A second person is being hospitalized due to COVID-19, and the total case count has increased by two, the La Crosse County Health Department relayed Tuesday.
During the Health Department’s daily news conference, Jacquie Cutts, public health nursing manager for the La Crosse County Health Department, said both new cases were men, the first in his mid-50s with moderate symptoms and the second in his early 40s and being hospitalized with severe symptoms. The latter has underlying health conditions.
Currently, La Crosse County has 19 confirmed cases, two hospitalizations — neither considered critical — and no deaths. About 460 COVID-19 tests have been done locally, with 3.4% positive.
Cutts shared the following statistics on the positive local cases during the press conference:
- 61% are women.
- 55.6% are residents of La Crosse, 27.8% are residents of Onalaska, and the remainder are from neighboring municipalities.
- The top symptoms experienced were cough (94.4%), fever (82.4%), body aches (72.2%) and chills (56.6%).
- 58.8% had travel history outside La Crosse County, the majority to Wisconsin cities with known spread of the virus. Other visited locations include Illinois, Alabama and New York.
- 52.9% had been in a chain store 48 hours prior to developing symptoms.
“Staying out of those stores as much as possible helps to reduce your risk, and also reduces the risk of transmission in our community,” said Cutts, who noted that while La Crosse County last week had a “A” grade on the Social Distancing Scorecard, which is based on phone GPS location data, it had fallen to a “D” rating in the last couple days.
Cutts acknowledged the impact the COVID-19 precautionary isolation has had on mental health, and encouraged people to take measures to relieve stress. She also touched on the La Crosse County Health Department’s virus prevention objectives, broken down into primary (prevention), secondary (early detection) and tertiary (outcome improvement) sections.
Primary prevention steps include production of preparedness materials for entities including businesses, daycares and nursing homes; distributing factually accurate information; discouraging any travel outside La Crosse County; and stressing social distancing.
Secondary actions include quarantining those who are at risk for developing disease, even in the absence of COVID-19 symptoms; helping residents comply with stay-at-home precautions; quickly tracing contacts of positive cases; and advocating for special testing considerations for those who pose a greater risk of community spread.
Tertiary plans involve ensuring the mental and physical health and safety of those on the frontline, including health care and law enforcement workers. This encompasses meeting those workers’ needs for personal protective equipment, appropriate childcare and adequate paychecks. Additional outcome improvement steps include identifying and leveraging resources between area healthcare partners in case of hospital surge.
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