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Mayo doctor in La Crosse sees silver lining in local COVID numbers



COVID-19 cases are rising around the U.S., and Tokyo is seeing a six-month high in virus cases just as the Olympics are about to open. 

But places such as La Crosse are continuing to see low COVID numbers, due in part to high vaccination rates, according to Mayo doctor Joe Poterucha. 

He says the major concern right now is the spread of the Delta and Lambda variants of COVID.

“I think the mechanisms are put in place with the vaccine…social distancing, masking, a lot of areas of the country (are gonna) catch up, and eventually we’ll get to herd immunity and get through this thing,” says Poterucha.

He tells WIZM News that despite some variants detected here, the La Crosse area is doing well.

“Here in La Crosse, 70 per cent of adults vaccinated …you know, we’re seeing some cases of delta variant, but we’re in pretty good shape here,” says the doctor.

The World Health Organization wants at least 40 per cent of the people in every country to be vaccinated against COVID by year’s end.  That call follows a 12 per cent global rise in new cases in the past week.

Poterucha says kids should be back in school for the fall semester, but it’s up to local officials to decide on mask use at school.           


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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