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Coulee COVID-19 Collaborative: Plan for Safer Holidays

Published: Dec. 16, 2020 at 8:24 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - The latest number from the Coulee COVID-19 Collaborative show 48 people have died from COVID-19 in La Crosse County. Trends in this week’s cases are showing spread coming from social gatherings and workplaces connected to Thanksgiving events.

The collaborative found 15 cases reported were exposed to a named individual at a Thanksgiving celebration, 19 others were potentially exposed at other Thanksgiving events and 28 infectious people who attended a Thanksgiving celebration and exposed others. On Wednesday, the collaborative released a Plan for Safer Holidays this Christmas and New Year.

Gundersen Health System Infection Preventionist Megan Meller says, “More often than not they are happening when people are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic so they haven’t yet developed symptoms, they think they are okay, safe to go a gathering and then they find out a few days later that they a) developed symptoms or they were exposed to somebody. So that’s why I think it’s really important to relay the message, because we’re almost through this pandemic, the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter and brighter.”

Along with wearing a mask and avoiding social gatherings, the Coulee COVID-19 Collaborative recommends that all in-person sports, chorus, clubs, and practices be canceled through at least January 4th. It’s also recommending that churches and places of worship be online only

Meller says, “Not attend church services and not do sports is a reflection of that best practices because we know respiratory illnesses in the winter spread much more easily indoors because it a) we’re indoors more and b) the humidity plays a role in that as well. Indoor sports involves more close contact, it’s harder to socially distance and it can be the same way when you have larger, indoor gatherings such as church services.”

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