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No new La Crosse County confirmed cases of COVID-19 Tuesday; Monday cases attributed to facility outbreak

No new La Crosse County confirmed cases of COVID-19 Tuesday; Monday cases attributed to facility outbreak

The La Crosse County Health Department reported no new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, with the lab-confirmed case total remaining at 47.

Of those cases, 36 are recovered and one remains hospitalized. There have been 3,593 negative tests for COVID-19 in La Crosse County.

Wisconsin has had 12,885 positive confirmed cases of the virus and 148,237 negative, along with 2,110 hospitalizations due to COVID-19 and 467 deaths.

Addressing the two new cases from Monday, Jen Rombalski, director of the La Crosse County Health Department, shared they are attributed to an outbreak at a local facility. Though she did not state the location of the outbreak, Rombalski noted the location had alerted the community.

Those believed to be affected by the facility outbreak, Rombalski said during Tuesday’s press conference, were tested and the two individuals who tested positive May 18 were asymptomatic.

With community spread still an issue, Rombalski urged residents to continue social distancing, handwashing, avoiding public places and wearing face coverings despite safer-at-home restrictions being lifted.

The data, she says, shows La Crosse County is not ready to to move forward with gatherings and non-essential excursions, including youth sports and Memorial Day weekend celebrations. With Valley View Mall soon reopening, she reminded businesses not to open until they are fully prepared with safety precautions in place, and for shoppers to keep outings to a minimum, and to complete them in a quick fashion.

Rombalski expressed her thanks to the members of the La Crosse County Health Department and other entities for their hard work ensuring the health of the public, and for community members adhering to guidelines.

“This is unlike anything we’ve ever seen,” Rombalski said. “We’re now in week 13 of pretty heavy response in regards to probably the most significant event any of us will ever experience. This is like a war and many of us typically do not have to have a war on our front doors. Just know this has impacted everyone.”

During the press conference, Rombalski and Onalaska Police Chief Charles Ashbeck reminded community members about the Wisconsin National Guard free COVID-19 testing day, running from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 21, at the Onalaska OmniCenter, 255 Riders Club Road.

Testing will be available to La Crosse County residents 5 or older who are experiencing even mild COVID-19 symptoms, 19 including fever, cough, shortness of breath, difficult breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell are eligible for nasal-swab testing. Those seeking testing should remain in their vehicles and should anticipate extended wait time.

Post-testing individuals are asked to return directly to their home and isolate themselves, including from family members, until they receive their test results and further guidance from public health officials. People will be notified of their test results by phone within 24-48 hours.

Ashbeck cautioned community members that traffic near the testing site may be congested, and asks the public to follow the route and parking guidelines posited at lacrossecounty.org/covid19 and facebook.com/lacrossecountyhealthdepartment, or call the COVID-19 Call Center at 608-785-6240.

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

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