FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 2, 2022
BAYFIELD COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT PRIORTIZES
REGULAR PUBLIC HEALTH PROGRAMMING
WASHBURN, WISCONSIN—Bayfield County Health Department announces it will be shifting priorities this September to focus on regular Public Health programming. Starting Tuesday, September 6th, the Bayfield County Health Department will prioritize following up on new, lab-positive cases for COVID-19 illness among those who are over the age of 65.
Persons ages 65 and older are at increased risk for serious illness from COVID-19. In the U.S., about 81% of deaths from the disease have been in people age 65 and older. The number of deaths among people over age 65 is 97 times higher than the number of deaths among people ages 18-29 years. Getting a COVID vaccine can help protect people from serious illness and hospitalization from COVID-19.
“In light of the upcoming influenza season and increased workload for Public Health to offer flu clinics in our communities across Bayfield County, we must look at reallocating our resources,” states Sara Wartman, Health Officer for Bayfield County Health Department. “Our staff time is limited during the fall season,” Wartman
continues. “We need to shift our priorities to ensure normal Public Health programs and services are offered as well as to protect our Public Health staff from burnout or compassion fatigue.”
The Bayfield County Health Department will continue to follow-up with lab-positive COVID cases among the highest risk population – those age 65 and older. The health department is not notified of positive home tests and does not follow up on these cases. Public health staff will still be available for questions from residents who have
positive home tests or those who are under age 65.
If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, stay home and get tested. The Bayfield County Health Department offers free drive-up COVID testing regularly on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 – 11 am and have free athome COVID test kits available. Please call (715)373-3324 to set up an appointment or for a free at-home COVID test.
If you test positive for COVID-19 or are a close contact to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, and do not fall within the prioritized populations above, you can find out your next steps by going to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services COVID-19 webpage at www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/about.htm. For more information on COVID-19, including important guidance changes, community transmission rates, or updates regarding COVID booster shots, go to: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. COVID Data Tracker. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. COVID-19: Highlights. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/.
Wisconsin Department of Health Services. COVID-19: What you need to know. https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/about.htm
Sara Wartman, Health Officer
Phone: (715) 373-6109
Bayfield County Health Department