New York Times warns Oshkosh could see large COVID-19 outbreak

New York Times warns Oshkosh could see large COVID-19 outbreak

An article in Wednesday’s New York Times identified the Oshkosh-Neenah area as 6th highest metropolitan area in the nation in terms of the rate at which COVID-19 cases are rising.

To identify areas that could flare up next, The Times looked at not only the number of cases but how fast they are rising, finding that the number of cases in the Oshkosh-Neenah area is doubling every 10 days.

The total number of cases in Winnebago County have gone up by over 200 since May 17, with the 20-29 year old age group seeing the greatest increase.

The number of cases in the County in this age group has gone from 12 to 110 in the same time period, or 47.2% of the total number of cases in the County — three times as much as any other age group.

This uptick can partially be attributed to lack of physical distancing at large gatherings and bars and restaurants that have opened since the end of “Safer at Home,” according to contact tracing done by The Winnebago County Health Department.

In light of the recent spike in cases in 20-year-olds, who often work in bars and food service, the Health Department encourages owners and operators to review these guidelines from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to keep employees and customers as safe as possible.

“Nearly 80% of the cases among twenty-year-olds are from residents of the City of Oshkosh,” the Health Department said in a Facebook post.

City Manager Mark Rohloff expressed concern that, “while younger people are less likely to develop significant symptoms, they have to be aware that they can transmit the disease to parents, children, or other vulnerable populations.”

Officials are reminding residents to:
• Stay home if you aren’t feeling well.
• Continue to social distance
• Wear masks in areas where social distancing might be difficult. Or better yet, avoid them all together.
• Limit your gatherings to people that you live with. If you must have other gatherings, limit the number to less than ten and practice social distancing.
• Avoid touching your face.
• Wash your hands frequently for 20 seconds, especially after touching shared surfaces.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.