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Florence County releases plan for reopening area businesses

FLORENCE, Wis. — The Florence County Health Department has issued local requirements for businesses that plan to reopen after the state Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down a statewide stay-at-home order.

“We encourage everyone to be smart and continue to practice the guidance that has been shared over the last eight weeks,” said Annette Seibold, the department’s health officer and director. “Maintain physical distance, avoid gathering in large groups, use good personal hygiene and hand washing. Do not go to work, the store, or anywhere else

when you feel ill. Consider wearing a cloth face covering when out in public.”

After collaboration with local partners, the department has issued a public health order to allow businesses to reopen — with a 50-person gathering limit — using Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and Public Health guidance. Schools operate under a different order and that closure remains unchanged, Seibold said.

“The virus is not gone,” Seibold emphasized. “We want to continue to protect our community and aging and/or vulnerable populations. As testing increases, we expect to experience an increase in cases most recently related to the community wide testing being offered in collaboration with the National Guard. The Public Health department will investigate and provide contact tracing for all positive cases in our county. No community or individuals are immune to getting this virus and the numbers can be expected to increase in the days to come,” she said.

Daren Deyaert, health officer for Dickinson-Iron District Health Department, advised people to be very cautious if they are considering eating or drinking at an establishment that is not requiring proper social distancing or protecting customers and employees with proper safe guards.

“Please be advised that just because a facility is open does not mean that extra precautions should not be taken,” he said. “Our local communities have made it to date with very few positive COVID-19 cases. The Dickinson-Iron District Health Department hopes that people will be considerate to protect themselves and all communities’ members.”

People who are vulnerable and at higher risk of severe complications of COVID-19 should stay home whenever possible, added Seibold. This includes people over the age of 65, people who live in nursing homes and individuals with underlying health conditions or who are immunocompromised.

If you feel you have symptoms of COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider for testing options, or go to https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/testing for a list of free community testing sites throughout Wisconsin.

Local businesses will now play a larger role in protecting customers and staff, Seibold said. Local, state, and national resources are available to help businesses adapt best practices. They include:

— Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation: https://wedc.org/reopen-guidelines/

— Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html

For further information, visit the the Florence County Health Department Facebook or website at http://www.florencecountywi.com/.

Dickinson-Iron District Health Department advising caution

IRON MOUNTAIN — All Wisconsin bars/restaurants were able to open with no restrictions as of Wednesday. The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled the “Stay at Home” order was not valid.

The Florence County health officer has signed an executive order that outlines details for businesses to follow to safeguard community members.

The Dickinson-Iron District Health Department advises people to be very cautious if they are considering eating or drinking at an establishment that is not requiring proper social distancing or protecting customers and employees with proper safeguards. Please be advised that just because a facility is open does not mean that extra precautions should not be taken.

Our local communities have made it to date with very few positive COVID-19 cases. The Dickinson-Iron District Health Department hopes people will be considerate to protect themselves and all communities’ members.

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