Coronavirus Outbreak

For up-to-date information on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) visit the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) website or the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website. The federal government (White House, CDC, and HHS) has also launched a website specifically for COVID-19.
ashburn County has activated 2-1-1 to assist the general public with questions related to COVID-19. You can dial 2-1-1 or visit their website for more information. 

For questions, call the Washburn County Health Department at 715-635-4400 

RESOURCES FOR COUNTY RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES: Find information on county announcements, resources for families (including child care and WIC program updates), resources for mental health, resources for businesses and non-profits, the Governor's emergency orders, and other COVID-19 news releases from state agencies. 

Health Department Advisories and Safety Recommendations:
WCHD COVID-19 Advisory #1: Advisory to Seasonal and Second Homeowners - 03/23/2020 (replaced by Advisory #2)
WCHD COVID-19 Advisory #2: "Safe Summer" Travel Advisory - 05/15/2020
WCHD COVID-19 Advisory #3: "Safe Practices" - 05/15/2020
WCHD COVID-19: Situation Report - 06/15/2020
WCHD COVID-19 Advisory #4: Face Coverings - 07/16/2020
Guidance for Cloth Face Coverings - recommended for use by the general public and businesses
Governor Evers' Executive Order #90: Declaring a Public Health Emergency - 09/22/2020
Governor Evers' Emergency Order #1: Face Coverings
- effective 09/22/2020 through 11/21/2020
Emergency Order #1: Face Coverings Frequently Asked Questions 
DHS Emergency Order #3: Limiting Public Gatherings
- effective 10/08/2020 at 8:00 am to 11/06/2020 
Emergency Order #3: Limiting Public Gatherings Frequently Asked Questions
Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation's "Safe Reopening" guidance for businesses
COVID-19 Screening Checklist for Parents - for screening children each day prior to sending them to school

Data Links:
DHS COVID-19 Wisconsin Summary Data -
DHS COVID-19 County Data -
DHS COVID-19 Activity Level Map -
DHS COVID-19 Understanding the Data -
CDC COVID Data Tracker -
Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Global Map - 
Harvard Global Health Institute: Key Metrics for COVID Supression -
World Health Organization COVID-19 Dashboard -

Washburn County count updated weekdays under Frequently Asked Questions. View the weekly data report

News Releases
COVID-19: Second COVID-19 Death Confirmed in Washburn County - 10/05/2020
Potential Exposure at Washburn County Business
- 09/28/2020
COVID-19: First COVID-19 Death Confirmed in Washburn County
- 09/11/2020
Herd Immunity and the Dangers of COVID Parties
- 08/14/2020

COVID-19: Face Coverings and Slowing the Spread
- 08/03/2020
COVID-19: Spike in Cases among Washburn County Teenagers - 08/02/2020
COVID-19: Four New Cases Confirmed - 07/27/2020
COVID-19: Contact Tracing Requires Cooperation - 07/20/2020
COVID-19: Additional Confirmed Cases - 07/07/2020

Bayfield County COVID Case at Ashland, WI Hockey Tournament on June 27/28
- 07/06/2020
AG Kaul Warns of, Outlines How to Indetify Contact Tracing Scammers
- 06/22/2020
COVID-19: Fourth Confirmed Case in Washburn County – Asymptomatic Individual - 06/18/2020
COVID-19: Third Confirmed Case – No Risk to Washburn County Residents - 06/08/2020

COVID-19 Prevention and Testing - 05/28/2020
COVID-19: Second Confirmed Case in Washburn County - 05/20/2020
After Safer At Home: Washburn County Encourages Residents and Businesses to Continue Safe Practices - 05/14/2020
WI National Guard Assisted Drive-up Testing Event Available for Washburn County Residents - 05/01/2020
Washburn County Increases COVID-19 Testing Capacity - 04/28/2020
First Case of COVID-19 Confirmed in Washburn County - 04/13/2020
Guidance for Washburn County Residents on CDC Cloth Face Covering Recommendations - 04/04/2020
Governor Evers Announces Resilient Wisconsin - 04/03/2020
Washburn County Health Department: Answering COVID-19 Questions - 03/26/2020
Washburn County Remains Open with Limited Access - 03/24/2020
Protecting Your Mental Health During COVID-19 - 03/20/2020
Update on Services in Washburn County - 03/20/2020
Safety Precautions for Staff and Washburn County Residents Due to COVID-19 - 03/19/2020
Washburn County Issues Declaration Regarding COVID-19 - 03/18/2020
Ongoing Monitoring of COVID-19 - 03/10/2020

