Mayor Mike Wiza talks with students from Madison Elementary in 2017. (Metro Wire photo)

Wiza declares state of emergency for Stevens Point

Metro Wire Staff

Mayor Mike Wiza has declared a state of emergency in Stevens Point.

The announcement came Wednesday afternoon by email. In his message to the press, Wiza said the declaration follows an emergency declaration by Gov. Tony Evers earlier this week. The declaration opens the city up for possible state and federal aid to help mitigate the COVID-19 crisis.

“This is about taking precautions and not about creating panic,” Wiza’s email reads in part. “We want residents to remain calm and take steps to ensure the safety of themselves and their families.”

Wiza also encouraged city residents to create a “household plan of action,” but did not elaborate. A message seeking clarification was not immediately returned.

In response to the outbreak, the city recommends the following:

• Avoid traveling to areas with confirmed cases of infection or that are known to be high transmission areas
• Cancel events or gatherings of more than 10 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 workplace – 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
• Acquire needed prescriptions and supplies in case you need to suddenly self-quarantine.

The city is also reviewing continuity plans for each of its departments, Wiza said, and instituting a series of internal measures to ensure the safety of employees and residents who may interact.