Collaborative: La Crosse area COVID-19 case rate remains in the red

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — The rate of new COVID-19 cases remains concerning, according to the Coulee COVID-19 Collaborative, which noted that this past week saw multiple clusters from work-related exposures.

The collaborative — which includes the La Crosse County Health Department, Mayo Clinic Health System and Gundersen Health System — tracked 384 new cases this past week and 46 were linked to a workplace outbreak.

The group recommends people stay home from work and seek out a COVID-19 test if they are feeling ill.

La Crosse County saw eight residents die of COVID-19 over the past week and the case fatality rate remains significantly higher among seniors. A total of 53 residents have died since the pandemic began.

“During this holiday week, it is important that residents of La Crosse County be very diligent with their actions, especially surrounding older family members who are at higher risk of complications, hospitalization and death,” said the collaborative in a statement.

Health officials recommended against holiday celebrations between multiple households, saying the safest thing to do was stay home.

When it comes to schools, the collaborative said there is no one-size-fits-all option.

“The Collaborative is supportive of school districts reviewing best practices, school district and school-specific data, and current science to implement learning models that best support their students’ wellbeing. This includes support for schools and districts who have developed and implemented plans for in-person learning models with health and safety at the forefront, as well as support for districts who opt to remain virtual,” it said.

The new case rate is steady 46.5 per 100,000 per day and the new hospitalization rate is 11.9 per 100,000 per day, both of which are concerning for health experts.

View the entire collaborative update here: Coulee COVID Collaborative Update

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported Wednesday that La Crosse County had 75 new lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases. DHS reported 2,579 new cases and 69 new deaths statewide.