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September 24: Weekly Driftless Area COVID-19 update
Proper face mask wearing

DRIFTLESS - Over the past week COVID-19, diagnoses statewide increased from 89.956 on Monday, Sept. 14 to 102,498 on Monday, September 21. That is a statewide increase of 12,542 cases. The number of deaths increased from 1,210 to 1,244, an additional 34 deaths, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

According to the Tuesday, Sept.22 issue of Up North News, the state Department of Health Services reports 1,271 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, the 11th highest daily number of the outbreak. The state set its highest daily figure of new cases last Friday at 2,533. There were an additional 2,283 reported on Saturday and 1,665 on Sunday. 

Monday’s 1,271 new cases made up 18.7 percent of 6,796 total tests processed. Over the past seven days, Wisconsin has recorded 12,542 new COVID-19 cases and the average daily positivity rate has been 16.4 percent, the highest ratio of positive tests recorded so far.

Three deaths reported Saturday, one on Sunday, and two on Monday brought the Wisconsin coronavirus death toll to 1,244 on the day the United States marks 200,000 victims from the outbreak.

Crawford Countysaw 11 new cases, increasing to 141. The number of negative tests increased by 114 to 4,246, and there have been no deaths in the county.

On Friday, Sept. 18, North Crawford Superintendent Brandon Munson provided a school COVID-19 update. “So far this school year a total of seven students have been excluded from school, either because they were displaying COVID-like symptoms, or because they had been exposed to someone displaying COVID-like symptoms. All seven students have been tested. Three students have had a negative test, and four test results are pending. In addition, three staff were asked to self-isoloate/quarantine for the same reason, and all are now back at school. This is all good news, and has resulted from the diligence of our students and staff to keep everyone safe. To continue with this good news will require the collective responsibility of all of us.”

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 34 cases in the last week, increasing to 175. The number of negative tests increased by 390 to 7,566, and there has now been one death.

On Thursday, Sept. 17, Viroqua Area Schools was notified by the Vernon County Health Department that a student at Viroqua High School has tested positive for COVID-19.

On Monday, Sept. 21, the Vernon County Health Department was notified of an individual who passed away from complications of COVID-19. This is the first death of a county resident. The resident was a male in his 70s who had been hospitalized. Their team would like to express their deepest condolences to family, friends and those impacted by this loss of life.

Richland Countysaw an increase of 16 cases, increasing to 88. The number of negative tests increased by 25 to 3,898. The number of deaths in the county remained at four.

Monroe Countysaw an increase of 84 cases in the last week, going from 324 to 408. Negative tests increased by 285 to 9,228, and the number of deaths in the county remains at two.

On Saturday, Sept. 19, the following communication was issued from the Norwalk-Ontario-Wilton School District: this letter is to inform you that a confirmed   staff mtmber case of COVID-19 has been reported to the district.  The staff and students who were within six feet and for a time frame of 15 total minutes or more of the staff member have been notified.

We anticipated this would happen. Our intention is to mitigate exposure, that will continue to be our practice. Our plan moving forward when probable or confirmed cases are reported to disctrict officials include: 1) continue to work with county health Departments who are providing the district with best practice recommendations and are conducting contact tracing based on interviews with building staff; 2) Continue to require wearing masks, daily handwashing practices, social distancing, and minimal contact during the school day; 3) The district will continue best practice cleaning/sanitizing procedures; and 4) The district will continue to monitor developments and change protocols as-needed. 

Juneau Countysaw an increase in cases of 47, growing to 334. The number of deaths in the county increased by one to three.

LaCrosse Countyhas continued to see an exponential increase in new cases in the last week of 868, going from 1,754 to 2,622. The number of deaths remains at two. 

Grant Countyhas seen an increase of 207 cases in the last week, going from 624 to 831. The number of deaths in the county remains at 19.

Lafayette Countyhas seen an increase of 33 cases in the last week, increasing to 230. There have been no deaths in the county.

The Darlington School District has been made aware of two confirmed cases of COVID19 in our elementary/middle school. As part of their investigation, the Lafayette County Health Department will be contacting those people named as close contacts within the next few days. If you are contacted, they will provide you further quarantine guidance. Anyone who has been named a close contact should quarantine at home and monitor for symptoms for COVID during this time. At this point, just the two cohorts of #DarlingtonRedbirds students who were exposed and any additional staff who were in close contact will be quarantined and moved to virtual learning.

Iowa Countyhas seen an increase of 19 cases in the last week, increasing to 149. Negative tests increased by 304 to 5,402. There have been no deaths in the county.