DHS: La Crosse sees 110 new COVID-19 cases, additional testing available statewide

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — La Crosse County reported 110 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday, bringing the total to 4,366, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

The county reported an additional 207 negative tests since Wednesday and no additional deaths.

New cases include:

  • Four people under the age of 9;
  • 19 people between 10-19;
  • 25 people in their 20s;
  • 14 people in their 30s;
  • 13 people in their 40s;
  • 17 people in their 50s;
  • 10 people in their 60s;
  • Six people in their 70s; and,
  • One person in their 80s.

Statewide, Wisconsin reported an additional 51 COVID-19 deaths and 4,870 test-confirmed positive cases.

Gov. Tony Evers announced the expansion of testing Thursday across Wisconsin.

This includes 71 new free community testing sites that will now be available in 56 counties and 7 tribal nations. These sites have the capacity to test approximately 48,000 people each week. Increasing access to testing for all individuals continues to be a major pillar of Wisconsin’s statewide response plan, and these efforts will help meet this goal.

“Testing is a critically important part of our state’s response to this pandemic, and we want to make it easier for those who need a test to get a test,” said Evers. “Distance is one barrier that we can do something about, and one of the ways to address this issue is to offer testing in more places.”

The new sites are intended to ensure consistent access to testing in all regions of the state. Each of the sites uses COVID Connect, the state’s online testing registration and result system, and each has the capacity to collect 300-400 tests a day.

“Testing plays a critical role in protecting our friends and family from further spread of the virus and helps us to understand disease activity around the state,” said DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm. “If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, we encourage you to visit one of these testing sites, isolate away from others, and let your close contacts know they may have been exposed. Your efforts to keep those around you safe will help stop the spread.”

Testing provides foundational information but is not enough to stop the spread. Actions taken after obtaining a test are the key to preventing further infections. These actions include quarantining while waiting for results, self-isolating and notifying contacts in the case of a positive result, and monitoring symptoms in the case of a negative result.
Each site represents a partnership between the State of Wisconsin Emergency Operations Center, the Wisconsin National Guard, local and tribal public health, and county and tribal emergency management. The Healthcare Emergency Readiness Coalition coordinators also played a key role in establishing sites across the state.

The community testing sites will be staffed by the Wisconsin National Guard citizen soldiers with one local site manager per site. In addition to the community testing sites, Wisconsin National Guard personnel may also provide testing support for outbreaks and emerging needs throughout the state. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Wisconsin National Guard has collected more than 700,000 tests and continues to enhance its testing capabilities. Last week, the community testing sites collected more than 45,000 tests and had a record-setting day on Tuesday, October 27 with the collection of more than 11,000 tests.

“Citizen Soldiers and Airmen from the Wisconsin National Guard continue to step up when called to assist their communities in times of need,” said Maj. Gen. Paul Knapp. “Our troops have been continuously operating community-based testing sites since the early days of this pandemic, and we remain committed to serving our neighbors across Wisconsin with expanded testing efforts in the coming months.”

A list of testing sites across the state is available at https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/community-testing.htm.

Community testing sites will be available through December 10 and are open to anyone who lives or works in Wisconsin. The sites are funded through federal CARES Act funds.