La Crosse County Health Department director Jen Rombalski asked people to stay patient while staying home Monday as she announced the county’s 17th confirmed case of COVID-19.
“If we continue to be all in this together, we will get through this together. That’s what community is all about,” Rombalski said.
The latest case is a woman in her 70s who was hospitalized due to her symptoms, which were classified as severe. The 16th case was a man in his mid-60s, who tested positive Sunday.
“The good news is that a total of 9 cases have now been considered clear of isolation,” Rombalski said.
Wisconsin has 1,221 cases, up 109 from Sunday, she said and 14 people have died from the virus in Wisconsin.
The state has had 15,856 negative tests. Rombalski was not able to say how many La Crosse County residents tested negative for the virus due to the number of out-of-county patients seen at La Crosse health-care systems.
“That’s something we continue to work on,” Rombaslki said.
Testing is being done strategically because tests are not widely available.
Rombalski was encouraged by the fact that La Crosse has yet to have a spike in cases.
“I’m hoping that we have a slow steady increase, then a slow steady decrease. That’s really what we’re looking for, the low bell curve,” Rombalski said.
Rombalski said models shared with her have predicted the virus will peak at the end of April or early May. The county’s strategy is focused on preventing deaths and lasting illness and made possible by the cooperation of area businesses, hospitals and others.
“This is not just a health department strategy. This is a community-wide strategy,” she said.
Rombalski reiterated that it was vital that people comply with Gov. Tony Evers’ “safer-at-home” order.
“Because we have community spread, really anyone could have been exposed if you’re out and about,” Rombalski said.
She noted that there have been a few instances of businesses whose leaders believed they were essential, but did not fall under the order, and law enforcement had followed up on those reports.
“I think this is not a time to be complacent with the ‘safer-at-home’ order. We need to be following that … That’s a big ask. We get that,” she said.
It’s tough to adjust after the rapid-fire changes in the last two weeks; however, she asked people to be patient.
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