COVID-19 Information

Critical Information Regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Total Tests Received: 28,015

COVID-19 is a virus that spreads when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or contaminates a surface which then infects another individual upon contact. This is how many respiratory illnesses like Influenza spread. The best protection from respiratory illnesses like these include: wearing a mask, covering your cough, washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, staying home when you are sick, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and finally clean surfaces at home and work often with a disinfectant.

The Manitowoc County Health Department is working with Federal, State, and Local partners to identify and test who may be infected and identify any contacts with possible exposure. 


Health Alert Sent on November 2, 2020FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 2, 2020

COVID-19 Health Alert: Community Action Needed to Stop the Spread of SARS-CoV-2

The County of Manitowoc is currently experiencing very high levels of COVID-19 infections and significant community spread. Manitowoc County Health Department, as well as area healthcare providers, have been under significant strain due to these increasing numbers. Wisconsin’s daily numbers keep getting worse. In these two months, the seven-day average has increased over 500%. It took us seven and a half months to get to 100,000 cases and only took us 36 days to get to 200,000.

Our hospital systems are understaffed and in the past week, Wisconsin has seen a 15.9% increase in COVID patient hospitalizations compared to the previous week, as well as, a 13.6% increase in COVID patients in the ICU compared to the previous week. This is an emergency. Emergencies call for drastic and collective action.

Act Now-Stop the Spread

Manitowoc County Health Department needs the community to do the following:

  • Wear a mask unless you are unable to do so for a medical reason
  • Stay home- only travel for essentials. Support local businesses by ordering take-out or delivery
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Social distance (stay 6 feet apart)
  • Limit groups gatherings to 10
  • Get your flu shot
    - This can decrease the amount of influenza hospitalizations and reduce the burden of our hospitals
  • Seek testing if you have any symptoms of COVID-19, regardless of if you have a fever or not, or get tested if you have been identified as a close contact
    - Contact your healthcare provider or visit a community testing site. A list of testing sites can be found at the following link Manitowoc County Testing Sites or under the Manitowoc County Health Department’s COVID-19 tab
    -Manitowoc has a National Guard Testing Site at the County Expo Center, Tuesday November 3 & 17 and December 1, for anyone who has been exposed or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
    - It is recommended that if you are a close contact that you seek testing day 7-10 after your exposure to ensure an accurate result. Testing too early or too late can produce negative results
    - Stay home after you have been tested and await results
    - A negative test result does not release a close contact from quarantine

Positive Individuals

  • If you test positive, stay home and isolate for a minimum of 10 days after symptom onset. If no symptoms, remain isolated for 10 days from the date of testing
    - All household members are close contacts and should also remain at home
  • Inform all other close contacts of your test result
    A close contact is someone who:
    1. Was within 6ft of the positive individual for more than 15 minutes in a 24 hour period starting from 2 days before the positive person experienced symptoms- regardless of if they were wearing a mask or not
    2. Any person who had physical contact (hugs, handshakes), for any period of time during the infectious period
  • Inform your employer or school of your result
    - You are able to return to normal daily activities on day 11, provided that you have been symptom free for 24 hours
    - All close contacts should quarantine for 14 days from the last contact with the positive individual. For household members, this may be longer if you cannot fully separate in the house

For more information and guidance visit the COVD-19 FAQs for Positives and Close Contacts on the Manitowoc County Health Department web page


  • Promote opportunities to work from home
  • Support physical distancing inside your facility
  • Require employees and patrons to wear a mask
  • Bars, restaurants, hospitality and retail: limit building capacity to 25%
  • If an employee tests positive or are identified as close contacts, allow them to isolate or quarantine to prevent further spread through your business

We’re all tired and we want to return to normal, but that cannot happen until we get the virus under control. Remember you can have, and spread COVID-19 without realizing you have it. Which means you could be the reason your friends or extended family members or the server at the restaurant – really, anyone you interact with – gets sick. For more COVID-19 guidance visit the Manitowoc County Health Department web page at


Protecting the Community, Your Family, and Yourself

The Health Department urges everyone to come together as a community and use protective measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 and help keep available the limited resources to care for those most in need by doing the following:

  • Practice social distancing.
      • Keep at least 6-feet of distance between you and others whenever possible.
  • Wear a face mask.
      • Governor Tony Evers signed Emergency Order #1 on July 30th, 2020. This order is for "Every individual, age five and older, in Wisconsin" to "wear a face covering if both of the following apply":
        • a. The individual is indoors or in an enclosed space, other than at a
          private residence; and;
        • b. Another person or persons who are not members of individual's
          household or living unit are present in the same room or enclosed
        • Face coverings are strongly recommended in all other settings, including
          outdoors when it is not possible to maintain physical distancing."
        • FAQ about the Masking Order can be found here
        • On September 22, 2020: Governor Evers extended the state wide mask mandate through 11/21, or through the end of a superseding order.
  • Wash your hands often
      • Use soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating and after going to the bathroom, blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • Cancel, postpone, and/or avoid group gatherings with individuals that live outside of your household.
  • Quarantine and monitor for symptoms
      • Quarantine is 14 days after last exposure to an individual who tested positive for COVID-19. Quarantine times differ for household contacts and contacts who become symptomatic during their quarantine.
  • You can plan and make decisions now that will protect you and your family during a COVID-19 outbreak. Learn what you can do to prepare your home and family.

Testing Criteria

Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 or who has been exposed to COVID-19 regardless of symptoms should contact their doctor and ask to be tested. 

WI DHS updates their How to Get Tested page frequently with new information including:

- Latest signs and symptoms of COVID-19
- What to do after being tested
- FAQs including information on Antibody Testing
- Interactive map of community testing sites in WI

Local testing options can be found by visiting our Testing Locations Page

Travel Guidance

Manitowoc County Health Department recommends limiting non-essential domestic and international travel.

Travel within Wisconsin

WI DHS does not recommend travel between private homes within the state. For example, avoid travel to seasonal homes or rental cabins. Individuals may spread COVID-19 to areas with few doctors or hospitals. Several counties in Wisconsin have issued travel advisories for seasonal and second homeowners. If you must travel, be sure to check for area-specific safety updates and closures. You may need to stay in place, or self-quarantine, for 14 days.

Bring everything you will need, including your own groceries, medications, and toiletries. You should practice enhanced personal hygiene at all times.

Important: Do not travel if you or someone in your home is sick with symptoms of COVID-19.

International Travel

International (overseas) and U.S. travel is risky, and the level of risk in the community you wish to travel to may change quickly. If you must travel, you should prepare for:

  • Changing travel restrictions
  • Staying in-place if you get sick, and planning for the impact of being away from your home for an extended period of time
  • Some cities and counties in Wisconsin may have you stay at home, or self-quarantine for 14 days after your travel

Find all of this and more on WI DHS's Travel page.


Timeline of Events

For more information visit the sites below. If you have questions or concerns please contact the Manitowoc County Health Department during business hours at 920-683-4155.