Prairie Ridge Health has been preparing for the potential spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the US. “Hospitals treat patients with a variety of infectious diseases every day,” said Jamie Hendrix, MSN, RN, Vice President of Patient Care Services. “Our clinic and hospital care teams participate in ongoing emergency preparedness training to help us put systems in place to handle an influx of patients while keeping our healthcare providers safe so they may care for others. The spread of COVID-19 puts us on heightened alert to put what we know in place to protect and care for the communities we serve.”

Coronavirus or "COVID-19," is an infection caused by a specific virus called SARS-CoV-2. It first appeared in late 2019 in the city of Wuhan, China. People with COVID-19 can have fever, cough, and trouble breathing. 

We are working closely with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), local public health officials, and the Wisconsin Hospital Association WHA). Prairie Ridge Health is also doing the following to help prevent the potential spread of COVID-19 to our patients, team, visitors, and communities.

To learn about what Prairie Ridge Health has done to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19 to our patients, team, visitors, and communities - please click here.

For more information about COVID-19 please visit www.CDC.Gov or call Columbia County Public Health at 1-608-742-9227

To see which counties in Wisconsin have Confirmed Positive COVID-19 Tests, please visit the Department of Health and Human Services Website.

“The situation is evolving every day,” said Hendrix. "The key is to look to the future and not the current moment so we can safeguard our patients, team, and the communities we serve.”  

To learn more about COVID-19, please visit the CDC's COVID-19 website



The virus mainly spreads from person to person, similar to the flu. This usually happens when a sick person coughs or sneezes near other people. It's also possible to get sick if you touch a surface that has the virus on it and then touch your mouth, nose, or eyes. 

Click Here To Learn More About How It Spreads





Symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, fatigue, trouble breathing, muscle aches) usually start a few days after a person is infected with the virus. But in some people, it can take even longer for symptoms to appear.

Click Here To Learn More About COVID-19 Symptoms


Prevent Your Risk of Illness

The CDC asks that community members practice the following:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, or having been in a public place.
  • Avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public places – elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, handshaking with people, etc.
  • Avoid touching your face, nose, eyes, etc.
  • Clean and disinfect your home. Clean frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks & cell phones)
  • Avoid crowds. Your risk of exposure to respiratory viruses like COVID-19 may increase in crowded, closed-in settings if there are people in the crowd who are sick.
Click Here To Learn More About How To Prevent COVID-19



If Your Sick - Steps to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

If you are sick or suspect you are sick with COVID-19, call your primary care provider and following the CDC guidelines:

Stay Home

  • Stay home: People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness. You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care.
  • Avoid public areas: Do not go to work, school, or public areas.
  • Avoid public transportation: Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, multiple times a day. Especially before and after using the bathroom, before and after eating, and before and after going into public spaces. 
  • Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • If you are sick, you should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) or pets and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office.
  • If you have a medical appointment, call the healthcare provider prior and tell them of your symptoms. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take proper precautions.

Call Your Primary Care Provider

Traveled to an area of confirmed cases or exposure: If you believe you have been exposed to or have come into contact with COVID-19, please call your primary care provider prior to BEFORE arriving and tell them of your travel or potential exposure. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take proper precautions.
Sign up for MyChart to receive your healthcare labs and test results in real-time. To learn more about MyChart - please click on

MyChart Brochure    

Call Your Close Contacts

What are my next steps if I tested positive for COVID-19? Notifying your own close contacts of their exposure to COVID-19 can help limit the spread in your community.

Who should I notify and how do I tell them? 

Click Here To Learn More About What To Do If You Are Sick




COVID-19 Local Data
What we are doing about COVID
What's Happening at Prairie Ridge Health
FREE COVID-19 Testing in Columbia, Dane, and Dodge Counties
Watch COVID Videos - #LetsGoWI and #StopTheCOVIDSpread