Sauk Co. to move into Phase 2 of its COVID-19 recovery plan

Published: Jun. 15, 2020 at 1:47 PM CDT
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Just hours after Dane Co. moves into the second phase of its plan for recovering economically and socially from the coronavirus pandemic, the Sauk Co. Health Dept. will move into its Phase 2 as well.

According to its health officials, the loosening of restrictions there entails mainly increasing the number of people allowed at gatherings. That limit increases to 50 people now. However, people should still maintain social distancing practices, clean frequently touched surfaces frequently, and – of course – stay home if they are not feeling well.

The Health Department also urges businesses to review their safety protocols and offers a self-assessment tool so owners and managers can know if they are following best practices.

Even though restrictions are loosening, health officials pointed to a couple of trends they find concerning:

  1. Sauk Co. has had seven cases in the past two weeks, which exceeds its target goal of five, and;
  2. Too many labs are taking too long to report results to the health department. Only four out of five results are reported in a timely manner, the agency states. However, it noted that is still an increase over two weeks ago when that number stood at 48 percent.

"There have been a lot of tests for COVID conducted over the past several weeks in our community,” said Tim Lawther, Sauk County Health Officer. “The results of these tests have given us confidence that we are in a good position to keep moving ahead with our safe reopening, and move into Phase 2.”

To move into Phase 2, Sauk County needed to meet these criteria:

  1. 14% of new COVID cases were not linked to a known source, down from 33% last week and below the goal of <20%, indicating an acceptable level of community spread;
      0.45% of the tests conducted resulted in a positive test, far below the goal of <5%;
    1. An average of 112 tests were conducted every day, above the minimum goal of 48 tests/day;
    2. Goal changed to account for the current Sauk County situation; down from 130/day;
    3. There was no significant increase in the amount of COVID-like symptoms reported in the last 14 days; in fact the trend line was slightly downward;
    4. All hospital preparedness metrics are good;
    5. Disease investigation occurred in a timely fashion 86% of the time.