Health Department : COVID-19 still a threat, follow recommendations

The Winnebago County Health Department is warning people that as businesses and communities begin to open that COVID-19 has not gone away and their recommendations still remain.

“The efforts we all take now will determine how well the virus continues to be contained,” according to a Health Department press release.

Winnebago County Health Officer Douglas Gieryn recommends the following:

General Guidance for Everyone

  • Stay home if you are sick and seek appropriate medical care.
  • Practice physical distancing and protective measures, including the following:
    • Maintain physical distancing of six (6) feet or more between people not residing in a single living unit or household;
    • Minimize time spent with anyone outside your immediate household;
    • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as frequently as possible or use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol;
    • Cover coughs or sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands) and then handwash or sanitize;
    • Regularly disinfect high-touch surfaces and objects;
    • Avoid handshaking and hugging;
    • Avoid touching your face;
    • Use a mask or cloth face covering in public, at gatherings, workplaces, or where it is difficult to maintain physical distancing;
    • Limit travel to reduce the potential for virus transmission;
    • Monitor yourself for symptoms of COVID-19; if you develop symptoms, stay home and call your healthcare provider;
    • Follow all other public health recommendations issued by the State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Winnebago County Health Department, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Utilize curbside pickup as much as possible.
  • Only enter establishments that are practicing the customer and worker protections listed below.

Businesses, nonprofits and other entities

  • Follow the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Reopening Guidelines for industry-specific sectors found here:
  • Follow the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection’s guidelines and recommendations for food supply, delivery, and recreational facilities:
  • Reduce capacity and modify physical spaces to ensure adequate physical distancing for customers and staff.
  • Increase standards of facility cleaning and disinfection of all areas.
  • Provide and encourage face coverings and PPE.
  • Provide signage for and encourage good hand hygiene.
  • Screen employees for illness and have sick employees stay home.
  • Promote telecommuting or work-from-home.
  • Implement strategies and practices based on the following sources:
  • Consult with your local Chamber of Commerce and the Winnebago County Health Department to gather additional information to safely resume business activities.
  • Promptly contact the Winnebago County Health Department in the event of COVID-19 illness in employees.


  • Avoid gatherings of 10 or more people or any gathering for which you cannot maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet between people not residing in a single living unit or household.
  • Avoid situations where you are unable to exercise appropriate physical distancing with non-household members.
  • Consider cancelling or postponing events or gatherings of more than 10 people.

Travel Guidance – assume COVID-19 is present in your community and in any you visit

  • Stay home as much as possible, especially if your trip is not essential.
  • Traveling outside your local community is highly discouraged because you may have less control of your surroundings or situations that put you at risk.
  • Do not travel if you are sick or travel with someone who is sick.
  • If you must travel, consider the following precautions:
    • Avoid close contact with others; keep at least 6 feet of physical distance from others at all times.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, especially after you have been in a public place, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
    • Wear a mask or cloth face covering in public.
    • Travel alone when possible or only with household members.
    • Travel in a vehicle if possible to have more control of who you may come into contact with.
    • Consult with your employer in advance about your travel plans and plan for how you will limit exposure to others during your travels.
    • Do not attend gatherings.
    • Limit your time indoors in environments such as restaurants, bars or other establishments that do not have strategies in place to reduce risk of respiratory exposure from others.

Visit the Winnebago County Health Department website at for the most up-to-date guidance and resources.