Hazardous Weather Outlook

The National Weather Service issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook, which stated “A long duration heat wave is possible Thursday through Memorial Day weekend. High temperatures may rise into the upper 80s to mid 90s each day with heat indices in the low to mid 90s. The very warm temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a heightened risk for heat illnesses, especially for those who are active or working outdoors." Please be sure to take appropriate actions to make sure that you and your family are safe.  Watch the video and click here to learn more.


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Prepare for Summer Boating by Installing a Marine Carbon Monoxide Detector

Properly working marine carbon monoxide detectors can save lives

As we head into boating season, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services wants to remind boaters to take action to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

“Many people don’t realize they can be poisoned from carbon monoxide while spending time on a boat,” said Dr. Jon Meiman, DHS Chief Medical Officer. “Installing marine carbon monoxide detectors on boats can save lives.”

In the right conditions, exhaust from a boat’s engine and generator can vent into the cabin, cockpit, and bridge and poison those aboard. This is especially a danger when boats are idling or traveling at slow speeds.

To protect yourself and your family from carbon monoxide, follow these safety tips:

  • Make sure you have a working marine carbon monoxide detector. Home detectors are not designed to work in a marine environment, so be sure to find a detector that is specifically for marine use. You can buy a marine detector from boating supply stores for $60-150. Owners can install battery-powered detectors, but marine technicians should install any hard-wired detectors. Like home detectors, marine detectors should be replaced every five years or according to manufacturer instructions. We highly recommend detectors for all fuel-burning boats with enclosed spaces that can be occupied by a person. Boat owners should strongly consider a detector for other boats with fuel-burning engines, even if they don’t have enclosed spaces.
  • Ensure all fuel-burning engines and appliances are properly installed and maintained. The U.S. Coast Guard has a helpful checklist  for inspecting your boat for exhaust-related problems.
  • Swim and play away from areas where engines vent their exhaust.
  • Never block exhaust outlets. Blocked outlets can cause carbon monoxide to build up in cabin and cockpit areas.
  • Limit the time your boat idles or runs at slow speeds.
  • Dock, beach, or anchor your boat at least 20 feet away from the nearest boat. Exhaust from nearby boats can build up near your boat’s cabin and cockpit.
  • Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning and take action if you see them. Carbon monoxide can’t be seen or smelled, and at high levels, it can cause death within minutes. Symptoms of overexposure to carbon monoxide include headache, fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea, and confusion. Keep in mind that carbon monoxide poisoning can seem like seasickness or alcohol intoxication. If you think you may be experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning, or your detector sounds an alarm, move to fresh air and call 911.

Wisconsin residents who boat in Minnesota waters should also be aware of Sophia’s Law, which went into effect on May 1, 2018. This law requires certain types of boats to display carbon monoxide warning stickers and/or be equipped with a marine carbon monoxide detector. Any boats used in Minnesota waters must comply with Sophia’s Law.

Welcome to the Polk County, Wisconsin Health Department Website!

Our agency provides services with the goal of protecting, promoting and preserving the health of our communities through partnerships with a diverse group of stakeholders. Our primary focus is the delivery of high quality public health services to the citizens of Polk County, Wisconsin. Please explore our department's website to learn more about what we do or to connect to a program that may be of benefit to you and your family. We value your comments and input on any of the posted reports and program services you have the opportunity to use or experience.



Asthma is a disease that affects your lungs. It causes repeated episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and nighttime or early morning coughing.

Asthma can be controlled by taking medicine and avoiding the triggers that can cause an attack. You must also remove the triggers in your environment that can make your asthma worse.

Click the link below to learn more about asthma.


2018 Recipient of the “Friend of Public Health" Award

Dr. Arne Lagus

Dr. Lagus has had 20 years of active participation on the Polk County Board of Health, while devoting over 50 years of his life as a family practice physician at SCRMC. He served as the Health Department’s Medical Advisor for many years, providing consultation and standing orders, and guidance and support to PCHD staff.

To quote Dr. Lagus, “The contribution I hope to make to Polk County is to develop policies that promote healthy lifestyles and healthy lives”.

Thank you Dr. Lagus for exemplifying the true meaning of a Friend of Public Health!


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