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Local
La Crosse County has no new confirmed COVID-19 cases Tuesday; National Guard results still coming in

The La Crosse County Health Department had no new lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, with results from the Wisconsin National Guard May 21 testing day starting to come in gradually.

As of May 26, La Crosse County has had 51 confirmed cases of the virus, with 46 of those individuals considered recovered and none currently hospitalized.

La Crosse County has had no deaths from COVID-19.

Per the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, there have been 4,380 negative tests completed in the county, an increase of 185 since yesterday.

In Wisconsin, there have been 15,863 positive tests for COVID-19 and 200,874 negative. Hospitalizations are at 2,362, and 517 state residents have died from the virus.

The La Crosse County Health Department continues to advise social distancing, hand washing, wearing a face covering in public and avoiding excursions outside the home.

As they come in, test results from the National Guard event will be added into the daily totals posted on the Health Department’s Facebook page. In addition, an overview will be compiled when all the data is completed.

Databank: Learn more about COVID-19 and its spread

Mike Lanham of La Crosse tries his luck fishing the main channel of the Mississippi River Tuesday from the levee in Riverside Park. Wednesday’s forecast from the National Weather Service calls for a chance of rain and a chance of thunderstorms in the late afternoon and evening. A high temperature of 82 degrees in expected in La Crosse.


Wisconsin courts to resume operations with virus controls

MADISON (AP) — Wisconsin courts can resume in-person hearings and jury trials if they can come up with plans to protect participants and observers from the coronavirus, under an order from a divided state Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court in March suspended in-person hearings and jury trials, ordering judges to continue trials to a date after May 22. A task force convened by Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Patience Roggensack and comprised of judges, court clerks and attorneys convened in April. Its recommendations released on May 15 included calls for participants and spectators to wear face masks, observe social distancing standards and use hand sanitizers, and clerks to include a note in jury summons detailing the precautions the court has taken.

The Supreme Court issued an order Friday evening that allows individual municipal and circuit courts to resume in-person proceedings, including jury trials, on a county-by-county basis if the courts prepare a plan to do so safely. Each plan must mandate face masks for everyone in the courtroom, although a judge can allow a witness to testify without one, spell out practices for cleaning frequently touched surfaces, and require courthouse signs directing people to hand sanitizer.

The chief judge of each judicial administrative district must approve the plans before proceedings can resume. The chief judge’s signature would invalidate the Supreme Court’s suspensions and allow hearings and trials to resume in the local court that submitted the plan.

Justices Rebecca Bradley and Daniel Kelly disagreed with Friday’s order. They wrote that the Supreme Court should simply let its orders suspending in-person proceedings expire and leave running courtrooms up to individual judges. As of Tuesday, there were nearly 16,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin, with 517 deaths, according to the state Department of Health Services. Of all the people tested, 4% of them were positive — the same as the day before.

The actual number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested and studies suggest that people can be infected without feeling sick.

State health officials are urging caution. There are no state limitations in place and local governments are lifting restrictions, and allowing businesses to reopen and more people to congregate in public and private.


Local
City of La Crosse announces $168,200 in second round of small business relief grants

The second round of the city of La Crosse’s small-business relief grants was announced on Tuesday, a follow-up to its first initiative earlier in the month aimed to help local businesses through the pandemic. The additional funding will provide 42 local small businesses with a total of $168,200 in emergency relief grants, which will help sustain 372 jobs.

Additional funding was needed after the city saw an overwhelming response from businesses in the grant program, many of them with shuttered doors and employees without work.

Originally, more than 100 businesses applied for the grant, requesting $1.17 million in emergency relief. But after narrowing down applications, city officials found about $750,000 in eligible requests, which far exceeded the funds it allocated for the program.

The first installment of the grant gave $366,200 to 59 businesses in La Crosse, and the city went to work to lock down funding for the remaining eligible businesses.

Part of that funding came from about $500,000 the city received from the federal government through the CARES Act.

“I am excited to be able to put some of our employees back to work,” said James Powell, who owns Jimmy’s North Star, one of the grant recipients in this second round. “Without this grant, we could not do that.”

The city’s small-business relief grant has now given $534,400 to help sustain 1,320 jobs at 101 small local businesses.


Photos: A look at the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic in the La Crosse area
Photos: A look at the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic in the La Crosse area