Crossing Rivers urges taking precautions for the holidays and after

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On Friday, Nov. 20, Governor Tony Evers signed Executive Order #95 declaring a State of Emergency and Public Health Emergency, and he reissued Emergency Order #1 requiring individuals over the age of 5 to wear a face mask while indoors or in an enclosed space with those outside their household. 

“Wisconsin hospitals are overwhelmed and facing staffing shortages,” said Gov. Evers. “We continue to see record-setting days of COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin. We need everyone to stay home and wear a mask if you have to you go out. We need your help to stop the spread of this virus, and we all have to do this together.”

Jenny Pritchett, chief clinical officer at Crossing Rivers Health, stated, “The surge in COVID patients is affecting our health system locally, right here in Prairie du Chien. We understand that the holidays are about spending time with family, but it is up to each and every one of us to protect our families and residents of our communities. 

“We urge residents to show your concern for your family, friends, health care workers, and your community by not gathering with others outside of your household and finding alternative ways to celebrate the holidays this year.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to do so at home, with the people you live under the same roof with. Gatherings of family and friends who do not live with you can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu. The CDC shares additional holiday safety tips at

Pritchett added, “Avoiding gatherings and taking precautions—wearing a mask, distancing yourself, washing your hands, and staying home when you’re ill, except to get medical care—is the best way you can protect yourself and your loved ones.”

Guidance for COVID-19 positive tests or exposures

If an individual tests positive for COVID-19 or has been exposed to someone who tested positive, he or she should quarantine. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms.

People in quarantine should stay home and cancel or reschedule non-emergent health care appointments, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their local health department. Additional information relating to quarantine can be found at

Those feeling ill should call for guidance

“Because this time of year presents many different illnesses that may be circulating, if you’re ill, it is in your best interest to be seen by your health care provider for diagnosis and to determine what testing may be appropriate,” stated Pritchett. “If you have urgent or emergent needs, our emergency department is available 24/7 and urgent care is available 8 a.m.-8 p.m. seven days a week. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please call for guidance before coming in, (608) 357-2000.”

Even mild symptoms or symptoms that individuals normally experience this time of year must not be dismissed. Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms may include a fever of more than 100 degrees, a cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, sinus congestion or pressure, runny nose, and/or loss of smell or taste.

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