DRIFTLESS - Over the past week COVID-19, diagnoses statewide increased from 357,771 on Monday, Nov. 23 to 387,235 on Monday, Nov. 30. That is a statewide increase of 29,464 cases. The number of deaths increased from 3,011 to 3,313, an additional 302 deaths, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
The LaCrosse County Public Health Department announced last week they have two pieces of good news to share:
• according to data released this week, AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine is up to 90 percent effective based on the dose administered. It can also can be stored at refrigerator temperatures, making distribution easier! Reports say vaccines could start to be distributed next month. La Crosse County Health Department will continue to communicate the information we have as we learn more. Again, it remains important to follow public health guidance, but these vaccine options do provide us with a glimmer of hope.
• Wisconsin National Guard funding has been extended into 2021. WING provides COVID-19 drive through testing services for communities.
Crawford Countysaw 361 new cases, increasing to 1,223. Most of these increases came from an outbreak among inmates and staff of the Prairie du Chien Correctional Institution. The number of deaths in the county increased by one to eight.
In addition, the Crawford County Public Health Department will be holding COVID-19 testing events twice a week on Mondays, 11 a.m. – 12 noon and Fridays, 9-10 a.m. at the Crawford County Administration Building parking lot, 225 N. Beaumont Rd. Prairie du Chien, WI 53821. All tests must be scheduled in advance. Call the Crawford County Public Health Department at 608-326-0229 to schedule an appointment. There is no cost to participate.
Vernon Countysaw an increase of 145 cases in the last week, increasing to 1,143. The number deaths increased by six, from 12 to 18.
Richland Countysaw an increase of 48 cases, increasing to 871. The number of deaths in the county increased by one to 13.
Upcoming COVID-19 testing events in the county will be held as follows:
Richland County Fairgrounds, 23630 County AA, Richland Center, Mondays 9 a.m.–1 p.m. and Thursdays 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
Monroe Countysaw an increase of 256 cases in the last week, going from 2,404 to 2,660. The number of deaths in the county increased by three to 15.
Juneau Countysaw an increase in cases of 112, growing to 1,912. Of the 1,912 cases, 526 of them are at the New Lisbon Correctional Facility. The number of deaths in the county increased by one to seven.
LaCrosse Countyhas continued to see an exponential increase in new cases in the last week of 686, going from 7,401 to 8,087. The number of deaths increased by two to 35.
It's been a long nine months for our La Crosse County Health Department team. We are living in the midst of a global pandemic. A public health crisis. To say our team is exhausted may be an understatement.
Health Departments have faced falling funding despite increasing threats to public health for decades. We began this pandemic as a team of 50 (and since have hired dozens of contact tracers) and we continue to be a small team. This team is working immensely hard to communicate all that we know regarding COVID-19. We work tirelessly to coordinate testing events weekly, for months. To contact trace thousands who are positive cases of COVID-19 or contacts to slow the spread so our hospitals don't become overwhelmed. To work with businesses and other sectors to ensure that their customers and patrons are safe.
What is difficult about Public Health is that it often goes unnoticed. It is silent, but important work. Our employees here at this department are public servants. We don't do this work for praise. We do it because we care deeply about our community members, and we want to keep them safe. (Even if some may think this is all just one big hoax.)
November 23rd was Public Health Thank You Day. This week we thank anyone working in public health. We thank all of our Health Department employees for their sacrifices, their long hours, and immense and hard work for this community the last nine months. We are here for our community now during this public health crisis, and we will always be here to fight for public health.
Grant Countyhas seen an increase of 230 cases in the last week, going from 3,267 to 3,497. The number of deaths in the county increased by five to 64.
Lafayette Countyhas seen an increase of 57 cases in the last week, increasing to 1,081. The number of deaths in the county remained at three.Iowa Countyhas seen an increase of 82 cases in the last week, increasing to 1,266. The number of deaths in the county increased by one to five.