The La Crosse County Health Department has announced the first two cases of COVID-19 attributed to community spread, and on Wednesday revealed the number of total positive cases had increased to 12, with two females receiving positive results March 25.
The two cases of community spread, meaning the individuals had no relevant travel history or contact with an infected person, are attributed to two men who tested positive March 24.
The first patient infected via community spread is a male in his late 20s who first developed symptoms the week of March 9 and was tested for COVID-19 March 23 after his condition worsened. The second individual is a man in his late 70s with a history of interstate travel but not to a location with known spread. He was also tested March 23. Both are currently experiencing mild to moderate symptoms and have not required hospitalization.
More details and community notices will be released when a comprehensive disease investigation is completed. Anyone identified as potentially at risk will be contacted by the health department.
The two cases confirmed Wednesday involve women in their early 20s to early 30s with mild to moderate symptoms, and both are in isolation in their homes.
“This report provides even more reason to take Governor Ever’s ‘Safer at Home’ order seriously,” Jen Rombalski, director of the La Crosse County Health Department, said of the presence of community spread. “We fully expect that we will see additional cases of the virus in the county but hope that our media outreach and guidance is helping to convince county residents to stay home to disrupt the spread of the virus.”
According to Ever’s mandate, Wisconsinites are to leave their residences only for imperative reasons, such as to purchase groceries and gas or to seek medical care. Employees considered essential, such as health care and public safety workers, are exempt.
As of early afternoon March 25, the total number of positive COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin was 585, with 10,089 negative and six deaths related to the virus.
The La Crosse County Health Department continues to stress the importance of social distancing, isolation, hand washing and sanitation. Anyone with even mild symptoms of cold or flu should stay in their homes. COVID-19 tests will continue to be reserved for those considered at high risk for severe symptoms of the virus, and individuals must call Gundersen or Mayo Clinic Health Systems in advance to be screened for test qualification.
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