WEATHER WATCH
Local leaders have a warning for Brown Co. after Friday COVID-19 update
File photo (WLUK)

BROWN COUNTY (WLUK) -- As Friday saw a near record number of new coronavirus cases as a surge continues to impact Wisconsin, it's no wonder Brown County Public Health officer Anna Destree opened a Friday morning teleconference saying...

"We are alarmed at the rising number of cases."

Overwhelming local hospitals could be just around the corner.

The message isn’t meant to stoke fear, but Brown County health, medical and government leaders are pushing personal responsibility in stopping the spread of COVID-19. Because if the virus continues to spread at this rate

"This is the highest volume of COVID inpatients that we have seen since we started with this pandemic," said Chris Woleske, Bellin Hospital's president.

"The virus is outpacing our capacity to test and we need to do more," added Prevea Health president, Dr. Ashok Rai.

The Friday morning conference call comes just hours after a coronavirus quarantine spike caused several school districts to move to all-virtual learning.

The Unified School District of De Pere is just one of those.

"The outbreak in the community effects what happens in the school because as the outbreak continues to get worse in Brown County that means the number of people who might come into our schools that are infected increases," said superintendent Ben Villarruel.

De Pere isn't the only one rolling with the punches.

Howard-Suamico joined the list Friday afternoon.

While De Pere's pause is expected to last for about two weeks, Howard-Suamico's is indefinite.

As for keeping parents in the know, considering medical confidentiality and stopping spread of the virus can be a balancing act.

It's why Villarruel says his district has its own resources for keeping parents in the loop.

"There are some federal and state guidelines with regards to privacy for students and for our employees," he explained. "But we do have a dashboard that's on our website that parents and media can visit."

And as the state health department continues to report record COVID-19 numbers,  Destree has this message.

We need people to recommit to doing the right thing to stop the spread.
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