Spike in COVID-19 cases in Kenosha County prompts concern by health officials

KENOSHA -- Seven people who either work in a bar or restaurant in Kenosha County have tested positive for COVID-19. Health officials say they have seen a 20 percent spike in cases since the Safer at Home order was lifted.

"We had our busiest day outside of an outbreak with 65 positive cases yesterday," said Dr. Jen Freiheit, Kenosha County Health Officer.

Freiheit told FOX6 News among those positive were seven people who work in a bar or restaurant.

Kenosha County has had a little more than a thousand positive cases of the coronavirus with 25 recorded deaths. The county shares a border with the state of Illinois -- and health officials say many residents there travel to Kenosha County for work. One of those locations is the Amazon fulfillment center. Freiheit said the health department recently paid a visit there.

Amazon Fulfillment Center, Kenosha

Amazon Fulfillment Center, Kenosha

"Every single person was wearing a mask, and there were measures put in place from social distancing to paint on the floor," Freiheit said.

Amazon has declined to provide an official number. But company officials have released multiple statements on their safety efforts. They have also released new footage of their operations during the pandemic.

According to the Kenosha County Health Department, Amazon has 20 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Kenosha County, But they do not have a concrete number because so many employees live outside the county. Health officials say it can sometimes take a month to six weeks to get information on a case from someone who lives in Illinois.

Amazon Fulfillment Center, Kenosha

"We do have a very difficult time getting that information from Illinois it sometimes comes back 6 weeks later," Freiheit said.

Residents are urged to wear masks in public -- and continue to operate with social distancing.

Kenosha County has identified its Hispanic population and undocumented workers as the most vulnerable to COVID-19. Officials are making every effort to reach them in a language they can understand.

Statement from Jen Crowcroft, Amazon spokesperson

"The Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian and the Kenosha County Health Department were able to observe first-hand the investments we have made in our safety measures, including enhanced daily cleaning, temperature checks, mandatory masks, and social distancing measures. We’ve already started testing associates at the sites in Kenosha, and will complete thousands of tests by the middle of next week."