Trempealeau County Health Director creates mask order to help slow the spread of COVID-19

WHITEHALL, Wis. (WKBT) — Health officials in Trempealeau County are struggling with rising COVID-19 cases and deaths.

The Trempealeau County Health Department is seeing a rapid increase in positive COVID-19 cases.

“It’s really a vicious cycle here , we have increased cases, we aren’t able to contact them, and they’re in the community spreading it and then the cases continue to increase,” said Kaila Baer, of the Trempealeau County Health Department.

The county has 11 contact tracers, but Baer says they just can’t keep up. On Tuesday, they had 104 new cases in one day.

“By far the most we’ve had in a single day. Up until late last week, we were able to contact everybody within 24 hours about 95 percent of our cases,” said Baer.

Along with rising case numbers, there is also a rising death count. The department reports 11 deaths so far in the county.

According to Baer, there are five active investigations at nursing home facilities.

Altogether, this has pushed the county to enact their own mandate.

“In summary, it does require every individual in Trempealeau County, the age of five and over to wear a face covering in any enclosed building with people except for if only people in their household are present,” said Baer.

The mandate mirrors the one currently in place by Governor Evers.

“We know that masks and face coverings are one of the best weapons we have to combat this disease,” said Baer.

According to Baer, the Trempealeau County order will go into effect November 21 and expires January 21.