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COVID-19 is not over, National Guard holds second La Crosse County testing site

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In an effort to increase accessibility to COVID-19 testing, the La Crosse County Health Department worked with the Wisconsin National Guard to host a second testing site Monday at Western Technical College.

Rachel King, public health educator, believed there was still concern about COVID-19, especially as the county saw a consistent increase in cases last week. As of Monday, the country reported 76 confirmed cases with two hospitalizations.

The site Monday included a new walk-up lane.

“One of the reasons we focused on having that available is so that we can make it accessible to anybody,” King said. “Even if you don’t have a car here today, or you are working downtown or living in the area, you can easily walk up to the site.”

National Guard team OIC, Christina Baurichter coordinated the 26 National Guard members on site. Baurichter’s team also assisted with the Onalaska testing site at the Omni Center in May.

“One of the reasons we sign up is to help the community,” Baurichter said. “It is very, very rewarding to help out in this way.”

She added they’ve helped with at least six testing sites thus far, and movement of the National Guard because of protests have not interrupted their work.

As movements gather to support racial equality, King advised those participating to still practice social distancing. She added COVID-19 is a new disease, and health officials do not know if warmer weather will lead to a downward trend in cases.

Results from the testing site are anticipated within three to seven days.

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 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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