Coronavirus case surge in La Crosse Co. not related to more testing

"We have basically debunked that theory," Jen Rombalski says

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – La Crosse County Health Department leaders say the recent outbreak in coronavirus cases is not because of more testing.

“We have basically debunked that theory,” health director Jen Rombalski said.

The county’s recent surge are cases linked mostly to bars and restaurants.

“It is a result of increased virus,” Rombalski said.

Rombalski says there are more tests being done than the last several weeks.

“Most days we are maxing out the capacity that we have in our community,” Rombalski said.

The department is trying to bring in three more National Guard testing sites before the end of August.

“We’re working on this first testing site,” Rombalski said. We submitted that yesterday for that to be in downtown La Crosse sometime around the 10th of July.”

But Wisconsin DHS secretary-designee Andrea Palm says federal funding for National Guard members runs into early August.

“We are preparing for their presence, their participation in our response at a reduced level beyond that,” Palm said in a media briefing Tuesday.

At the moment, La Crosse County can only test so many people, and Rombalski advises if you are a close contact to a case, stay home.

“We don’t have the capacity right now to test individuals who are close contacts and not symptomatic,” Rombalski said.

Rombalski also says so far only one case is being traced to the protests in La Crosse following the death of George Floyd.