage sales are restricted to carry-out and delivery only. No onsite consumption is permitted.
2. Exemptions to issued closures and guidance for operating facilities:
i. Food service in health care facilities.
ii. Food service and catering at weddings or funerals.
iii. Lines for carry-out must have an environment where patrons and staff maintain social distancing (six feet away from other people) whenever possible.
iv. Everyone is urged to continue to wash hands, utilize hand sanitizer and practice proper respiratory etiquette (coughing into elbow, etc.).
C. The immediate implementation of this Order is necessary as patrons of bars and restaurants continue to gather in large number, in close proximity to each other, in closed spaces, thereby endangering the health of the staff and the patrons.
D. The overriding goal of this Order is to minimize the in-person interaction which is the primary means of transmission. Restaurants and bars increase and encourage talking, touching, and other social interaction in an environment with a multitude of hard surfaces.
E. This Order is issued based on evidence of increasing transmission of COVID-19, scientific evidence regarding the most effective approaches to slow the transmission of communicable diseases generally and COVID-19 specifically, and best practices as currently known and available to protect vulnerable members of the public from avoidable risk of serious illness or death resulting from exposure to COVID-19. Although most people who contract COVID-19 do not become seriously ill, people with mild symptoms and asymptomatic people with COVID-19 may place other vulnerable members of the public at significant risk.
F. This Order will reduce the likelihood that many people will be exposed to COVID-19 at a single event, and will thereby slow the spread of COVID-19 within Milwaukee County and its nineteen (19) municipalities. By reducing the spread of COVID-19, this Order will help preserve critical and limited healthcare capacity.
G. This Order is issued in light of the existence of several cases of COVID-19 within Milwaukee County, including a significant and increasing number of assumed cases of community transmission nationwide.
H. This Order is issued to prevent circumstances often present in mass gatherings that may exacerbate the spread of COVID-19, such as: the increased likelihood that mass gatherings will attract people from broad geographic areas who could be infected; the prolonged time period in which large numbers of people are in close proximity and could be exposed to COVID-19; and the difficulty in tracing exposure when large numbers of people attend a single event.
-- UPDATE ON MARCH 14, 2020 --
Dear North Shore residents:
We reach out as the chief executive officers of our seven communities. In the last few days, we are operating under states of emergency at the national, state and county level. Each of our municipalities are also in the process of issuing city and village states of emergency. We want to offer assurances and best practice recommendations to our residents.
COVID-19 is a global pandemic. It is spreading quickly, and the intensity of this virus is more severe than the flu or pneumonia. Our aging populations are at increased risk with this virus.
As you know, travel has been restricted around the globe. Local schools are closed for a four week period. Libraries are closed, sporting and entertainment events and venues are closed, and many workplaces are trying to conduct their business from remote locations.
In addition to the many recommendations you are seeing about washing hands, disinfecting surfaces and bathrooms, and maintain social distance, we want to offer some additional recommendations to allow our local municipal governments to remain open and offer services.
You can obtain accurate and timely information about local resources at these sites:
We are encouraging ALL of our residents to request an absentee ballot for the April 7 election. Voting through the mail reduces public contact with our poll workers, many of whom are elderly retirees. You can request a ballot here: https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/. Please do so assoon as possible. It takes time for a ballot to be mailed to you and for you to mail it back. While you have until April 2 to request a ballot, the possibility of receiving it and having it be received back in the municipality by Election Day is not guaranteed the closer we get to April 2.
Please limit visits to City Hall and Village Halls. All of our communities operate with very small city and village staff. We need to ensure that they remain healthy in order to continue to provide vital municipal services. You can pay utility bills online or through the mail. Tax payments can be mailed and receipts will be sent to you. Please utilize our various municipal websites to obtain information, or call city and village halls, before coming in for information and services.
Lastly, please make sure that you are checking on your neighbors—particularly your aging neighbors—to make sure that they have adequate food and supplies. Offer to do their grocery shopping for them or run errands for them so that they can limit contact in large public spaces.
Collaborate as neighbors on childcare and other day-to-day errands and chores. Our goal as local leaders is to work with county, state and national leaders to ensure that thisvirus is contained as quickly as possible, that exposures in our communities are limited, and that we can return to “normal” life as soon as the situation allows.
In community,Bayside Village President Sam DickmanBrown Deer Village President Wanda MontgomeryFox Point Village President Douglas FrazerGlendale Mayor Bryan KennedyRiver Hills Village President Steve AndersonShorewood Village President Allison RozekWhitefish Bay Village President Julie Siegel
-- UPDATE ON MARCH 12, 2020 --
COVID-19 has been a significant part of our work here this week. The public, our employees and their safety is very important. Earlier today, Governor Evers declared a public health emergency related to Coronavirus in Wisconsin. Here is an official statement from Governor Evers on the coronavirus.
For planning purposes, department heads met earlier this week to identify essential functions within each department should we need to limit our service delivery. The Village Clerk’s office is in communication with the State of Wisconsin regarding our upcoming April election. At this time there have been no changes instructed to local governments regarding the upcoming April election. You may want to consider voting in-person absentee and have a ballot mailed to your home to prevent contact with others. Please contact our Village Clerk Sara Bruckman at email@example.com if you want to learn more about in-person absentee voting.
The Village is in regular communication with the Village’s Health Officer, Director Ann Christiansen of the North Shore Health Department, to receive updates and discuss possible next steps in light of many unknown factors relative to COVID-19. Here is a link to the NSHD webpage for your reference. It updates regularly and provides links to CDC updates, the Interactive Global Map of COVID-19 cases by Johns Hopkins, among other resources. In addition, as NSHD public updates are provided, they will be provided to you via email, the Village’s Facebook page and website.
Staff will be following up with the Village Board on Monday, March 16 during the Village Board meeting on specific actions related to managing personnel and services in regards to concerns of the Coronavirus. Please reach out if you have any questions at 414.847.2701 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- UPDATE ON MARCH 5, 2020 ---
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Wisconsin Department of Health of Services (WI DHS) and the North Shore Health Department (NSHD), along with other local health departments are responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel corona virus, COVID-19. First detected in Wuhan, China, the disease has spread to other countries throughout the world, including cases in the United States. CDC travel recommendations and risk management procedures are changing rapidly. For the most current information on COVID-19, please visit the CDC’s website or WI DHS’s website.
The risk of getting COVID-19 remains low for Wisconsin residents. Wisconsin currently has reported one case of the disease. Those most at-risk will have recently traveled to an affected country or have been in contact with someone with COVID-19.
The signs and symptoms for COVID-19 are similar to seasonal influenza or the flu. For most people, it is experienced as mild to severe respiratory symptoms including a dry cough, fever and shortness of breath.
There are steps to take to keep yourself and others healthy for both COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases.
NSHD is providing local public health support through a variety of channels.
Additional information about COVID-19 is on our website at www.nshealthdept.org. If you are concerned about your risk of getting COVID-19 or have recently traveled to an affected area, please contact the North Shore Health Department at 414.371.2980.