/ Articles / Vilas, Oneida counties issue travel advisory

Vilas, Oneida counties issue travel advisory

April 17, 2020 by Brett LaBore

The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of information and safety precautions because of COVID-19. 

In response to that, the Vilas County and Oneida County boards each issued a travel advisory March 20 to seasonal and second homeowners.

As of Sunday, there were still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in either Vilas or Oneida counties. 

Even so, the advisories cited the “high community transmission in certain areas of the state” as a primary reason people stay in their home areas if they have a seasonal or second home.

“Due to our very limited health care infrastructure, please do not visit us now,” the advisories read. 

People with seasonal homes in both counties are being asked to “please stay at your winter homes at this time” and if already back, must immediately self-isolate for 14 days.

“It’s a request,” Vilas County Board chairman Ron DeBruyne told The Lakeland Times on Sunday. 

“If someone, let’s say, has a winter home in Chicago or summer home in Three Lakes, it’s encouraged to stay at your winter home in Chicago,” Oneida County Board chairman Dave Hintz said. “It’s an advisory.” 

Both statements advise each county has “one of the highest populations of older adults in the state of Wisconsin,” a segment of the population identified by medical professionals at highest risk with regard to COVID-19.

“It is our priority to keep our older residents healthy and safe,” the advisories state.

“It’s the same reason the governor closed the schools and bars,” Hintz said. “All an attempt to flatten the curve, another instrument or technique to flatten the curve.”

Last week, the Oneida County board adopted a countywide COVID-19 emergency declaration. 

“Things might change,” Hintz said. “They’re going to change as we progress through this crisis. We have to be fluid and do the right thing as we go through this crisis. Right now restaurants and bars are closed. That’s a sacrifice for what we’re hoping is a short-term sacrifice for the long-term good.”

On the agenda for today’s meeting of the Vilas County board was a resolution to also adopt a countywide COVID-19 emergency declaration.

“As this moves forward there will be other resolutions,” DeBruyne told The Times and he echoed Hintz even further. 

“We’re all doing this to flatten the curve,” he said.

For the most up-to-date local information regarding COVID-19, follow the county’s websites. Vilas County Public Health’s website is https://health.vilascountywi.gov/ and Oneida County Public Health’s website is https://publichealth.co. oneida.wi.us.

Brett LaBore may be reached at [email protected] or [email protected]


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