The Rusk County Health Department reported 30 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday and 14 additional cases on Monday.

In the last month, the number of new coronavirus cases in the county have nearly tripled.

Repeated attempts to get information from multiple officials in the Rusk County Health Department  about what might be driving the surge in illness counts and where cases are being detected have gotten no answers.

On Oct. 16, the department reported 30 new cases of the illness on its Facebook page. Those cases brought the county’s totals since the coronavirus began to 139 total positives with 67 active cases, 71 recoveries, and one death.

On Oct. 19, the department reported on its Facebook page another 14 new cases of the illness. These additional cases reported after last weekend brought the county’s most recent totals available to 153 total positives with 70 active cases, 82 recoveries and one death. There are currently two hospitalizations linked to the disease.

Since September 21, total positives in the county have risen from 53 cases to 153 cases, or 189 percent.

In response to the state’s soaring infection rates and hospitalizations, state DHS Secretary Andrea Palm issued an order Oct. 6 limiting capacity at bars, restaurants and retail shops. The order was in place for less than a week before a Sawyer County judge issued an injunction that temporarily blocked it, after the state’s Tavern League filed a lawsuit. On Monday, a different judge put the order back in place.

While the ruling may yet be appealed, the Tavern League of Wisconsin indicated Monday it would comply with the state’s order.

As of this week Monday, the disease has killed 1,600 state residents. Statewide, there have been more than 178,000 total positive cases with more than 9,500 hospitalizations and 139,000 recoveries.

Symptoms may develop 2-14 days after exposure. Stay home until 14 days after last exposure and self monitor for symptoms. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea.

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