01STOCK_CORONAVIRUS02

ELKHORN

Walworth County has a second confirmed case of COVID-19, a man in his 60s, according to county officials and state data updated Thursday.

The state Department of Health Services website, which tracks positive cases throughout Wisconsin, listed two such cases in Walworth County after showing none Wednesday, the same day the county announced its first positive test result.

The gender and age range of the first patient was not immediately available.

News of the second case came hours after the Walworth County Board approved declaring a state of emergency for the county, which will last 90 days.

The first case confirmed Wednesday was someone who recently traveled domestically and self-isolated upon return, according to a county news release. The county’s Division of Public Health is in daily contact with that person.

“We are taking the identification of COVID-19 in Walworth County very seriously,” public health officer Erica Bergstrom said in the release. “We have been working closely with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and our local partners to not only handle these cases, but to lessen the impact to the community.”

The state of emergency will give the county flexibility in addressing services and staff management during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a news release.

State and federal funding to support COVID-19 response will be more readily available with the declaration of a state of emergency. The county is also able to use $312,500 of its fund balance to address specific needs if they arise.

County Administrator Mark Luberda explained to the board that providing added authority gives county management the flexibility to use multiple strategies to hold off the potential impacts of COVID-19 on the county’s staff and operations, according to the release.

County officials are seeking out people who have had contact with those individuals and asking them to self-quarantine for 14 days.

The Thursday news release said officials were not immediately sure if the second case was travel-related.

The county has a COVID-19 page on its website for more information.

For additional local stories and information, visit GazetteXtra.com/coronavirus.

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