By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
August 20: Weekly Driftless COVID-19 round up
Seneca testing_Cindy and Marc
CRAWFORD COUNTY Public Health Director Cindy Riniker (right), and Crawford County Deputy Marc Myhre (left), were present to help at the Community COVID-19 testing held at the Seneca Town Hall on Friday, August 14. At that testing, 118 citizens were tested. The results showed 110 negative tests, and eight positive tests. Four of the positive tests were from Crawford County residents, and four were from citizens from outside the county.

DRIFTLESS - Over the past week COVID-19 diagnoses statewide increased from 61,061 on Monday, August 10 to 66,196 on Monday, August 17. That is a statewide increase of 5,135 cases. The number of deaths increased from 998 to 1.039, an additional 41 deaths, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

The DHS’ Badger Bounce Back COVID-19 Case Indicators, which classify counties as high-, moderatelu high-, moderate- or low-risk based on COVID activity over the previous two weeks, listed Crawford, Grant, Iowa, LaCrosse, Lafayette and Monroe counties as ‘high’ risk; and Juneau, Richland and Vernon counties as ‘moderately high risk.’

As reported in the Monday edition of Up North News, “as is the usual trend, Monday's coronavirus figures from the state Dept. of Health Services were lower than other days of the week. The 455 positive COVID-19 tests made up 7.6 percent of only 5,962 total tests processed. There were no deaths reported Monday after 13 were reported on Saturday and one on Sunday. The state's death toll stands at 1,039. There were 23 new hospitalizations reported Monday.”

Seneca Test Results

Crawford Countysaw 15 new cases, increasing to 89. The number of negative tests increased by 247, and there have been no deaths in the county.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a fluid and ever-changing situation. After reviewing our bi-weekly metrics we are recommending moving back from Phase Three to Phase Two. We have seen our positive case counts almost triple from the last two-week period. Many of our metrics are moving from green to yellow, which shows we are not moving in the right direction.

Our hope is that by making these changes now, we can help to slow the spread of the virus so it does not put a strain on our healthcare and public health systems as we move forward. These measures can also slow the spread within businesses, helping to keep businesses open.

The most significant changes in recommendations moving back to Phase 2 are the following:

• 50 percent capacity for indoor facilities (previously at 75 percent)

• 100 people maximum at outdoor mass gatherings  (previously at 250)

• 50 people maximum at indoor mass gatherings  (previously at 100)

These recommendations address the need to limit close contacts with many people. As more people become infected with the virus the likelihood of someone being positive at gatherings increases. By reducing the number of people in one place, we can slow the spread of the virus in our community.

Since the virus is not contained, it is very important that individuals, businesses and organizations continue to follow public health recommendations. 

• Facilities have in place and are following hygiene, 

cleaning, and protective measure policy and procedures. 

• Individuals are being diligent with hand washing, 

• maintaining social distancing of 6 feet or more, wearing 

• face covering in public and staying home when not feeling well.

For more details about the Crawford County-Moving Forward Plan and the metrics used to determine reopening go to…/crawford_cty_reopening_d…

The Crawford County Health Department has issued the following Public Notice – If you visited No Bull Party Place in Seneca during the following dates & times, you may have potentially been exposed to a COVID-19 positive case: 

•August 8, 8 a.m. until close at 2 a.m.

•August 9, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

•August 12, 8-11 a.m., and 4 p.m. until close

If you were in this business during the above times and develop symptoms through August 26, 2020 contact your healthcare provider.  Symptoms include: fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, chills, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of smell and/or taste.

“This notice is not saying that this business did anything wrong, assures Cindy Riniker, Health Officer “but is to inform the public of where and when the public may have had potential contact with a lab confirmed case of COVID-19.  We are working closely with No Bull Party Place to assure the safety and wellness of all their staff and customers.” 

Vernon Countysaw an increase of 12 cases in the last week, increasing to 77. The number of negative tests increased by 186, and there have been no deaths.

Richland Countysaw an increase of one case, increasing to 38. The number of negative tests increased by 189, and the number of deaths in the county remained at four.

Monroe Countysaw an increase of 10 cases in the last week, going from 240 to 250. Negative tests increased by 424, and the number of deaths in the county remains at two.

Juneau Countysaw an increase in cases of 16, growing to 159. The number of deaths in the county remains at two.

The Juneau County Health Department is reporting a COVID-19 outbreak during the Juneau County Youth Livestock Expo in Mauston. An outbreak is defined by the Wisconsin Department of Health or associated with a single event, with onset within two maximum COVID-19 incubation periods of each other (28 days). The health department and event organizers have been in contact related to the exposure. If you attended the event between Tuesday, ,July 28, and Thursday, ,July 30, you may have been exposed.

LaCrosse Countyhas continued to see an exponential increase in new cases in the last week of 59, going from 913 to 972. There has been one death in the county.

Community healthcare partners have continued work on the new, collaborative process to evaluate the status of COVID-19 in the community. This process will provide a snapshot of the relevant health data in the community for schools, businesses, organizations and other stakeholders to consider and use as part of their evaluation and response to the pandemic.

It was shared August 7 that the La Crosse County Health Department, Mayo Clinic Health System and Gundersen Health System would provide weekly updates on key metrics and provide recommendations for community stakeholders. Each week, on Friday, information will be shared with the community. The primary metrics that will be used include:

• new case rate per 100,000 persons (seven day rolling average)

• new COVID hospitalization rate per 100,000 persons (7 day rolling average)

• hospital capacity and capability for COVID care

In addition, the following community indicators will help inform the recommendations:

• percent of cases interviewed within two days

• percent of identified contacts traced

• percent of contacts reached within two days

• percent of daily testing goal met

• testing turnaround time

• percent of positive tests

The La Crosse County Health Department and the Wisconsin National Guard are hosting COVID-19 testing at the Health and Human Services Building parking lot, 300 4th St. N., La Crosse, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on August 24, and August 31. The COVID-19 testing event is primarily for La Crosse County residents and those aged five or overexperiencing at least one symptom of COVID 19. They encourage those who are being tested to register online to save time and reduce wait times. The link to register can be found here:

Grant Countyhas seen an increase of 40 cases in the last week, going from 362 to 402. The number of deaths in the county has increased by one to 16.

Lafayette Countyhas seen an increase of 28 cases in the last week, going from 147 to 175. There have been no deaths in the county. 

Iowa Countyhas seen an increase of 18 cases in the last week, increasing to 100. There have been no deaths in the county.