Coronavirus

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The increase in local cases of COVID-19 has slowed in recent days, health officials say.

Daily double-digit increases in those testing positive have been replaced by single-digit increases, Eau Claire City-County Health Department Director Lieske Giese said Monday during a news conference.

“We’re hopeful we’ll continue to have lower positive testing numbers,” she said. “We’re not going to stop the spread. But we need to slow the spread. And it seems to be moving in that direction at the moment.”

Eau Claire County recorded 13 new cases of COVID-19 since Friday, an average of just over four new cases a day. Negative tests totaled 502 since Friday, Giese said.

Overall, she said, Eau Claire County has seen 436 cases of the coronavirus since the pandemic began in March.

Of those, 364 cases have recovered.

The Health Department is currently tracking 72 ongoing positive cases and their hundreds of contacts, Giese said.

Forty inmates in the Eau Claire County Jail have been tested. The jail has had a total of seven positive cases, and only one is an active case, she said.

Giese cannot pinpoint specific reasons why double-digit increases have been replaced by single-digit increases in Eau Claire County.

“We are hopeful people are increasing their strategies to stay safer,” she said.

Chippewa County has 199 confirmed cases, and has seen eight new cases since Friday, said Angela Weideman, director of the Chippewa County Department of Public Health.

Chippewa County has 38 active cases, she said.

Statewide, 893 people have died of COVID-19 as of Sunday.

Weideman said results from last week’s mass testing day at the Northern Wisconsin State Fairgrounds will be released soon.

“We are just getting the final results in,” she said. “We should have information in a day or two.”

Weideman encourages people to rely on trusted sources for information on the coronavirus, such as the websites of state and local health departments, and the federal Centers of Disease Control.

“There has been an overabundance of false information,” she said. “Think before you share information on social media.”

If you see COVID-19 information on social media, consider who is sharing the post, Weideman said.

Luke Fedie, Eau Claire County’s behavioral health administrator, encouraged families to identify spaces in their home where children can study online and create schedules for that.

Also, families should make plans in case a family member is diagnosed with COVID-19, he said.

“Many families have plans for fires and inclement weather,” Fedie said. “I would encourage you to make plans in the same way for COVID-19.”

Contact: 715-833-9207, dan.holtz@ecpc.com