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September 17: Weekly Driftless Area COVID-19 update
COVID-19 Incubation

DRIFTLESS - Over the past week COVID-19, diagnoses statewide increased from 82,477 on Tuesday, Sept. 8 to 89,956 on Monday, September 14. That is a statewide increase of 7,479 cases. The number of deaths increased from 1,168 to 1,210, an additional 42 deaths, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

According to the Tuesday, Sept.15 issue of Up North News, One day after Wisconsin set another single-day record for new COVID-19 cases, the state saw a lower number on Monday, but on such a small numbers of tests that the positivity rate is still in nearly uncharted territory.

Monday’s report shows 771 new coronavirus infections, but because there were only 3,920 total tests processed, the positivity rate was again in the 20% range as it was on Sunday when a record 1,582 new cases were announced. 

The state has now seen a new record for the total number of new cases in a week (8,196), meaning Wisconsin currently averages more than 1,000 new infections per day (1,171). The average seven-day positivity rate has now climbed to 15%.

Dane County, home of UW-Madison, accounted for nearly 600 cases since Friday. Eau Claire and La Crosse counties are also seeing unprecedented spikes while Milwaukee County, the once-perennial leader in daily new cases, has seen its number fall below 100 several times over the past week.

No deaths were reported Monday. The 12 reported last Friday mean the state has consistently averaged six deaths per day over the past 30 days. The US death toll has reached 194,000.


Crawford Countysaw 10 new cases, increasing to 130. The number of negative tests increased by 93, and there have been no deaths in the county.

The Crawford County Public Health Department will be holding COVID-19 testing events twice a week beginning on September 14, 2020.  Testing will be 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 24 cases in the last week, increasing to 141. The number of negative tests increased by 317, and there have been no deaths.

Richland Countysaw an increase of 11 cases, increasing to 72. The number of deaths in the county remained at four.

Monroe Countysaw an increase of 27 cases in the last week, going from 297 to 324. Negative tests increased by 292, and the number of deaths in the county remains at two.


Last week the Monroe County Health Department issued a public COVID-19 notification regarding an event that was held in Monroe, Juneau, and Vernon counties as we have not been able to identify all close contacts and members of the public that may have been exposed.  Establishments, exposure dates and times are as follows: 

• The Place in Norwalk on 9/5 from 10-10:30 a.m.

• The Hitchin’ Post in Norwalk on 9/5 from 11-11:30 a.m.

• The Body Shop in New Lisbon on 9/5 from 12:30-2:30 p.m.

• The Hustle Inn in Hustler on 9/5 from 3-4 p.m.

• The Stagecoach Saloon in Camp Douglas on 9/5 from 4:30-5 p.m.

• The Wildcat Bar and Grill on 9/5 from 5:30-7 p.m.

• Leon Country Tavern on 9/6  from 11-11:30 a.m.

• The Cotter Pin in Leon on 9/6 from 11:30-12 p.m.

• Brenda’s Bar in Melvina on 9/6 from 12-12:30 p.m.

• The Dog House in Norwalk on 9/6 from 1-1:30 p.m.

• Hidden Inn in Wilton on 9/6 from 3:30-5 p.m.

• The Wildcat Bar and Grill on 9/6 from 5:30-7 p.m. and 9/7 from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Please note, unless you are contacted by the health department, there is no need to quarantine.

While we would consider this a low risk exposures, if you were at the establishment during this date and time and would become symptomatic with one or more of the following symptoms within 14 days of your time at the facility (between now September 19 - 21) you should go in and get tested.

Juneau Countysaw an increase in cases of 23, growing to 287. The number of deaths in the county remains at two.


LaCrosse Countyhas continued to see an exponential increase in new cases in the last week of 373, going from 1,381 to 1,754. The number of deaths remains at two.

According to the LaCrosse Independent, on Sunday, September 13, UW-La Crosse is putting all residence halls on lockdown and suspending all in-person classes until Sept. 28 at the earliest. The move was announced by chancellor Joe Gow, and comes in response to a surge in COVID-19 infections on campus. All classes for Monday and Tuesday have been cancelled, but classes will resume in a remote format on Wednesday, Gow’s statement said. “Given the high number of positive test results among resident students in a variety of residence halls, and due to our isolation spaces approaching the point of being filled, we are expanding the Coate Hall ‘shelter in place’ restrictions to include all residence halls effective at 5 p.m. today until Sunday, September 27 at 5 p.m.,” Gow said. Additionally, and effective immediately, face-coverings will be required both indoors and outdoors on all campus property, he added.

Last week, the La Crosse County Health Department announced additional data available on A rolling, seven-day average of new cases of COVID-19 helps to provide information about the risk of COVID-19 in our community more accurately than a daily case count. Daily case counts will also be available to view, but the seven-day average is the best metric to consistently follow. The seven-day average will be updated Monday-Friday, except holidays, on, with the previous day’s cases. Monday updates will include weekend cases. Additional information, including case demographics, case rate, testing and health care information, will continue to be updated weekly. 

Grant Countyhas seen an increase of 124 cases in the last week, going from 500 to 624. The number of deaths in the county remains at 19.

According to DHS, active public health investigations of outbreaks are taking place at Care & Rehab Boscobel, Divine Rehabilitation and Nursing in Fennimore, Epione Pavilion in Cuba City, and Orchard Manor in Lancaster. There are also five active investigations at long-term-care facilities, two educational facilities, one health care facility, one workplace, and one “other” setting — all unnamed — according to DHS.

Grant County Public Health Department reported on Tuesday, Sept. 8, that over the past several days the county had seen a surge in COVID-19 cases, with over 67 percent of new cases in the 18-27-year-old range. Those under age 18 made up four percent of cases in the last two weeks. The rapid increase coincides with return of students to the university, technical college and K-12 schools. Because the university and some local health care providers are now starting to use antigen testing, and increase in probable new cases is likely. Probable cases are defined as meeting clinical criteria and epidemiologic evidence with no confirmatory lab testing performed, or as having presumptive laboratory evidence (such as antigen testing). Health Director Kindrai explained that the rise of cases among younger individuals is resulting in many students being isolated and quarantined, with the exact number “changing by the hour.” Further, students and their siblings were already being excluded from Grant County K-12 schools due to having COVID-19-like symptoms as well. Kindrai said this has resulted in a corresponding pressure on local health care providers. He stated that “if we continue along this trajectory, there is not much hope of in-person classes continuing through the semester uninterrupted.” He said that each school in Grant County will be monitored, and any decision to switch from in-person to virtual instruction will be made by the school on a case-by-case basis after consultation with his department, and if necessary, the State Department of Public Health and the Department of Public Instruction.


Lafayette Countyhas seen an increase of eight cases in the last week, increasing to 197. There have been no deaths in the county.

According to DHS, a public health investigation is being conducted at Lafayette Manor in Darlington, along with one long-term-care facility and two workplaces.

Iowa Countyhas seen an increase of seven cases in the last week, increasing to 130. There have been no deaths in the county.