For Immediate Release---Wisconsin Rapids, WI: March 16, 2020
City of Wisconsin Rapids Mayor Zachary Vruwink has declared a state of emergency in response to the
COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. The declaration follows Governor Evers’ emergency declaration and is
aimed at positioning the City of Wisconsin Rapids to be eligible to receive state and federal resources to help
mitigate the impacts of coronavirus.
“Today’s declaration is to help inform the public and help prevent the spread of coronavirus in our
community. This is about being mindful of our behavior but not inciting panic,” said Mayor Zachary Vruwink.
“We want residents to remain calm and take steps to ensure the safety of themselves and their families. I
encourage residents identify a household plan of action.”
City Departments have been coordinating internally and with other community institutions to develop plans
to reduce the spread of Covid-19 as well as make sure residents receive the best possible treatment.
In response to the outbreak the City recommends the following:
• Avoid traveling to areas of the country or state with confirmed cases of infection or that are known to
be high transmission areas
• Cancel events or gatherings of more than 50 people, take extra precautions or consider canceling
smaller events, and minimize your time public or commercial spaces with large amounts of people
• Continue to wash and sanitize your hands frequently, as well as clean common surfaces regularly
• Don’t shake hands, don’t touch your face, cover your cough
• Enact social distancing as much as possible when gathered with friends or in the work place – keeping
a distance of 6 feet between you and others
• If you get sick, don’t go to work, and call your medical provider before going in for treatment
• Gather a 2 week supply of food and needed prescriptions or medicine in case you need to suddenly
The City is also reviewing continuity plans for departments and instituting a series of internal measures to
ensure the safety of our employees and residents who may interact.
Residents are encouraged to stay up to date by visiting the CDC’s coronavirus website at
www.coronavirus.gov; follow the City and Wood County Health Department on Social Media.
For Immediate Release---Wisconsin Rapids, WI: March 13, 2020
The City continues to receive COVID-19 Coronavirus briefings and our team is proactively taking preparatory steps. As of this writing, there have not been any cases locally but out of an abundance of caution and preparedness, I offer the following to our residents.
While it is a business as usual situation at City buildings and operations, we are reviewing our Continuity of Operations plans in the event that further strategies are necessary. McMillan Memorial Library hours of business remain unchanged; however, scheduled programming has been suspended. The Lowell Senior Center’s hours remain unchanged, however, out of an abundance of caution, Thursday and Sunday Bingo has been suspended.
Further, with the Centralia Center as a designated polling place and because of Department of Health Services (DHS) directives related to public health, vulnerable populations and large public gatherings, the Lowell Center will be closed on April 7th.
We recommend anyone wishing to avoid voting in person on April 7th, request an absentee ballot by mail from myvote.wi.gov no later than April 2nd. Alternatively, In-Person Absentee Voting will begin at City Hall on Monday, March 23rd from 8-4:30 p.m. until Friday, April 3rd. Voters who have questions about voting can contact the City Clerk at (715) 421-8200.
The City is taking steps to mitigate transmission including:
• Posting reminders at all City facilities to regularly wash your hands and cover your cough;
• Cleaning public-facing areas more frequently;
• Providing staff with information on basic protective measures;
• Reducing in-person meetings whenever possible; Encouraging Social Distancing;
• Reminding our employees to stay home if they are feeling sick;
• Implementing self-quarantine requirements from any level 2 or 3 country OR any state with sustained community transmission consistent with the CDC data.
• Reminding individuals experiencing symptoms to call the nurse line or healthcare provider before calling 911 or reporting to the ER, unless it’s a true emergency.
The City will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as necessary. This is a rapidly evolving situation. For the latest information, visit the CDC’s coronavirus webpage or the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website.