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La Crosse County reports fifth COVID case; health department to update numbers daily

La Crosse County reports fifth COVID case; health department to update numbers daily

The La Crosse County Health Department reported its fifth case of COVID-19 Friday. The positive cases are relegated to three households.

As of March 20, the health department will update the local number of confirmed COVID-19 cases online on a daily basis.

Rather than making individual announcements as positive virus results come in, the running total will be posted each day at 3:30 p.m. on the La Crosse County Health Department website and Facebook page.

Jen Rombalski mug

Rombalski

Dr. Paul Molling

Molling

Jen Rombalski, director of the La Crosse County Health Department, will continue to host a daily 2:30 p.m. press conference to answer questions about COVID-19. Friday’s conference was co-hosted by Dr. Paul Molling of Mayo Clinic Health System.

According to Molling, Mayo has through its drive-thru lab testing service collected 250 total samples since Monday, with “the far majority of them negative.” The total number of tests run region-wide thus far was not available during the press conference.

Rombalski and Molling stressed patients at both Mayo and Gundersen Health Systems must call ahead to see whether they fit the criteria for testing, and tests will be reserved for those who are considered at high risk for severe cases of COVID-19.

All community members are advised to practice thorough hand washing, sanitation and social distancing, and to avoid unnecessary excursions.

“The message of staying home is so important,” Rombalski says. “You don’t need a test to know what to do.”

Emily Pyrek can be reached at emily.pyrek@lee.net.

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