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La Crosse County reports 23 new COVID-19 cases Monday

Kaitlyn Riley

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Another jump in Coronavirus cases in La Crosse County was recorded Monday as the Health Department announced 23 new cases.

Total lab-confirmed cases for the county are now at 290. Of those, 110 have recovered and four are currently hospitalized. Health Director Jen Rombalski clarified that three out of the four hospitalized individuals are not seriously ill, but were placed in the hospital to slow an outbreak in a facility.

“We’ve heard people say that positive cases are the result of increased testing. That is simply not true,” Rombalski said. “The positive cases are the result of individuals being tested and a higher percentage of those individuals are being positive.”

On Monday, the percentage of positive test results in the county hit 20.4 percent. The overall positive percentage since testing began is 3.1 percent.

Rombalski recognized the pattern of positive cases among those in the 20-29-year-old age category.

“We are seeing trends where those 20-29-year-olds when symptomatic have been in bars,” Rombalski said. “We are wanting to work on a strategy that engages our business partners, including hopefully those bars and establishments where they have been.”

She also called out the stigma against this age category, including what she called concerning, negative statements.

“They are an important part of our population, and we really cannot stigmatize that group,” Rombalski said. “I would like to ask them to come to the table to be part of the solution.”

The health department is working to request another National Guard testing site for the county.

Also on Monday, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction released its guidelines for when classes will resume. Rombalski said the 87-page document reflected conversations already happening in La Crosse County. A committee with representatives from all schools in the county as well as the health department has been meeting weekly.

“Schools will likely be open in the fall, but they will not look and feel the same way they always have,” Rombalski said. “We are in a unique time.”

She added those schools will have plans and processes in place to make sure they can support and protect the health of their students, families, and staff.

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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