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Freiheit: Not Over This Yet by Any Stretch

May 20, 2020 8:35p; Updated at 9:05p to correct number of new cases

(WGTD)---Even though 'Safer at Home' is no longer in effect, Kenosha County hasn't turned the corner on the pandemic, according to Kenosha County Health Department Director Jen Freiheit. 

"We have not moved into a long-term recovery phase," Freiheit said in her weekly telephone briefing to the community. "But the spigot has been opened and the economy is coming back so we have moved into more of a harm-reduction phase," she said.

Kenosha County has only achieved two of the six criteria that were outlined in Gov. Evers' "Bounce Back" plan for the state. By comparison, the state as a whole has met four of six. If the original rules were in place, Kenosha County restaurants and hair salons, for example, would not be allowed to reopen.

Freiheit and other health care professionals predicted a surge in cases if businesses were allowed to reopen too quickly. Freiheit conceded Wednesday night that states that reopened several weeks ahead of Wisconsin have not, for the most part, seen a spike in cases.

"I would love to be proven wrong," Freiheit said. "But we're going to continue in the meantime to use the data and the best science we have. Public health will be prepared for the worst," she said.

Freiheit reported 61 new cases in Kenosha County, bringing the total to 929. There's been one additional death, increasing that total to 21. Currently, 12 patients are hospitalized in Kenosha County. 

Over the past two days, over 370 people have been tested at a new testing station that opened Monday in the parking lot of Pick 'n' Save on Kenosha's south side. Kenosha County has been averaging 87 tests per day. Freiheit said several weeks ago that her daily testing goal is 257.

According to state numbers, eight long-term care facilities in Kenosha County have had at least one positive, along with 22 workplaces, excluding health care facilities. 

Freiheit urged continue vigilance. "The virus is still here," she said. "Just because the economy has opened it doesn't mean that we are over this by any stretch of the imagination." 

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