Collaborative: La Crosse County COVID-19 metrics remain in the red

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — Metrics released Wednesday by the Coulee COVID-19 Collaborative show La Crosse County is still facing a coronavirus crisis.

La Crosse County’s case and new hospitalization rates remain high, according to the release. There are an average of 78.3 new cases per 100,000 per day in the county and 18.4 new hospitalizations per 100,000 per day.

“The past seven days saw the number of cases decrease; however due to the Thanksgiving holiday, there was a decrease in the number of tests completed. This means there may be additional cases not reflected in the data,” according to the collaborative, which includes the La Crosse County Health Department, Gundersen Health System and Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare.

The rate of positive tests remains at 1 in 3.

The collaborative urged people to seek testing if they attended a gathering for Thanksgiving and noted the impact of the holiday-related travel will not be seen for a few weeks.

“Too many people are still contracting and spreading COVID-19. The next several weeks remain important–the behaviors of every community member will determine the trends,” it said.

The collaborative also addressed the U.S. Center for Disease Control’s release of new quarantine guidance, which changed the recommendation from 14 to 10 days of quarantine.

“We will update guidance as these changes are reviewed by the WI Department of Health Services. A fourteen-day quarantine after a COVID-19 exposure remains the recommendation from WI Department of Health Services at this time,” it said.

The Coulee COVID-19 Collaborative recommended schools cancel all in-person sports, chorus, clubs, practices and other activities through Dec. 18 and recommended virtual learning. It also renewed its call for everyone to wear a mask, avoid touching their face, wash their hands thoroughly and physically distance.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported Wednesday that La Crosse County had 83 additional test-confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 8,209. Thirty-seven county residents have died of the virus.