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Coronavirus

It’s been a long year for doctors, too, since COVID arrived in La Crosse

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One year after La Crosse County got its first case of COVID-19, even local doctors feel as if time has slowed down.

“It’s hard to remember back to where we didn’t wear masks and that we didn’t have some of our procedures in place,” Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald, a physician in outpatient practice with Mayo in La Crosse, said.

Fitzgerald thinks some medical practices put in place for COVID, such as wearing masks, could become standard after the pandemic is over. He notes that dentists have changed some hygienic practices over the years.

La Crosse County recorded its first two cases of COVID-19 on March 18, 2020. Since then, 80 deaths in the county have been attributed to the virus, and 13,000 county residents have been infected.

Here’s the number of deaths of La Crosse County residents by month and their ages:

MONTHTOTALAGETOTAL
July140s1
August150s2
Sept.460s9
Oct.1870s14
Nov.1680+54
Dec.25TOTAL80
Jan.11
Feb.4
TOTAL80

Fitzgerald said Mayo and others have done “remarkably well” in arranging testing and getting vaccines developed in a short time, but he believes it’s still not time for everybody to let down their guard.

He says doctors and government leaders figured out pretty quickly that shutting down society wasn’t going to make the virus go away, so they made adjustments to everyday routines.

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.