by CHRIS ROGERS
The coronavirus keeps on spreading, but its dynamics in the region morphed some this past week.
In Winona County, the rate of new infections slowed down down slightly, though new cases keep emerging. Winona County reported 10 new cases of COVID-19 in the last seven days, or an average of 1.4 cases per day. That is a slight improvement from the second half of June, when the county reported between 2-3 cases per day on average.The county’s total number of confirmed cases now stands at 129.
Trempealeau County’s infection rate took a troubling turn for the worse this week, when 40 new cases where reported in the past seven days. After slowing down at the end of June, the speed of transmission in Trempealeau County appears to have accelerated. Forty cases in one week is a new record for the county. Trempealeau County now has 158 cases total and zero deaths.
La Crosse County posted 77 new infections in the last seven days, or an average of 11 new cases a day. That is actually an improvement compared to past weeks. In late June, the county saw an average of over 20 new cases a day. Hospitalizations in La Crosse County are still low. The county reported just one current hospitalization on Tuesday, and it still has not had any COVID-19 deaths.
Rochester’s Olmsted County also saw a slight slow-down in its rate of new infections, which fell to an average of around 14 new cases per day this past week, down from nearly 19 per day at the end of June.
Buffalo County reported another positive test result on Tuesday, bringing its total number of cases to nine.
In Fillmore, Houston, and Wabasha counties, slow but steady transmission of the virus continued, with the counties reporting five, three, and two new cases this week, respectively.
Across the region, health experts encouraged citizens to stay home if they are sick except to seek medical care, get tested if they have any symptom of COVID-19 (cough, shortness of breath or difficult breathing, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell), stay six feet apart from others, wear face masks, cover coughs and sneezes, wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water, avoid touching their face, and avoid large, indoor gatherings.
In Winona, COVID-19 tests are available at the Winona Health Urgent Care clinic at 855 Mankato Avenue and at the Gundersen Health System Winona campus at 1122 West Highway 61. More information is available at www.winonahealth.org or www.gundersenhealth.org or by contacting Winona Health’s COVID-19 nurse line at 507-457-7619.
More information on how to protect yourself and your community is available at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html, www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html, and www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/index.htm.