Darlington/Lafayette County-Lafayette County Health Department announced Friday, April 10 that there is one new confirmed case in Lafayette County. This brings the total number of confirmed cases to three in Lafayette County. The individuals have remained under quarantine as requested by local, state, and federal recommendations.
“We are in daily contact with these individuals to monitor their symptoms and ensure they are receiving support to be able to isolate,” said Elizabeth Townsend, Public Health Director of Lafayette County.
The Republican Journal reached out to Townsend with questions and here are her responses:
Have you told the family and co-workers of the persons that have tested positive for COVID-19? - If a family member or co-worker are a known contact, we will contact them to make them aware of their exposure. We do not violate HIPAA when we do this. When we conduct our contact tracing we do not reveal the identity of the individual that has tested positive for COVID-19 to those who were directly exposed.
Why have Lafayette County’s numbers stayed low? - Lafayette County has a small population and it is a rural setting; so those two things combined are in our favor when it comes to low numbers of confirmed cases. I would also add that our county has taken the order very seriously and that residents of Lafayette County want to do the right thing when it comes to prevention of spreading this virus, so they have followed the safer at home order.
Can the public know where the persons worked or businesses they frequented? - This would be a violation of HIPAA.
Can the public know the age and genders of the persons? - Because of our small population in Lafayette County, this information could potentially put the individual’s identity at risk for being exposed to the public; thus we are not able to share this information in order to remain in compliance with HIPAA.
Did they get infected from community spread or from an outsider? - The three confirmed cases have no travel history and are considered to be community spread.
The public is reminded to follow simple steps to prevent illness and avoid exposure to this virus including:
Avoid social gatherings with people of all ages (including playdates and sleepovers, parties, large family dinners, visitors in your home, and non-essential workers in your house);
Frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water;
Covering coughs and sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands);
Regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces;
Not shaking hands;
Avoiding touching your face; and
Staying home.This is a rapidly evolving situation and we encourage the public to frequently monitor the Lafayette County Health Department website at https://www.lafayettecountywi.org/healthdepartment, and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/lafayettecountyhealthdepartment/, the DHS website for updates, and to follow @DHSWI on Facebook and Twitter, or dhs.wi on Instagram. Additional information can be found on the CDC website.