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Health Department urges caution with Valley View Mall reopening

Kaitlyn Riley

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Valley View Mall in La Crosse announced it will be back in business Friday, but the La Crosse County Health Department said that opening needs to be done as safely as possible.

Health Director Jen Rombalski said health officials still do not advise people go outside of their homes beyond essential travel, and the mall should not be a “hang out” location.

“It is something I struggle with a little bit because it is this balance between we don’t have an order telling individuals not to be open, but the risk remains present,” Rombalski said.

Last week, the health department said it would not create a local order after Safer at Home was thrown out by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, but Rombalski said the health department will put one in place if deemed necessary. The health department still urged using the same practices as if Safer at Home were in effect to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in both radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.

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