RIVER FALLS — An unnamed apartment complex was identified over the weekend as the site of a COVID-19 outbreak, Pierce County Public Health announced Monday, May 18.

Members of three households tested positive for the respiratory illness and 11 others had symptoms, according to a news release. All individuals were being isolated or quarantined until no longer infectious.

Isolation entails separating infected individuals from people who do not have the disease, while quarantine is separating and restricting the movement of people exposed to a disease to see if they become ill, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The county health department worked with apartment management to notify all residents of the outbreak, Health Officer AZ Snyder said.

“Management is also going to do extra cleaning of common spaces,” Snyder said. “Each household is cooperating with Public Health and has agreed to stay home until we can determine they are no longer infectious.”

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Pierce County Public Health nor the city of River Falls will name the apartment complex, the news release states.

The outbreak is not connected to the reopening of businesses including bars Wednesday night, May 13, after the Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned the statewide Safer at Home order, Snyder said in an email.

"However, if our community does not keep up with physical distancing and avoiding large groups, this outbreak and outbreaks like this are likely to spread further," she said.

River Falls Mayor Dan Toland on Monday reiterated the need for continued measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“The health concerns and impacts from this virus are real," Toland said. "COVID-19 is in our community and we need to continue to be vigilant and socially responsible in order to limit the potential spread throughout our community and into the most vulnerable of our populations."

Symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • Fever of at least 100.4 degrees
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

Find more information about the pandemic and testing at https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/index.htm.