Monroe County COVID numbers continue to rise

On Wednesday, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers outlined the latest efforts to fight COVID-19 as the state continues to see a surge in cases and deaths related to COVID. On Tuesday, health officials reported that the seven-day average for new reported virus deaths has increased 880 percent in two months after a record 92 new deaths were reported on Tuesday.
The bills put forward by Evers would prohibit evictions and foreclosures through 2021, continue the suspension of a one-week waiting period prior to Wisconsinites collecting unemployment; allow workers, including in health care, to claim worker's compensation benefits if they contract COVID from their occupation and waive student tests and school report card requirements for the current school year.
Other bills Evers made public Tuesday require insurers to cover telehealth services that would be covered if in person and ensure that health plans provide coverage for testing, diagnosis, treatment, prescriptions and vaccines related to COVID.
As of Wednesday, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services has recorded testing 2,368,778 people, 331,837 of which have tested positive for coronavirus while 2,036,941 have tested negative. 
Of those who tested positive statewide, there have been 15,100 hospitalizations and 254,365 recoveries have been reported while 74,616 cases remain active. Overall, Wisconsin has reported 2,793 deaths related to COVID. 
Monroe County also continues to experience increasing levels of COVID-19 with a rapid increase in the number of daily new cases in past weeks.
The Monroe County Health Department (MCHD) reported 105 new confirmed cases of COVID over the weekend, with an additional 23 on Monday, 30 on Tuesday and 71 new cases on Wednesday for a total of 2,161 confirmed cases in Monroe County, which is an increase of 396 cases since last Wednesday.
As of Wednesday, Monroe County has 532 active cases while there have been 1,617 recoveries and 14,140 negative test results. Twelve individuals are currently hospitalized and there have been 12 deaths related to COVID in Monroe County.
Due to the escalation in cases, the MCHD announced last week that case investigation and contact tracing efforts to effectively identify and control the spread of the virus have become increasingly strained and therefore the department is no longer able to consistently notify positive cases and their close contacts in a timely manner. 
MCHD staff will be prioritizing contacting positive cases who are age 55 and older, children age 18 and younger and all other individuals will be contacted as capacity allows.
If an individual tests positive, the MCHD recommends staying home to isolate for a minimum of 10 days until the individual is free of fever and sees an improvement in other symptoms and notifying close contacts to ask them to quarantine for 14 days from the last day of contact. 
Steps to slow the spread of COVID include the following:
• Wearing a face covering, unless unable to wear one for medical reasons. 
• Washing hands frequently with soap and water or using hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
• Staying home as much as possible, especially if sick. 
• Cooperating with public health officials after testing positive or are a close contact with an individual who has tested positive.
The MCHD discourages any large gatherings at this time such as weddings, golf outings, reunions and celebrations that bring a large number of people together. The MCHD also recommends avoiding unnecessary activities and travel within the community that could involve contact with others.
For more information, please visit MCHD’s COVID-19 webpage at
In La Crosse County, there have been 6,845 confirmed cases of COVID reported as of Wednesday with 38,261 negative test results and 31 COVID-related deaths. 

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