The Wisconsin Department Health Services announced Wednesday there is a person with coronavirus in the state.
At a joint press conference with the Mayor and the Public Health Department, it was confirmed that the individual is a resident of Dane County.
Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway stated the patient in question was traveling from China and went immediately from the airport to UW Hospital. She said they tested positive for the coronavirus and have been isolated at home since then, remaining in isolation until testing shows they no longer are infected.
“Given what we have seen in other parts of the globe, it is reasonable to assume that today’s news will not be the last positive case we hear about in our region,” Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said. “In advance of this, Public Health is in the process of creating a new coronavirus hotline to keep the public informed of the lasted guidance involving this virus.”
Madison has been preparing for a coronavirus case with state and local health care providers for the past month. Rhodes-Conway said they will continue to work closely with them to monitor and respond to the situation.
“Today, in Dane County, a person’s chances of getting sick from this novel coronavirus remains very low. We are ready for this,” Rhodes-Conway stated. “Our public health staff planned and trained and practiced for novel viruses like this — and they are prepared.”
The city and county have taken some steps to ensure they will be ready for a possible outbreak, including establishing an incident command structure to organize and coordinate a response to the coronavirus. They are also in contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and will keep the city up to date on the latest data regarding the virus.
The Public Health Madison & Dane County website and social media pages will be updated daily with information on the coronavirus. The number for the Dane County coronavirus information hotline is (608) 243-0587.
Additionally, Public Health has urged residents to continue their regular activities. People who do not have symptoms or meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria should not be excluded from activities based on their race or country of origin.
“I call on everyone in Madison and Dane County to be aware of unconscious or implicit bias. The CDC does not recommend isolation, quarantining, or testing of people who are of a particular ethnicity,” Rhodes-Conway said. “You can not tell if someone has a risk of spreading the novel coronavirus by what they look like. This public health concern will not be solved by fear and discrimination. We will fight it with compassion and science.”
Public Health Madison & Dane County recommends that residents take standard precautions in remaining healthy during the cold and flu season. Everyone is encouraged to get the flu vaccine, wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and stay home when sick.