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City of Stevens Point News

Posted on: November 16, 2020

Celebrating the Holidays During COVID-19

Due to a large spike in COVID-19 cases & deaths, Portage Co. Health & Human Services Div. of Public Health recommends avoiding gatherings. In order to protect yourself and others, celebrate this holiday season with just those in your immediate household.

Wisconsin continues to sustain a surge in COVID-19 cases, with 65 counties, including Portage County, identified as having a critically high case activity level, and all 72 counties reporting at least one COVID-19 death. On September 16, 2020, Portage County identified the 1,000th case of COVID-19, and only 28 days later reported 1,000 more. As of 2:00 p.m. on November 16, Portage County has 4,069 total positive cases and 30 fatalities. 

With colder weather arriving and people spending more time inside, the risk of COVID-19 transmission is increased. By making the decision to stay home, people can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in their communities. It is more important now than ever before that people follow safety precautions to protect against COVID-19. 

This holiday season:

  • Stay home as much as possible.
  • Avoid travel.
  • Visit with loved ones virtually.
  • Watch sports events, parades, and movies from home.
  • Get vaccinated against influenza.
  • Shop online, rather than in crowded stores.

On November 10, 2020, Governor Evers issued Executive Order #94: Actions Every Wisconsinite Should Take to Protect their Family, Friends, and Neighbors from COVID-19. This order highlights the crisis Wisconsin is facing, as cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continue to rise across the state. Executive Order #94 advises Wisconsinites to stay home as much as possible and outlines precautions to take while making necessary trips, such as picking up groceries, refilling prescriptions, or going to work. The order also encourages businesses to take additional steps to protect their staff, customers, and communities. 

“Each day this virus goes unchecked is a setback for our economic recovery. Our bars, restaurants, small businesses, families, and farmers will continue to suffer if we don’t take action right now. Our economy cannot bounce back until we contain this virus,” said Governor Evers during his statewide address. It is critical to follow best practices published by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and stay home to stay safe.

“We want to remind people that there is no such thing as zero risk,” stated Portage County Health Officer, Gary Garske. “COVID-19 continues to be spread throughout the entire state, and the most effective way to reduce the spread is to stay at home and away from others.” It is also important to remember that a negative test result is a snapshot in time and does not indicate possible exposures that may have occurred since being tested. This could easily be the case if you are not maintaining small social circles. In order to decrease the high levels of COVID-19 activity in our communities, we all need to work together to practice preventive measures. Use the decision tool for individuals and families to make decisions that protect you and your loved ones.

The community’s response to following COVID-19 safety precautions is one of the keys to slowing the virus spread and improving the wellbeing of our community. If you have questions, please call (715) 345-5350, option 8, or email This is a rapidly evolving situation and we encourage the public to frequently monitor the Portage County website, Division of Public Health Facebook page, and visit the dashboard for more information. View COVID-19 data for Wisconsin on the DHS website. For general COVID-19 questions, call 2-1-1 or text your zip code to 898211 Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

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