Four new cases of covid-19 have been reported in Barron County within the past week, according to announcements by the county Department of Health & Human Services.

The latest case – and the 20th to be reported since the outbreak earlier this year is an individual who has not been traveling and has had no contact with a known case. That person is isolating at home, DHHS reported.

Three other cases were reported Sunday, May 31. DHHS reported two of the individuals had close contacts with another positive case. One additional new case had no travel history and no contact with a known case. The hospitalized patient was described as “an older adult with underlying conditions.”

County Health Officer Laura Sauve was asked to comment on several questions regarding the virus.

News-Shield: With respect to the three latest cases, do you expect contact tracing to show extensive contacts with other people?

Sauve -- Two of the cases were in quarantine due to a known exposure, so contacts were limited. One did have some community contacts who were called the same day we received the test results.

News-Shield -- The National Guard has begun testing in elderly housing facilities. Do you anticipate such testing in Barron County?

Sauve -- At this time, we are not aware of any testing using the National Guard. Local nursing homes and assisted living facilities are being offered test supplies, and some are testing all staff and residents.

News-Shield – In the June 2 DHHS report, it appears that since 2 p.m. Monday, June 1, the county is reporting that almost 800 more coronavirus tests have been given. How is that possible ... are tests being performed at various clinics and/or hospitals, or at other locations?

Sauve -- I believe we will be seeing a large increase in tests conducted due to our nursing homes/assisted living sites offering testing to residents and staff.

News-Shield – Rice Lake Speedway opened last weekend. Have any businesses or organizations contacted Public Health to ask for information on proper spacing, crowd size, etc., as they hold events that are open to the public? What would be Public Health's response to questions such as these?

Sauve -- Public Health continues to receive many questions on how to safely hold events.

At this time, we do not recommend any gatherings with more than 10 people. We do refer questions to the guidance we distributed on May 15, as well as guidance online at: https://wedc.org/reopen-guidelines/

News-Shield – In your estimation, is it safe to hold the Barron County Fair this year? We understand a final decision will be made June 10.

Sauve -- Our recommendation is to hold no gatherings greater than 10 people. If this increases it would go to events with no more than 50 people. The County Fair sees many more than 50 people so we would not recommend the fair be held at this time.