Coronavirus in Wisconsin: State and local update, La Crosse and Eau Claire 10-16-20

Local News

LA CROSSE/EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – This afternoon, Wisconsin’s secretary for the Department of Health Services says the state is in a crisis, responding to the COVID-19 virus, adding – quote: “This is going to get worse before it gets better.”

The state hit a new daily high today for confirmed coronavirus cases for the second time this week.

There were 3,747 new cases reported, breaking the previous high-water mark set two days ago.

Deaths increased by 17, and total hospitalizations are now close to 89 hundred.

Over the past two weeks, the rolling average number of daily new cases in the state has increased by nearly 22 percent. There were nearly 625 new cases per 100 thousand people in Wisconsin over the past two weeks, the fourth highest of any state.

DHS secretary Andrea Palm says the current rise in cases is tied to very intense community spread in all age groups.

Palm said, “That is a sign that is not just about young folks. It’s happening on a community-wide basis and it really does speak to the need for all of us to do everything that we can to stop the spread, remembering that not all cases are symptomatic. There are positive folks who don’t have symptoms, and while that’s a really good outcome for them, we did we certainly don’t want them to be ill and have symptoms, but it means that they could be inadvertently spreading the virus.”

Chippewa County reported its second COVID-19 related fatality today. This comes three days after its first death.

County Health Director Angela Weideman says no information on the latest fatality will be released. Overall, positive cases increased by 25 today to now sit at 911.

In Eau Claire County, new cases rose by 37 today, now above 25 hundred since the pandemic began.

The current total is up 244 from the total seven days ago. Deaths remain at nine.

This week, the Eau Claire City Council delayed passage of a contagious disease ordinance, allowing the Eau Claire City-County Health Department to enforce local health orders and add additional legislative oversight.

Health Director Lieske Giese says her legal team is looking at its options moving forward.

“We could put forward subsequent orders and could move forward the ordinance that was being discussed, more quickly. Those are definitely options. It is also an option to do what’s called ‘direct legislation’ which my layman’s terms to say that it is a an ordinance or a requirement that some piece of what is going to be best practice for public health happen in the city of Eau Claire and or in Eau Claire County,” said Giese.

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