COVID-19 in your community

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Helping you to keep track of this historic event in our counties and our country, we've archived our stories here.


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Here's the latest

UPDATE Aug. 4, 5:30 p.m.

COVID testing available locally

A negative COVID-19 test is good news, but the celebration may be short-lived.

Tests for the public — for people who have been exposed to COVID-19 or have symptoms — are available in several locations in northeast Wisconsin. However the test, like so many other aspects of COVID-19, does not provide 100% reassurance against having the virus.

A negative test means that the person tested is not currently sick or does not have enough virus yet to show up in a test. Vicki Dantoin, Shawano-Menominee Counties health officer, noted that if someone is exposed to a person with COVID-19, self-quarantine remains an important way to stop the spread of the disease.

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UPDATE Aug. 4, 5:30 p.m.

Shawano School Board approves reopening plan

The Shawano School Board approved the district’s reopening plan Monday, with the current first week of school looking to be a hybrid model unless the county’s health risk drops or a newly forming committee determines otherwise, whichever comes first.

Under the hybrid model, students at Hillcrest Primary School and Olga Brener Intermediate School would be in school five days a week, but Shawano Community Middle School and Shawano Community High School students will attend two days a week while spending the other three days learning online.

Some parents commenting on the issue at the board meeting want to see all the schools providing in-person education five days a week. Parent Brent Polzin submitted a letter supporting the idea and urging the district to make it a reality on day one. He also wrote that he had a petition with more than 500 signatures in support of in-person education.

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UPDATE Aug. 4, 5:30 p.m.

Gresham eyes 4-day school week with Wednesday break

The Gresham School District is planning to have students in the classroom four days out of the week, closing Wednesdays for deep cleaning.

Whether that plan goes into effect will depend on the results of a survey being sent out this week and the decision of the Gresham School Board later in August. Superintendent Newell Haffner hopes the proposed reopening plan will be an acceptable compromise between those who believe schools should be open five days per week and those who believe it’s too risky to open until the coronavirus is under control.

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UPDATE Aug. 1, 2 p.m.

Evers issues order requiring face coverings statewide

Gov. Tony Evers declared a public health emergency Thursday and issued an emergency order requiring individuals to wear face coverings when indoors and not in a private residence, with some exceptions as clarified and defined in the order.

The order is effective at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday and will expire on Sept. 28 or by a subsequent superseding order.

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UPDATE Aug. 1, 2 p.m.

Menominee order closes gambling, bars

Gambling on the Menominee Reservation has been closed and restrictions have been imposed on restaurants, bars and other businesses in an emergency order by the Menominee Indian Tribe ‘s COVID-19 incident command.

Incident command also ordered public safety actions within businesses, in response to growing public health threat posed by COVID-19, according to their press release Friday afternoon.

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Businesses including Travel


City government


UPDATE Aug. 4, 5:30 p.m.

COVID dismissed as cause for complaint uptick

A fistfight, even one in a cemetery over a remark about a deceased relative, wouldn’t normally be a big item of interest.

The Shawano County Sheriff’s Department responded to such an altercation in the Town of Wescott on July 29, according to George Lenzner, chief deputy. Two men, ages 41 and 67, admitted to the fight and were issued disorderly conduct citations, Lenzner added.

Emergency responders checked the older man’s injuries, but nothing serious was reported, Lenzner said.

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UPDATE Aug. 4, 5:30 p.m.

Oconto County sheriff clarifies approach to mask mandate

Oconto County Sheriff Todd Skarban says his office supports individual actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but deputies will not be dispatched to respond to complaints if the only problem is that someone is not wearing a mask.

The sheriff issued a statement July 31 after Gov. Tony Evers declared that anyone age 5 or older must wear face coverings indoors or in enclosed spaces when non-family members are nearby.

As of Monday, Oconto County had recorded 183 positive tests for coronavirus and 5,618 negative tests, although the number of positives jumped by more than 120 since June 30. No deaths from COVID-19 have been reported in the county.

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County and State Government

Gas prices / consumer issues

Health system


UPDATE Aug. 4, 5:30 p.m.

Sacred Heart plans ‘blended learning’ for school year

Sacred Heart Catholic School believes it has everything it needs to have students in the classroom five days a week for the 2020-21 school year — although like other schools, it’s taking things one day at a time with the coronavirus.

Sacred Heart will be implementing “blended learning,” according to principal Gary Cumberland, with online learning taking place if the school has to close due to an outbreak within the school or a state order like the one Gov. Tony Evers gave in March. Most classrooms are already around 10 or 11 students, Cumberland said, but those that are larger will be broken up between the teacher and classroom aides to avoid having too many people in one location.

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UPDATE Aug. 1, 2 p.m.

Oconto Falls school board approves 4-day week in person

The Oconto Falls School Board has asked administrators to move forward with a four-day in-person class schedule for all students this academic year.

Board members also voted July 29 to require face masks for staff, students and visitors in school buildings and buses, with exceptions considered for medically certified conditions and certain other situations.

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UPDATE July 28, 4:45 p.m.

MISD reopening schools with hybrid learning

Menominee Indian School District announced last week the details for a school reopening plan where students will be attending schools two days a week and learning virtually during the other three.

Beginning Sept. 21, students living in Keshena will be attending school on Mondays and Tuesdays, while students living on the rest of the reservation and in Shawano will attend Thursdays and Fridays. The school buildings will be closed Wednesdays, when schools will do deep cleaning to further prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

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UPDATE July 27, 4:45 p.m.

Menominee tribal offices closed for 2 weeks

Citing the continued rise in tribal and local community COVID-19 cases, the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin is temporarily closing its tribal government offices and facilities for a two-week period, starting Tuesday until Aug. 11.

According to data, the Menominee Reservation COVID-19 positive cases have nearly doubled within a week’s time. The reservation, which shares boundaries with Menominee County, has 17 positive cases with 8 being active cases as of Monday.

Tribal government employees in four different departments have tested positive and employees in three other departments have had direct contact with positive cases.

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State, CDC links

Wisconsin Department of Health Services

U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention