La Crosse County warns of COVID-19 spread in K-12 students

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — La Crosse County is experiencing a concerning increase of COVID-19 infections in middle- and high-school students, according to the Coulee COVID-19 Collaborative.

The collaborative — made up of the La Crosse County Health Department and Gundersen and Mayo Clinic health systems — says there have been 82 positive cases of COVID-19 in K-12 students in the past two weeks in La Crosse County. An additional 695 students have been quarantined due to close contact with COVID-19.

Most of the cases were caused by two COVID-19 variants that are easier spread than others and the collaborative says most cases happen when people are in groups and not following public health guidance on distancing and wearing a mask over nose and mouth.

Twenty-two of the cases in the past seven days have been connected to extra-curricular events such as athletics and fine arts groups.

“One infection can quickly grow into an outbreak that could end extra-curricular activities and force a return to distance learning models,” said the collaborative in a statement. “We recognize the fatigue connected to continually following health and safety guidance, but the science is clear: Masking and distancing reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

The collaborative says many cases of COVID-19 in children are mild, but some can develop severe illness, including Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome after COVID-19 infection. Two La Crosse County children have been diagnosed with MIS-C.

Read the full statement here: 5.5.2021 Coulee COVID-19 Collaborative – School Spread

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