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COVID numbers rising at La Crosse area hospitals again



La Crosse area hospitals are starting to fill up with COVID-19 patients again, because of the variant spreading across the country.     

Mayo doctor Joe Poterucha says La Crosse County is considered at “substantial risk” for COVID, while Trempealeau and Monroe Counties are at high risk.  Poterucha says Vernon County has a moderate risk, because the vaccination rate there has been high.  

“We have some open beds here at Mayo,” says Poterucha, who counts 5 or 6 patients in intensive care. “We’re starting to feel the burden of sort of that delta surge, but less so than the surrounding communities in Wisconsin.”

For the first time in many weeks, La Crosse County reported over 40 new cases of COVID-19 in a single day on Monday.  That compares to several days this summer when the county had no new cases. 

Poterucha says 99 per cent of the new local cases are among non-vaccinated patients. 

But on a hopeful note, “I don’t see any foreseeable way that Wisconsin will go back to mask mandate lockdown mode,” said Poterucha.

  Will COVID numbers rise enough in Wisconsin to require another mask mandate for state residents?  Mayo physician Joe Poterucha (POT-a-roo-ka) in La Crosse doesn’t predict that happening:     Potarucha has seen more local COVID patients at Mayo, including in the intensive care unit, since the delta variant has become more widespread.  He says La Crosse and other area counties have been judged at ‘substantial risk’ for COVID by the C-D-C.       

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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