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La Crosse County health director back on job, sees positive trend on COVID



The outlook for COVID-19 in La Crosse County is ‘promising,’ according to county health director Jen Rombalski. 

Even though 7 deaths from COVID have occurred in the county during the past week, Rombalski says there are indications that the overall numbers are beginning to drop. 

However, she says the trend of groups continuing to gather is leading to many of the infections in the county.

The city’s two hospitals are not seeing the surge in COVID patients that other Wisconsin cities are experiencing. 

Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald of Mayo says his hospital and Gundersen are both in a ‘pretty good place,’ and are not stretched to a critical level. 

But Fitzgerald he worries that increases in community spread could put more people in the local hospitals.

“If that same thing happens in our hospital settings, we may not be able to do surgeries and some of those things that are really important to keep people healthy,” said Fitzgerald. “We may have to shift some of our outpatient staff…and not have people get the routine care, which could result in illness not related to COVID.”  

Fitzgerald says small gatherings seem to be the main source of COVID spread in the area right now. 

Rombalski returned to work this week, after several days in isolation.

“I had probably every symptom with the exception of a high fever, and I was pretty out for a number of days in a row,” said Rombalski.

She says the spread is ‘improving’ in the area, but points out that La Crosse is still in the ‘red’ caution area for infection. 

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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