Last Friday, after over two weeks of waiting, the La Crosse County health department officially launched its Coulee COVID-19 Collaborative (CCC) website to better gauge the virus in the area.
It has yet to be updated. The last data used — and only data used, since launch — is through Aug. 18 on the “Metrics,” “Community Indicators,” and “Case Data” pages.
The “Guidance” page was updated Aug. 21 — the day the site went live. Guidance, however, likely hasn’t changed from things like “wear a mask” and “wash your hands” a lot.
It’s unknown why, at this point. Perhaps the county is updating the CCC weekly, coinciding with its health briefings at noon Fridays.
The CCC, as its name suggests, isn’t just the county health department’s baby. It also has the input from La Crosse health giants, Gundersen Health System and Mayo Clinic Health System.
The CCC was the replacement to the COVID-19 Compass that had been used for months. It was something businesses and schools were relying on to open up safely.
On Aug. 5, the county health department announced, it would no longer use the compass. It also waited 16 days to replace it.
“We’ve been working closely with the county to develop that tool, and understand the risk in our county,” La Crosse Schools Superintendent, Dr. Aaron Engel, said Tuesday on La Crosse Talk PM. “And so, to lose that all of a sudden, with nothing in its place, was a real disappointment.”
The launch also came 16 days before the La Crosse School District is set to start classes virtually Sept. 1 with the hope of going in-person in October.
The CCC was also was a replacement for daily case updates, which the county stopped after Aug. 7, instead opting to update cases weekly at noon Mondays, which it has done. WIZM has used state data to continue updating cases, but those state totals didn’t match up with the county’s last Monday.
The argument for going with the CCC was that it has a broader range of data to gauge the virus, like cases per 100,000 and looks at three metrics — case rate, hospitalization rate, COVID care capacity.
The “Safe Travel” map appears to be updated.