What you should know about COVID-19

What is COVID-19?
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a virus strain that began to spread in people in December 2019.COVID-19 is a new (novel) respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. COVID-19 is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold. Formerly, this disease was referred to as "2019 novel coronavirus" or "2019-nCoV."
COVID-19 is still spreading and new variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, continue to be identified in our state. Studies show that new variants of SARS-CoV-2 may spread more easily and rapidly than the original strain of SARS-CoV-2
How is COVID-19 spread?
COVID-19 is typically spread to others when an infected person coughs or sneezes because the virus is found in droplets from the throat and nose. This is similar to how influenza is spread. When someone coughs or sneezes, other people near them can breathe in those droplets. The virus can also spread when an infected person touches an object (such as a common surface) followed by another person touching it then their mouth, face, or eyes.

Symptoms to Watch For:

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

Other symptoms are signs of serious illness. If someone has trouble breathing, chest pain or pressure, or difficulty staying awake, get medical care immediately.


 Isolation Guidance 


Staying Safe in Your Community & Considerations for Events and Gatherings

See Guidance for Specific Activities and Considerations for Gatherings

Data & Additional Information

  • Wisconsin COVID-19 Coronavirus Information - New site dedicated to providing timely WI COVID-19 information.
  • DHS Health Alert Network (HAN) is now active. Health care providers and other officials engaged in the COVID-19 response have been automatically subscribed to the HAN. Individuals can subscribe and unsubscribe using their preferred email address here.
  • Have you heard rumors about coronavirus? Click HERE for FEMA's Coronavirus Rumor Control.

Cleaning and Disinfection

  • How do I clean and disinfect my home? Click HERE for more information.

Employment Issues

Food Pantries & Donations

Mental Health Support

  • COPE Services Hotline: 262-377-2673
  • IMPACT 2-11 (dial 2-1-1)
  • Crisis Text Line: Text MHA to 741 741 and you will be connected to a trained Crisis Counselor. 
  • SAMHSA Disaster Helpline
    • Text "TalkWithUs" to 66746
    • Distress Line: 1-800-985-5990


  • Click HERE for information about pregnancy and breastfeeding during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Prevent the Spread of Illness


Important Ways to Slow the Spread

What to Do If You're Sick

  • Stay home except to get medical care. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider and get tested.
  • Isolate yourself from others, including those living in your household, to prevent spread to them and the people that they may have contact with, like grandparents.
  • Call 911 if you are having emergency warning signs, like trouble breathing, pain or pressure in chest.

Questions? Email us.

Email [email protected] with your questions.
If you'd like to report a complaint, please email: [email protected]

COVID-19 and Stigma

Diseases can make anyone sick regardless of race, ethnicity, age.

People of Asian descent, including Chinese Americans, are not more likely to get COVID-19 than any other American. People who have traveled to places where many people have gotten sick with COVID-19 may be monitored by health officials to protect their health and the health of other people in the community. Older adults and people with chronic medical conditions may be at increased risk for severe disease.

Key Messages



Press Releases & Other Documents

Orders of the Health Officer