Ten La Crosse County residents have died from COVID-19 in the last 19 days

The first three deaths happened in a span of more than two months

LA CROSSE COUNTY (WKBT) – About one in every 9,000 La Crosse County residents die from COVID-19 right now. The total number of deaths in the county sits at 13.

We have to go all the way back to July 17, the day the health department announced La Crosse County’s first resident died from COVID-19.

Not one more person died from the disease for another 47 days on September 2.

Twenty-two days later, a third person in the county lost their fight with the coronavirus.

Now, the county is suddenly up to 13 deaths in total. That’s 10 COVID deaths in 19 days.

Wisconsin is averaging more than 2,700 cases per day in that same time span. That’s the highest average case rate since the pandemic began.

“People are tired of the pandemic, and they’re tired of wearing masks,” Governor Tony Evers said at Tuesday’s state health press conference. “And I think there’s been some let down over the summer.”

The health department announced a couple weeks ago an outbreak at several long-term care facilities.

Now, the DHS is looking at 12 public health investigations at five long-term care facilities in La Crosse County.

There are 14 other active investigations at other places in the county including schools and workplaces bringing the total to 26.

“An outbreak investigation in a long-term care facility requires that there is a single positive case,” Wisconsin DHS Secretary-Designee Andrea Palm said.

Currently, there are investigations at Benedictine Manor and Bethany Riverside in La Crosse, the Onalaska Care Center, and Lakeview Health Center and Mulder Health Care Facility in West Salem.

“You may end up conducting an investigation that doesn’t actually turn into an outbreak situation, which is obviously the hope,” Stephanie Smiley with the DHS’s Division of Public Health said.

But DHS leaders say with higher case numbers, they expect more investigations.

“It has to be an all hands on-deck approach,” Smiley said. “And hopefully folks really do heed the advice that we’re putting out here today and always.”

The first ten COVID deaths in La Crosse County were people aged 60 and older.

For more information, you can visit the DHS’s website.