If you are sick... (updated 08/03/2020 @ 2:00 p.m.)

  • If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have COVID-19 stay in isolation until:
    • at least 10 DAYS have passed since symptoms first appeared
    • AND you have been free of fever (without use of fever reducing medications), productive cough, and other symptoms of respiratory infection for 1 DAY (24 hours) 
    • See DHS guidance on what to do if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19
    • trouble breathing
    • persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • new confusion or inability to arouse (wake) a person
    • bluish lips or face
    • Note: this list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning
  • Tips on managing respiratory symptoms at home
  • CDC guidance on what to do if you are sick

Testing for COVID-19 (updated 6/11/2020 @ 9:00 a.m.)

  • Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 or anyone who believes they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 is encouraged to seek testing
    • You must call for testing prior to visiting the clinic you are seeking testing at.
    • You will not be tested without orders from a provider.
    • DO NOT show up to a clinic or ER without calling the facility prior to your arrival.
    • Individuals are encouraged to call their Primary Care Provider to be tested. If you do not have an established care provider, please follow the instructions for Spooner Health & Essentia Health to be tested at Spooner Health
  • Northlakes Community Clinic - Minong: 715-466-2201
    Indianhead Medical Center/Shell Lake Clinic: 715-468-2711
    Spooner Health & Essentia Health - Spooner Clinic: Call the Essentia Health COVID-19 screening hotline at 833-494-0836 or start an online screening visit. 
  • If you have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting results, you must isolate at home until you receive your results. See the DHS Testing: Next Steps and Results handout for what to do once you've been tested. 
  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or believe you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and have been denied testing, call the Health Department at 715-635-4400

If you are a contact of someone with COVID-19... (updated 08/03/2020 @ 2:00 p.m.)

  • Follow guidance from DHS on what to do if you have had contact with someone who was diagnosed or if there is a diagnosed case in your home. 
  • You must self-isolate for 14 days after your last exposure. Even if you test negative once during your isolation period, you can develop symptoms and test positive later during the 14 day incubation period. Individuals can spread the virus 2 days before symptom onset. 
  • If you are concerned about being exposed to someone with COVID-19, we encourage you to self-monitor your symptoms and seek testing immediately. You can call the Health Department at 715-635-4400 for specific contact-related questions. 

Updates from Our Local Providers
Essentia Health - Spooner Clinic
Hayward Area Memorial Hospital
Northlakes Community Clinic
Marshfield Clinic
Mayo Clinic Health System
Spooner Health
Washburn County WIC (women, infants, and children)
Wisconsin DHS COVID-19 Screening Tool

Frequently Asked Questions (updated 10/232020  at 2:00 p.m.)

How many confirmed cases of COVID-19 are in Washburn County? 

  • As of 2:00 p.m. on Friday, October 23, 2020 there have been 223* laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Washburn County. We are not releasing information on specific locations in order to protect patient privacy under HIPAA. Any information that could lead to the identification of an individual will not be released. Individuals who had close contact with any confirmed cases will be contacted by the Health Department. 
  • For current cases and tests in Wisconsin by county, visit the DHS COVID-19 County Data page
  • Find our daily breakdown of total cases, active cases, negative test results, and number of individuals currently being monitored (due to pending test results, contact with confirmed cases, travel from high-incidence areas, or  symptomatic without test results but are suspect for COVID-19) on our Facebook page
  • *Note: case count includes one case occuring in a Washburn County resident who was temporarily residing outside of the county at the time of illness. All cases are reported based on the individual's county of permanent residence.

