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Rose St. hotel still providing shelter for La Crosse County



La Crosse County is continuing to use some local hotels to temporarily shelter the homeless and some people infected with COVID-19. 

Last month, the county board approved a program to house people at the EconoLodge on a short term basis. 

Kevin Burch with Catholic Charities told the county board on Monday that other hotels, such as the Gundersen Hotel on South Avenue, have been involved in the process as well.

“We played some ‘musical hotels,’ we were able to shift families out of the EconoLodge into a different hotel where we could then utilize the EconoLodge for isolation and quarantine,” said Burch.

He says no one at the EconoLodge is in isolation right now.   

As winter is winding down, Burch tells the county board that the downtown warming center on 3rd Street has been closed for normal shelter purposes.  The number of people sheltered at the EconoLodge averages around 35 a night.          

Anneliese Skoda from the county human services office says a dozen staffers with her department have volunteered to work at the hotel during this period.    

The county is renting the rooms for $60 a night, with FEMA providing reimbursement.   

In other county business, the opening for a new county health director should be posted by the end of next week.

Former director Jen Rombalski, who has led the county’s efforts against COVID-19 for the past year, recently took a job with the state Department of Health Services.  Deputy county administrator Jane Klekamp has been overseeing the health department since Rombalski left. 

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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