Washington Ozaukee health officials release names of long-term care facilities with COVID-19 outbreaks

OZAUKEE COUNTY -- Officials with the Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department on Thursday, April 2 announced the release of ZIP codes and names of long-term care facilities or organizations with COVID-19 outbreaks.

This information can be found on the health department’s online dashboard HERE.

Health officials said in a news release after significant deliberation and research, they determined it is in the best interest of the public to make this information available in an effort to protect the health of residents by sharing the most accurate information, slow the spread of COVID-19 and promote a culture of transparency and honesty.

“The intention of our orders and the release of this information is to help us return to normal life as quickly as possible,” said Washington Ozaukee Health Officer Kirsten Johnson in the release.

An outbreak in a long-term care facility is defined as one resident with a laboratory confirmed test or two employees with laboratory confirmed tests. For all other organizations, an outbreak is defined as any two people with laboratory confirmed positive tests who are affiliated with the organization and were exposed at the same time, the release noted.

Health officials said in the release they believe people have a right to know where outbreaks are concentrated in order to protect themselves and their loved ones from exposure to the virus. Additionally, long-term care facility staff and management should be aware of outbreak locations to make appropriate staffing decisions, especially if staff work at more than one facility. Individuals that may attend religious services as a guest or non-member, where they otherwise may not be informed through communication to regular members, should be made aware of possible exposure, as well. Finally, health officials asked organizations and businesses to be forthcoming with their employees and clients when there is a positive case among them to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

In the release, health officials noted evidence of community spread in both Washington and Ozaukee counties.

As of Thursday, there had been four deaths at Village Pointe Commons in Grafton, and a fifth death at another long-term care facility in Ozaukee County. In Washington County, there had been two deaths as of Thursday, one at a long-term care facility, and the other a Waukesha County employee from Germantown.