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Only a “sneak peek” at new site La Crosse County will use to replace COVID-19 Compass



It’s not online yet. A new replacement in La Crosse and surrounding counties for replacing the COVID-19 compass.

It looks like it will be called the Coulee Covid-19 Collaborative (CCC). A “sneak peak” PowerPoint can be viewed here or seen below.

The La Crosse County Health Department walked through a bit of a demo during a public briefing Friday, but a lot of the interactive processes to what the site would look like weren’t available. 

Two doctors at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse — Dr. Todd Kowalski, an infectious disease physician, and Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald, a family physician — were part of the briefing, along with county health director Jen Rombalski.

Along with the eventual launch of the CCC to replace the compass — possibly by next Friday — Rombalski added the health department will no longer be putting out daily case counts, which is being done by surrounding counties, as well as in both Wisconsin and Minnesota.

“We will try and share with you what trends are occurring,” Rombalski said. “That’s really where the important information is, along with what the data overall is telling us and how that guides our recommendations and our actions as members of this community.”

The panel spoke of data and key metrics and secondary information that the community could view to, essentially, gauge virus activity.

Stakeholders with input into the “CCC” will update the site weekly. The CCC will use the Harvard Global Health Institute model as a guide for assessing the virus level in the county.

“It’s been adapted to really fit our state and our region and our health care system,” Kowalski said. “So, it’s a little more, I think, pertinent and probably helpful to our communities in general.”

Some of those key metrics would judge disease activity on daily case and hospitalization rates per 100,000 on a seven-day average, as well as six secondary community indicators that relate testing and contact tracing with the health care system.

“As we’ve gone through this process, we’ve agreed on both the framework and the metrics, and we’ve agreed to view this data weekly,” Kowalski said. “And that really gives us an opportunity to give a more nuance picture of things that we may know be behind some of the metrics and the data, and make sure we’re having the best, and most complete picture, to drive recommendations for our region and community.”

The guidelines given for the community at the moment — slide 5 below — are nothing new to what everyone’s been hearing the past weeks and months:

  • Stay home if you have symptoms
  • Wear a mask in public
  • Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face
  • Do not travel to locations with higher case rates than La Crosse County
  • Limit personal social gatherings to up to 50 indoors and up to 100 outdoors (with masks and physical distance).
  • Minimize mass gatherings in public buildings, and spaces up to 50% of capacity …

Host of WIZM's La Crosse Talk PM | University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate | Hometown: Greenville, Wis | Avid noonball basketball player and sand volleyballer in La Crosse

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