The COVID-19 situation changes rapidly. It is important to get your information from trustworthy sources. Here are some that we recommend:
General Information on COVID-19
For general information on COVID-19 (with lots of helpful links to other sector-specific guidance), we suggest using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS). The La Crosse County Health Department also provides pertinent information and updates on our Facebook page; for those that utilize social media, we invite you to connect with us there.
Daily Data on Cases, Tests and Case Activity
The La Crosse County Health Department provides data updates periodically. This data is available on the "Case Data" page.
If you are seeking daily updates, please visit one of the following resources:
*Please note that there may be a delay of 2 - 7 days for case data from the local level filtering up to these state and federal resources.
K-12 School Recommendations
Returning K-12 students to in-person school is very important for their overall and academic wellbeing. This is important for all students, including those with special needs whose immune status may make them more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection and may increase their risk for severe disease.
For in-person school to happen in the safest way possible, especially given the rising incidence of the delta variant which is far more infectious and is causing a rise in pediatric hospitalizations in other areas of the country, the La Crosse County Health Department strongly supports guidance from the CDC, WI Department of Health Services (DHS), and WI Department of Public Instruction (DPI) regarding a safe return to in-person school for K-12 students. As stipulated in that guidance, schools should utilize a layered approach to mitigation strategies in order to keep students in person and to keep students and staff safe.
We refer members of the public to the guidance provided by these leading public health and healthcare agencies for more information on what schools should do to keep students and staff safe while the pandemic continues during the 2021 - 2022 school year. We recommend that those with questions become familiar with these resources and engage in dialogue with their school districts:
CDC Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools
American Academy of Pediatrics Statement on Updated Recommendations
WI DHS COVID-19 K-12 School Guidance
WI Department of Public Instruction (DPI) Information on COVID-19
Traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic carries inherent risk. When possible it is best to delay travel and/or carefully plan out travel to reduce risk as much as possible. Specific information on how to reduce your risk during travel is provided by the CDC and the WI Department of Health Services:
Consistent with CDC and WI DHS guidance, the La Crosse County Health Department strongly recommends that all people (both unvaccinated and vaccinated) wear a mask when in indoor spaces whenever the 7-day case rate is at or above 50 cases/100,000/week.* Weekly data is posted on the Case Data page. Also consistent with state and federal guidance, we support mask-wearing when the case rate is less than 50 cases/100,000/week for anyone who may be more comfortable that way, and especially for those who are at higher risk for severe disease or complications or who live with people at higher risk for severe disease or complications. Finally, congregate environments such as healthcare organizations, longterm care facilities, and K-12 schools may have different guidance that recommends mask-wearing even with lower case rates in order to better protect a group of people (some of whom may be immunocompromised) who have prolonged close contact.
Masks do not cause hypoxia (low oxygen). They do protect us as individuals and as a community, and help to reduce cases of many types of droplet and airborne diseases (including but not limited to COVID-19). Especially during times of substantial and high community transmission, wearing a mask helps prevent people who may not know they are sick from spreading the disease we well as helping to protect the wearer from being exposed.
Consistent with state and federal guidance, we recommend the use of a well-fitted face mask. Please note that a face shield alone does not provide as good of protection as a facemask for either the wearer or those around them. For more information on masks, please see the following resources:
CDC COVID-19: Your Guide to Masks
WI DHS COVID-19: Wear a Mask
Coulee COVID-19 Collaborative: Masking For You Signage (print this sign and post in your organization to promote community mask wearing)
*Please note that there are certain medical and developmental conditions that may prevent someone from wearing a mask. It is important that we refrain from judging each other, and that we extend compassion and understanding to those whose circumstances may be different than our own. Additionally, please note that COVID-19 is a fluid situation that changes frequently. A change in circumstance or knowledge in the future may change recommendations about this topic and others. We will continue to keep the community informed of changing information and recommendations.
Accessing Community Resources for Food, Insurance and Other Assistance
The COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts of diverse areas of our economy has has widespread implications for our residents and families. If you find yourself in need of help to see if you or your family may be eligible for help with resources such as food and housing, registering for Medicaid, or other community resources, please contact our department by calling 608-785-6240 or emailing [email protected]
You may also be interested in the following resources: