Planniing for vaccine distribution commences

The Kenosha County Division of Health is working actively with the Kenosha County Emergency Operations Center, health care providers and other partners to coordinate local distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Local health officials are following up on a planning process that began on the federal level and then moved to state health departments, which are now sharing information with local partners about how implementation will occur.

Initial supplies of the vaccine locally are expected to be scarce, with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services overseeing and determining allocations based on guidance from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the Wisconsin State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee.

It is not yet known how much vaccine Kenosha County will initially receive or which health care providers will receive supplies during the early rollout.

“I know that the COVID-19 vaccine is a long time coming for many of our residents, and I understand that there are many questions to which we don’t yet have answers,” said Kenosha County Health Officer Dr. Jen Freiheit. “I ask for the public’s patience as we receive and react to federal and state guidance. As always, the Kenosha County Division of Health will be here to serve our health partners and the general public as we round another bend in the pandemic.”

Under initial state and federal distribution plans:
n Vaccination distribution will occur in phases starting with 1A, which officially began

Monday. Those slated to receive the vaccine in Phase 1A include health care personnel and long-term care facility residents and staff. Initial vaccine allotments will not be available to the general public during Phase 1A.

n Those primarily responsible for administering vaccinations in Phase 1A will include hospitals and health care providers (for their health care workers) and pharmacies (for long-term care facility providers and residents). Additionally, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services has issued a request for services for vaccination clinics.

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JOINT INFORMATION RELEASE

Joint Information Center (JIC)

n The Kenosha County Division of Health will help to fill gaps for Phase 1A vaccine delivery (for emergency medical services, for example) as resources allow. The Division of Health does not expect to receive any vaccine or to vaccinate until January 2021 at the earliest; the exact timing and parameters for distribution are not yet known.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Phase 1B will include essential workers (still to be defined by the state), while Phase 1C will include people age 65 and older and those with other conditions that put them at higher risk. The timeframe for these phases is not yet known.

The general public will be eligible for vaccination during the subsequent Phases 2 and 3, assuming a sufficient supply of vaccine. The earliest timeline for the general public to receive vaccine, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other experts, is the second or third quarter of 2021.

Prior to the vaccine becoming widely available to the public, Freiheit said it remains vital to wear a mask in public, socially distance, avoid gatherings and keep your social circle small, and stay home if sick or quarantined.

“This has been a long ride, but now is not yet the time to ease up on the measures we should be taking to slow the spread and reduce the risks of COVID-19,” Freiheit said. “I look forward to sharing more information about vaccine supplies and distribution as it becomes available.”

More information about COVID-19, including local data and links to tips and resources, is available on the Kenosha County COVID-19 Response Hub website, at https://www.kenoshacounty.org/covid-19.

Together, we can and will slow the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

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Kenosha County Announces School Closure in Bristol

Kenosha — Kenosha County Division of Health has a confirmed three case(s) of COVID-19 in Bristol School District. These cases had broad reach and hence the joint decision by both the School District and the Kenosha County Division of Health to close the school until September 29, 2020. This allows the school to perform a deep clean as well as quarantine the entire school for 2 weeks.

Bristol Elementary School has 655 K4-8th grade students attending in-person school since September 1st. Everyone is required to wear masks throughout the building and has implemented social distance protocols as much as possible.

The case(s) involve 2 school employees and one student of the Bristol School District in Kenosha County. These individuals are not hospitalized.

The Kenosha County Division of Health is working closely with the school administration.

“The health and well-being of our students and team members are our greatest priority. While individuals at our facility have tested positive for COVID-19, we continue to work together to care for our students and staff, to protect the safety of our team members, and to protect the people in our community. We are also continuing to work with the Kenosha Division of Health and will follow enhanced internal protocols in order to help control the spread of COVID-19.”

Kenosha County Health Officer, Dr. Jen Freiheit stated, “In light of the potential exposure, and airing towards an abundance of caution, the joint decision was made to protect the school community. All were given close contact letters when they left school today providing further instruction.”

Parents are urged to monitor their students and other family members for any COVID-19 symptoms, including fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, fatigue, headaches, etc. Those who do become symptomatic should call their health care provider and seek testing.

A frequently updated list of testing sites in and around Kenosha County is available online athttps://www.kenoshacounty.org/2058/COVID-19-Testing-Locations. More information about the virus, including local data and links to resources, is available on the Kenosha County COVID-19 Response Hub website, at https://www.kenoshacounty.org/covid-19.

If you would like more information on COVID-19 safety in school, visit https://kenosha-county- covid-19-responsekenoshacounty.hub.arcgis.com/

Kreuser: Body cameras for Sheriff’s Department will be funded in 2021

KENOSHA — Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser today affirmed his commitment to funding body camera equipment for the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department.

