Vilas County Public Health - Home

COVID-19 (Coronavirus  Disease 2019) 

Updated April 2, 2020

COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) is a novel type of Coronavirus that was first found in Wuhan, China.  The first case was confirmed in the U.S. in Washington on January 21, 2020. The World Health Organization declared it a pandemic on March 11, 2020. Governor Evers declared this a Public Health Emergency in Wisconsin on March 12, 2020.

Vilas County has 3 Cases of COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019)

Vilas County Public Health Department continues to monitor people being tested for COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019).  We also continue to work to determine how each person may have become infected and we are contacting individuals with whom the patient had close contact.  See press release.

Why can’t we know more about individuals infected with coronavirus?

We are not sharing information about the person who has coronavirus because that is protected health information.  Please remember public health departments must also comply with state laws regarding confidentiality of information according to Wisconsin Stat. § 146.82.

Wisconsin COVID-19 Test Results

StatusNumber (%) of People as of 4/2/2020
Negative Test Result 20,317
Positive Test Result 1,730
Hospitalizations 461 (27%)
Deaths 31




Governor Tony Evers issues temporary ban on evictions and foreclosures.

Safer at Home

Gov. Tony Evers today directed Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm to issue a Safer at Home order that prohibits all nonessential travel, with some exceptions as clarified and defined in the order. The order is available here. It is in effect from 8:00 am on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 through 8:00 am Fri., April 24, 2020, or until a superseding order is issued. 


Under this order:  

  • Perform tasks essential to maintain health and safety, such as obtaining medicine or seeing a doctor;
  • Get necessary services or supplies for themselves or their family or household members, such as getting food and supplies, pet food, and supplies necessary for staying at home;
  • Care for older adults, minors, dependents, people with disabilities or other vulnerable persons.

Vilas County Situation Report

Vilas County Advisory to Seasonal and Second Homeowners 
On March 20, 2020, pursuant to Wis. Stat. §252.03(1), the Vilas County Public Health Official hereby declared that a Public Health Emergency exists in Vilas County. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the national spread of the COVID-19 virus, Vilas County Government issued the following inter-county Travel Advisory.

The point of this travel advisory is to protect our high risk populations (older adults or those who have a serious underlying health conditions):   

Should you get Tested for COVID-19?

On March 27, 2020, the Department of Health Services (DHS) announced prioritizing testing to the highest priority patients, health care workers, and first responders. Priority testing is needed at this time due to the increased number of COVID-19 cases being reported and more people getting sick in Wisconsin communities. There is no need for testing patients that have no symptoms. 


For people who are ill with COVID-19, but are not sick enough to be hospitalized, please follow CDC guidance on how to reduce the risk of spreading your illness to others. People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness. 

How to Protect Yourself 

  • Stay home.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Do not go by people who are sick
  • Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Learn what to do if you are sick: CDC 10 Things Fact Sheet.

For more information:


Travel Information

CDC Travel Notice Level 3: COVID-19 Global Pandemic Notice. Avoid all nonessential international travel. If you travel, your plans may be disrupted due to travel restrictions and flight cancellations:

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services recommends that if you have traveled to a Level 3 country (an area with widespread, ongoing community spread) or to a U.S. state with community transmission that you self-quarantine (stay at home) and monitor symptoms for 14 days.

These guidelines only apply to the person that specifically traveled. Family members that are in contact with those that have traveled should monitor symptoms and practice social distancing. They do not need to stay at home for 14 days, unless their family member develops symptoms.

More can be found at CDC COVID-19, Information for Travel


  • DHS recommends against all nonessential travel. 
  • For all travelers returning to Wisconsin from U.S. states where the CDC has determined that community transmission is occurring, DHS recommends that those individuals self-quarantine at home for 14 days and monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 (including fever and cough). 

Instructions on how to self-quarantine and self-monitor for symptoms are available at WI Department of Health and Services COVID-19


All public and private schools and institutions of higher education in the State of Wisconsin shall close for instructional and extracurricular activities. 

This order will remain in effect for the duration of the public health emergency declared  in Governor Evers' Executive Order #72.  

For more information see CDC Guidance for Schools and Childcare and Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction's COVID-19.

Essential Workplaces

Workplaces should encourage people who can work from home to do so. Additional recommendations:

  • Emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees.
  • Perform routine environmental cleaning.


Faith and Spiritual Communities

For more information, visit the CDC website for CDC Guidelines for Faith and Spiritual Communities

Childcare Programs

On March 18, 2020, Gov. Tony Evers directed DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm to restrict the size of all child care settings. Centers may not operate with more than 10 staff present at a time and may not operate with more than 50 children present at a time. This order can be found here.

The restriction in size went into effect on 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 19, 2020 to give child care providers and families time to make plans. The closure will remain in effect until Executive Order #72, declaring COVID-19 a health emergency, is suspended.


Other Groups

See CDC's website for Guidance for Homeless Shelters, Healthcare Facilities Providers, First Responders and Law Enforcement, and additional groups.


VCPHD Media Releases:

You can also stay informed by visiting:



Indoor Mold

The Key to Mold is Moisture Control

Tiny mold spores are all around us, both indoors and outdoors. Mold spores travel easily through the air and begin to grow indoors when moisture is present. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores from the indoors, so the best way to control mold growth is to control indoor moisture. When indoor conditions are just right, mold spores can grow and become a problem. By taking important steps, you can prevent and control mold growth inside your home.

Mold spores need 3 things to grow:

  1. Moisture
  2. A nutrient source (i.e., wood, paper, or other materials)
  3. The right temperature

Of these three conditions, the most important to control is moisture. Indoor mold growth is really a sign that moisture is present. If indoor moisture is controlled, mold will not grow.

Fixing the Mold Problem

Since moisture is essential for mold growth, do all you can to quickly identify and fix any source causing too much indoor moisture. Common household problems that lead to indoor moisture issues include:

  • Roof leaks.
  • Leaking pipes or plumbing fixtures.
  • Condensation due to high indoor humidity.
  • Indoor flooding.

After all moisture and water problems have been fixed, clean the moldy area and keep the area dry.

If you cannot identify the moisture source, or if you are dealing with a large mold and water problem, consider a professional home inspection. Visit our Wisconsin Mold Contractor's page for a listing of indoor air consultants and mold remediation contractors.

Preventing Mold Growth

Important actions can be taken to prevent indoor mold from becoming a problem:

  • Keep indoor spaces well ventilated and dry. Air conditioners and dehumidifiers can help.
  • Keep indoor humidity levels below 50%.
  • Clean bathrooms often and keep surfaces dry. Run the bathroom ventilation fan during and after showers.
  • Promptly fix water leaks.
  • Clean up and dry your home fully and quickly (within 24-48 hours) after any flooding event.

Testing for Mold

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services does not recommend testing for mold because:

  • Federal standards or limits for airborne mold concentrations or mold spores do not exist.
  • Mold spores are everywhere around us, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold testing can be expensive.

If you see or smell mold, it is present. In any situation, your approach should be to find the moisture source, fix it, and clean what you can.

Fact Sheets:

For more information, visit:

Tips for Food Safety in a Power Outage: