Vilas County Public Health Department confirmed its first case of COVID-19 in Vilas County Wednesday  afternoon.

The case is a 65-year-old male with recent out-of-state travel history, according to Laurel Dreger, Vilas County Health Department director/health officer.

The man is currently hospitalized, but in stable condition. The health department will be contacting individuals who may have had close contact with the man, according to Dreger.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath. People who think they may have COVID-19 should call the clinic or hospital before going to the medical facility (do not call 911; this should be reserved for those needing critical emergency attention.)

“The best thing people can do right now is to follow our governor’s orders to stay home. If you are sick, you should not be going out at all. Have other people get your essential items, such as groceries,” said Dreger. “For those who are able to work or get their essential items, please follow the social distancing recommendations of 6 feet.

Dreger said people should  practice the following steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses:

• Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

• Carry and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if hand washing is not an option.

• Do not touch your face (eyes, mouth, nose).

• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

• Do not share eating utensils, water bottles, beverage containers or other personal items.

• Stay home when you are sick.

• Avoid close contact (6 feet or less) with anyone with cold or flulike symptoms.

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

• If you develop a cough, fever or shortness of breath or other respiratory symptoms after traveling, stay home and contact your health-care provider for instructions before going to a clinic.

For the latest information, visit the Centers for Disease Control’s website at, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ website at or the Vilas County Public Health Department’s website at