DUNN COUNTY (WQOW) - What's now being described as "an explosion in COVID-19 cases" has Dunn County leaders urging residents to double down on their efforts to stem the spread of the virus.
From Monday through Friday last week alone, Dunn County saw 255 new cases.
Members of the Dunn County Community Recovery team, including the Menomonie police chief, UW-Stout chancellor, and Dunn County Public Health director, signed a letter making an urgent appeal to the public.
The recovery team says it is imperative that everyone takes personal responsibility by wearing masks in public spaces, maintaining social distancing, and avoiding large gatherings.
Special assistant to the UW-Stout chancellor and recovery team member Doug Mell says the health department is working day and night, but the additional workload is wearing on them.
"Strains them to the max, right? Our health care system, they're being stretched to the limit, and unless we take immediate action now, it's going to get basically to a crisis point and that's what we wanted to avoid," Mell said.
From November 1-8, the number of cases in Dunn County increased by 33 percent, jumping from 1,193 cases to 1,587.
"We, members of the Dunn County Community Recovery Team, are issuing an urgent appeal to our citizens to redouble their efforts to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
The situation has reached a critical stage in our community, and immediate action is needed.
Our case count is exploding in Dunn County. From Monday through Friday last week alone, we experienced an additional 255 cases.
Statewide, one in 10 cases of all COVID-19 detected in Wisconsin since the start of the pandemic occurred this past week.
This kind of case increase is not sustainable from a number of perspectives. Our health departments are overwhelmed, our health care providers are reaching a critical state and people are dying.
It is imperative for everyone in western Wisconsin, including Dunn County, to take personal responsibility to address this public health crisis. Only by wearing masks in all public spaces, practicing good hygiene habits and maintaining social distancing can this virus be brought under control. It also is important to avoid large gatherings and get tested if you are experiencing any symptoms.
These actions are necessary to keep our businesses, schools, local governments and communities open. Please act now to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Menomonie, Dunn County and western Wisconsin."Katherine Frank, UW-Stout chancellor
Randy Knaack, Menomonie mayor
Lowell Prange, Menomonie city administrator
Joe Zydowsky, School District of the Menomonie Area superintendent
Paul Miller, Dunn County manager
KT Gallagher, Dunn County public health director
Dan Lytle, Chippewa Valley Technical College Menomonie Campus manager
Dustyn Dubuque, Downtown Menomonie executive director
Eric Atkinson, Menomonie police chief
Laurie B. Reardon, Family Health Center of Marshfield Dental Center manager
Ashley DeMuth, Menomonie Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center chief executive officer
Dr. Ashok Rai, Prevea Health president and CEO
Padraig Gallagher, Stepping Stones executive director
Steve Lindberg, MCHS Red Cedar vice chair of administration
Doug Mell, special assistant to the UW-Stout chancellor