'A critical time': Waukesha Co. leaders urging people to help stop the spread of COVID-19 as holidays approach
WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) – Waukesha County leaders are urging residents to stay home and stay safe as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.
The county’s health officer says right now is the worst it's been since the pandemic started.
“Numbers are higher than they have ever been,” Health officer Benjamen Jones said.
With case numbers growing, leaders held a press conference on Tuesday, November 17 urging people to make smart decisions ahead of the holidays.
“Thanksgiving is a week and a half away. This is a time when we usually get very social, we have a good time, we have fun, but we are asking you to really think about what you’re going to do,” Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow said.
He encouraged everyone to follow CDC guidelines and the lowest risk is to only celebrate in person with those you live with.
“We are entering a critical time,” Jones said. “We are asking you to remain vigilant and return to the basics of what we know helps slow the spread.”
With hopeful news of a vaccine, the Farrow said small doses will be coming to the state early on and now the county is working on a distribution plan.
“By spring we believe there will be a vaccine for the general population,” Farrow said.
Right now, the county has 250 contact tracers, but because of growing case numbers, they have to limit their duties.
“Unfortunately, we continue to see more and more cases and our resources are not unlimited,” Jones said. “So far we have made changes that include making fewer notification attempts to positive cases and coaching individuals who test positive to reach out to their own contacts.”
Going forward, Jones said contact tracers are prioritizing people who are at the highest risk which is under college age and over 60-years-old.