Kreuser said funding for body cameras will be included in the budget that he will present to the County Board on Oct. 6, for implementation in 2021. This budget will be subject to review by the board, with adoption expected in November.

“I hear the community’s call for more transparency, and I can tell you that body cameras will be funded next year,” Kreuser said. “The County Board made this request in a resolution adopted not long before the recent, tragic events in our community, and I have no reason not to follow through on it.”

Regarding the peaceful protests that occurred in Kenosha over the weekend, Kreuser added:

“I want to thank our community for adhering to the curfew to let our protective services do their work, and I encourage tolerance, peace and unity as we rebuild our Kenosha County community to be even stronger.”

Highway S project update:  Temporary through-traffic closure to begin Aug. 25

Highway S project update: Temporary through-traffic closure to begin Aug. 25

As the Kenosha County Highway S expansion project continues, a full closure to through traffic between highways 31 and H is set to begin Tuesday, Aug. 25.

 

This closure is expected to last for approximately 10 days, as crews construct a box culvert and other drainage improvements.

 

While residents and businesses within this area will retain access to their properties, there will be a hard closure just east of Highway EA and west of the Union Pacific Railroad tracks.

 

Residents and businesses west of Highway EA (72nd Avenue) will have to access their properties from the west, while those east of the railroad tracks will need to access their properties from the east.

 

A long-term closure separate from this one continues on Highway S between Highway N (38th Street) and the Interstate 94 East Frontage Road.

 

This closure, which began Aug. 5, is to accommodate the construction of the new Highway S westbound lanes west of the intersection with Highway N. This area is now only accessible to local residents and businesses.

 

The overall Highway S project involves the expansion of the road into a four-lane, divided highway between Highway 31 and the I-94 East Frontage Road.

 

“We are now moving into high gear with this summer’s work on the project,” said Kenosha County Highway Director Clement Abongwa. “While we recognize that these closures present inconveniences for drivers, they will allow us to safely and more quickly complete this much-needed highway expansion. We appreciate the public’s patience.”

 

About the Highway S project:

 

Along with the widened roadway, the Highway S project includes the addition of turn lanes, replacement of traffic signals, improvements to drainage, and the construction of an off-road, multiuse path for bicyclists and pedestrians.

 

The project is broken into two phases, which will be built out concurrently:

 

  • Phase 1 includes the roughly 2-mile stretch from Highway 31 (Green Bay Road) to just west of Highway H (88thAvenue).
  • Phase 2 includes the roughly 1.6-mile stretch between Highway H and the Amazon west driveway.

 

Work on the entire project is scheduled to continue through late 2021, with a break during the winter months.

 

For more information about the project, including project update briefs, please visit https://www.kenoshacounty.org/2051/Highway-S-Expansion-Project.

 

Before saying ‘I do,’ you do need to schedule a marriage license appointment, county clerk reminds couples

KENOSHA – Kenosha County Clerk Regi Bachochin is urging people getting married this year to make it a priority to schedule an appointment for a marriage license application.

The County Clerk’s Office reopened for in-person services along with other Kenosha County offices early in July, but — to promote social distancing — appointments are required for many services, including marriage licenses.

“September and October are popular wedding months and appointments are filling up fast,” Bachochin said. “It’s important to make sure you get yours scheduled in time for the license to be issued for your wedding.”

Wisconsin’s waiting period must be considered when scheduling an appointment, Bachochin added. Applicants must apply no more than 35 days and no fewer than seven days before the wedding.

“Many couples have waited until the last minute and are having difficulty because the office appointments are already filled,” Bachochin said.

Bachochin said applicants must have a wedding date and officiant when they schedule an appointment to receive a license.

Appointments may be scheduled using the online Kenosha County Appointment Scheduler at https://kenoshacounty.timetap.com/#/ or by calling the County Clerk’s Office at 262- 653-2552.

There are currently no walk-in services available at the County Clerk’s Office; all services are by appointment only.

More information about the County Clerk’s Office and the services it provides is available at https://www.kenoshacounty.org/137/County-Clerk.

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Kenosha County Opiod Task Force issues drug warning

“The Kenosha County Opioid Task Force has recently become aware of what appears to be a more-dangerous-than-usual, potentially deadly supply of illicit drugs in our community.

“While we always advise strongly against the use of any illegal drugs, we implore the community now more than ever to refrain from using. The drugs you receive aren’t always what you think they are — fentanyl and fentanyl analogs are being added to all sorts of narcotics, sometimes causing devastating consequences for users.

“If abstaining from drug use is not feasible, please contact Vivent Health at 262-657-6644 to get a fentanyl test kit, or the Kenosha County Division of Health at 262-605-6741 for Narcan.

“Know that help is available for those struggling with substance use disorder. The Kenosha County crisis hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, at 262- 657-7188. You can also learn more about other resources at our website, https://tinyurl.com/KCOTF.”