What do I need to do if I have been tested for COVID-19 and am waiting for the results?

  • Follow guidance from DHS on self-isolation and self-monitoring of symptoms for at least 10 days since symptoms first began AND for at least 1 day after symptoms resolve. If you receive a negative test result, follow these recommendations until at least 24 hours after your symptoms resolve (no fever and improvement in other symptoms).
  • You must isolate at home until you receive your test results. 

What is "Social Distancing" and why should I do it?

  • Social distancing is deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness. Staying at least six feet away from other people lessens your chance of contracting COVID-19. Examples include: cancelling or postponing conferences and large meetings, not shaking hands, avoiding large group gatherings or activities, and staying home as much as possible.
  • Social distancing can help slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • People should follow simple steps to prevent illness and avoid exposure to this virus including:
    • Avoid social gatherings with people of all ages (including playdates and sleepovers, parties, large family dinners, visitors in your home)
    • Frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water
    • Cover coughs and sneezes
    • Avoid touching your face
    • Stay home when sick

If I wear a cloth face covering (homemade mask, scarf, bandana, etc.) in public, do I still need to practice social distancing?

  • YES! Social distancing is the most important tool we have to try to slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • There is some evidence to suggest that wearing cloth face coverings in public may reduce the spread of COVID-19 by infected people. Wearing these will NOT protect the wearer from contracting COVID-19. It acts as a physical barrier between your cough/sneeze/spit and the air. The virus can spread before people show symptoms or while they are showing mild symptoms. This helps to protect the people around you. Social distancing will protect you.
  • Wearing a cloth face covering does not reduce immune system function or increase Carbon Dioxide (CO2) to a level noticeable by the wearer.

Are there resources to support my Mental Health? 

Should I cancel my travel plans?

  • WI DHS recommends Wisconsin residents cancel or postpone all nonessential travel, including travel within the state, due to widespread transmission of COVID-19. If international or domestic travel cannot be avoided, be prepared to remain away for an extended period of time if travel restrictions change or if you become sick. 
  • Older adults and people at risk for serious illness from COVID-19 should avoid all travel within and outside of your community as much as possible in order to minimize contact with others.
  • Travel to locations with a Level 3 Travel Notice and travel on cruise ships are not considered safe at this time due to widespread transmission of COVID-19. People who travel to these areas despite this recommendation should be prepared to encounter significant delays in returning home. 
  • Check CDC's recommendations regarding travel within the US and current CDC travel health notices.

Am I blocked from going to my second/vacation home in Washburn County?

  • The Washburn County Health Department issued a travel advisory for the Washburn County community and its visitors. This advisory does not block you from reaching your property in Washburn County, however we strongly encourage you to follow the guidance in the travel advisory. This is for your safety and the safety of our rural community. Non-essential travel outside your current community may spread COVID-19 in areas with very limited health care infrastructure. 
  • If you choose to travel to a second/vacation home, you should be prepared to immediately self-quarantine for 14 days. You should bring your own groceries and essentials, as self-quarantine does not permit shopping at local stores for supplies. Check state or local health department guidance for your visit. 

What should I do if I traveled? 

  • If you traveled anywhere outside of your local community in the past 14 days, it is recommended that you stay home and monitor yourself for symptoms for 14 days after you returned. If you were able to practice social distancing during the entire time you were away (for example, you stayed in your car by yourself and kept at least 6 feet distance between yourself and others), you should still monitor your symptoms and practice social distancing.
    • Stay home: it is important that you avoid contact with others to avoid spreading the infection to others ("self-quarantine")
    • Monitor your symptoms: check your temperature twice daily and write down any symptoms you have ("self-monitoring"). If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 like fever, cough, shortness of breath, and need medical care, call your doctor. 
    • Use the chart in this document to self-monitor for symptoms

Questions about schools: Access specific school district information and announcements on COVID-19: Shell Lake, Spooner, Northwood, Birchwood