Three months ago, the Coulee COVID-19 Collaborative stopped giving weekly updates.
The collaborative between Mayo, Gundersen and the La Crosse County Health Department were encouraged by the vaccine rollout and the county being 47.9% vaccinated. It is now 56.5% vaccinated.
With cases ramping up, thanks in part to the more contagious Delta variant, the collaborative announced it would begin meeting regularly again. The La Crosse County Health Department will again begin sharing weekly case and data updates.
COVID-19 cases in La Crosse County have increased 163% in the past four weeks — from 19 cases per week to 200 cases.
The positivity rate for those tested has gone from 1% to 6.5%.
The collaborative said the Delta variant is impacting younger people and causes illness but vaccinated people recover quicker.
“Vaccination is the best tool for people to protect themselves from COVID-19 infection, but none of our tools are 100% perfect,” Rajiv Naik, MD, pediatrician and vaccine specialist at Gundersen said. “Unlike the original virus, we have learned that those vaccinated can become infected with the Delta variant and can spread the virus. It is important to layer our protection with masking and distancing as well as vaccination.”
The collaborative recommends everyone wear a face mask, especially indoors and/or in a public setting, whether vaccinated or not.
“Doing what we can as a community to prevent spread is key to getting through this recent surge and being able to participate in normal activities,” Kevin Fitzgerald, M.D., family physician at Mayo Clinic Health System said. “If you are having symptoms of COVID-19, stay home and get tested.”
The good news:
- COVID-19 vaccinations are widely available, highly effective, and free.
- Over half of La Crosse County residents (56.4%) are fully vaccinated with rates varying by age group.
- Return to school, work, outdoor events, and normal activities can be successful when following recommendations to vaccinate, wear a mask, maintain physical distance and practice hand hygiene.
- COVID-19 testing is available and can help people make sound decisions on what activities are safe.
Weekly case data is available by clicking here.
COVID-19 risk level can be found clicking here.
Vaccination sites available by clicking here.
Testing opportunities can be found here.