Effective today, Rock County is returning to Phase One of the Rock County Reopening Plan with some modifications.

Marie-Noel Sandoval, health officer with the Rock County Health Department, made the announcement in a news release sent about 9:30 a.m. Nov. 16.

According to the news release, high community spread, rapid increases in the number of people testing positive, and rising numbers of hospitalizations and deaths are all factors that led to this decision. The county provided the following statistics

Since Nov. 1, the Rock County Public Health Department has had reports of 2,364 individuals testing positive for COVID-19. That means 30% of the total number of cases reported so far have been within the past 16 days.

During October, there were more positive cases reported in Rock County than all of the previous months of the pandemic combined.

There have been 14 deaths due to COVID-19 reported since Nov. 1.

The daily number of hospitalized patients has doubled since the beginning of the month.

Rock County hospitals have stated that they are near their capacity and have reported critical staffing shortages.

What will change when the county moves to Phase 1?

• Everyone should avoid gatherings of any size between individuals who are not members of the same living unit or household.

• Public and private gatherings, festivals, carnivals, fairs, concerts, parades, and contact/team sports should not take place.

• Schools should provide virtual options and flexibility to shift to virtual and transition to virtual school for a minimum of 2 weeks after any holiday or seasonal extended break.

• Libraries, faith-based services, office settings, restaurants, bars, retail establishments, service establishments, community centers, shopping malls, auctions, gym/recreational facilities, pools and places of amusement should limit capacity to 25%.

• Salons, body art facilities, pet groomers and spas should not allow walk-in clients.

• Outdoor playgrounds and garage/rummage sales should be limited to ten people or less.

The county reminds wash your hands, wear a mask, watch your distance, and stay home as much as possible.

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