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Rusk County News


Skies will begin partly cloudy today across the Chippewa Valley, and will remain that way through the day. To our south, a storm system will start taking shaping over the Plains, but should remain far enough removed to not really impact our weather while the sun is out. For the Coulee Region, this could mean more clouds by the early afternoon however. The air mass will also start to warm, so we will have a good shot at reaching the mid 50’s. After dark, showers will enter the Coulee Region, and will be spotty into the Chippewa Valley. The storm system to the south will then lift up to the northeast while gaining strength. Plenty of moisture will be drawn northward and the result will be a soggy day on Saturday. Strengthening east and northeast winds ahead of the low will add to the mess, so not a great one to take a break from indoor social distancing. Rain is expected to fill in and fall through the afternoon while highs stay in the 40’s. Rumbles of thunder are possible at times, especially in the evening as the heaviest bands roll through. Rain will then start to exit later overnight and that northern edge could again include a bit of wet snow. A lingering shower of rain/snow is possible into early Sunday but drier air will be taking hold. Clouds may not be able to break up much however, while temperatures fall just short of 50. Breezy conditions will persist through much of Sunday as well.

MADISON – Wisconsin health officials report another jump in the number of positive COVID-19 tests. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services on Thursday reported 707 positive cases of the coronavirus. That’s more than 120 cases since Wednesday, when 585 positive tests were reported. On Thursday we learned seven people have now tested positive for coronavirus in Eau Claire County. All of those who have tested positive are quarantined at home.

Chippewa County (WQOW) -Another person in Chippewa County has tested positive for COVID-19 and now county health officials are investigating whether community spread is happening. According to public health director Angie Weideman, four people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Chippewa County. That is up from just one person two days ago. Of the four people, Weideman said two of them are over the age of 55 and two are under 30. Weideman also said two of the four did not travel out of the area and was asked whether community spread is taking place in Chippewa County. Weideman said they are not saying that right now because the cases are still under investigation. She said all four of the patients are at home and doing well. Public health staff members check in daily to see how they are doing. The four positive tests in Chippewa County are among more than 200 people tested for COVID-19 in the county. No word on how many of those tests have come back negative and how many are still pending.

In Dunn County, two people have now tested positive. The second person to test positive is in the hospital.

Milwaukee County reports two more deaths from COVID-19, bringing Wisconsin’s death toll from the disease to 10. The Milwaukee County medical examiner’s office says a 79-year-old Milwaukee woman with underlying health conditions died Thursday from complications of the coronavirus. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the medical examiner’s office tweeted that a 65-year-old woman from Milwaukee died Thursday afternoon. The number of deaths in Wisconsin caused by COVID-19 stands at ten with the last two in Milwaukee County.

LADYSMITH – We reported Thursday that 16 Wisconsin companies were accused of price gouging. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection said Wednesday that it has sent the letters to companies including Menards, Walgreens, Wal-Mart and Ace Hardware. The Ace Hardware store is located in Delavan, Wisconsin and not the Ace Home Center in Ladysmith. The consumer protection agency said it received dozens of complaints at over a hundreds stores across the state.

Marshfield – To help “flatten the curve,” Marshfield Clinic Health System is implementing temporary changes in the hours of operations at our centers throughout Wisconsin. These changes will allow us to reallocate providers, staff and supplies in anticipation of a surge of patients who may have COVID-19 and most importantly, keep our patients and staff safe. All of our hospitals remain open 24/7. We encourage patients to call ahead and verify if their appointments are still scheduled and if the appointment has been moved to a different location. We realize this is a difficult decision, but we are doing this to be most prepared to treat our patients with COVID-19 symptoms. We need to be ready for the surge of cases. For hours of operation for the Marshfield Medical Center- Ladysmith Hospital will be services 24/7, with potential modifications to select services. No surgeries/procedures until further notice. For the Ladysmith Center, they will be open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8 AM to 3 PM. Closed Tuesday and Thursday. Urgent Care is open.

Eau Claire (WQOW) – There are many orders and restrictions in place to help keep people safe amid this pandemic, but some people are worried their employers aren’t complying. Within the last few days, News 18 received emails from viewers in the Chippewa Valley saying their companies are not taking the necessary steps to protect their employees from the virus. If you’re worried about your work environment, for example, if you feel like it’s not being disinfected enough or people are not properly quarantining themselves, then health officials say don’t stay silent. “We count on their employers understanding that if they have sick employees that it’s not going to help anybody. It won’t help their business and it certainly won’t help their community. If a conversation with the employer is not working, we encourage people to call the COVID-19 line and we will respond to that,” said Lieske Giese, director of the Eau Claire City-County Health Department. If you’d like to report an unsafe work environment, you can also file a report with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA. Once you’re on OSHA’s website, scroll down and click “use the online complaint form” and fill out the establishment’s name, a description of the hazard, and other items.