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Nearly 50 Vernon County small biz owners, police, fire chiefs, sheriffs, health, school officials sign letter pleading for help slowing COVID spread

Rick Solem

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Stoddard Bergen Fire Department

It’s a letter to towns of Vernon County. A plea from nearly 50, including small businesses owners, police and fire chiefs, sheriffs, health and school officials and others. Asking them to help take precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19.

In the letter posted on social media signed by 47 affiliated with everything Vernon County, they are asking towns to “put in place an expectation of its citizens to step up and protect each other. … . There is a desperate need to slow the spread, flatten the curve and protect our community and population.”

Vernon County’s positivity rate for COVID-19 was 47% this past week, according to the letter. The county has averaged 19.9 cases a day and suffered two deaths over that span.

“We are asking that the towns ask all of the businesses to wear masks to protect their businesses from closing due to illness of their employees and to protect their customers,” the letter states. “For our community during this pandemic, we are at a crossroads. Having been lucky to avoid seeing these high case numbers, hospitalizations and deaths, we have been very fortunate.

“But, it is here and it is not holding back. It is a privilege to serve this community, but it will take more than just medical professionals to fight this fight, it will take all of our community. We are asking for your support in this effort.”

The letter is signed:
Respectfully submitted by the following,
Amy Kleiber, RN BAN – Health Officer/Director Vernon County Health Department
Justin Running – Vernon County Board Chair
Brandon Larson – Vernon County Emergency Management Director
Dan Kanis and Jacob Kanis – Owners Nelson Agri Center, Viroqua
Chad Buros – Chief Viroqua Fire Department
Justin Panske – Funeral Director Vossetieg Funeral Homes
Karen Mischel – Mayor City of Viroqua
Jeff Liska – Chief Viola Fire Department, Viola Utilities Department
David Hartberg – CEO Vernon Memorial Healthcare
Dr Jeff Lawrence – Chief of Staff Vernon Memorial Healthcare
Dr Joel Charles – COVID Committee Chair Vernon Memorial Hospital
Dr Tony Macasaet – Emergency Medicine Department Chair Vernon Memorial Hospital
Rick Niedfeldt – Chief of Police Viroqua Police Department
Phil Stittleburg – Chief La Farge Fire Department
Trina Erickson – Director Mcintosh Memorial Library
Orlan Bakkum – Chairman Township of Coon
Russ Cornford – Chief Coon Creek Fire and First Responders
David Hobbs – Chief Wheatland Fire and First Responders
John Spears – Sheriff Vernon County
Keith Ashley Wright – Chairman Township of Stark
Karl Henrichsen – President Village of Coon Valley
Opal Hostert – Nurse Desoto Area Schools
Joe Pfaff – Chief Stoddard Fire and First Responders
Mitch Mabb – Chief Readstown Fire Department
Adam Sonntag – Administrator City of Hillsboro
Greg Kubarski – Mayor City of Hillsboro
Cheryl Purvis – President Village of La Farge
Kent Hatlestad – Administrator Village of Stoddard
Brandon Munson – Superintendent North Crawford Schools
Mike Berg – Principal Coon Valley Elementary School
Luke and Ruthie Zahm – Owners Driftless Café
Michele and Lavon Felton – Owners Sleepy Hollow Auto
Spencer Lee – Chief Westby Christiana Fire Department
Jennifer Burchell – Chairman Town of Hillsboro
Westby First Responders
Youth Initiative High School
La Farge Ambulance
Village of Chaseburg
Readstown Ambulance
Hillsboro Ambulance
Pleasant Ridge Waldorf School
Kickapoo Area Schools
Village of Desoto
City of Westby
Gundersen St. Joseph Hillsboro, Hospital and Clinic
Western Technical College Viroqua

The letter was shared on the Stoddard Bergen Fire Department Facebook page.

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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