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Trempealeau County sees surge in new cases

WHITEHALL, Wis. (WXOW) - The Trempealeau County Health Department said they've seen nearly 100 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the past week.

They issued a news release outlining the challenges the department is facing. You can read the full release below.

It said that between September 17-23, 97 people tested positive for the virus, the highest number of cases in one week in the county since the pandemic began.

The department, which utilizes the Harvard model to track the metrics for COVID-19, said the 7-day new case rate is 46.7 which puts the county in the red on the model.

The risk level is communicated as colors: green, yellow, orange, red and is based on the average daily new case rate per 100,000 people for the 7-days prior. Rates are expressed as per 100,000 population (people) in order to take into account the population size.

 Green means that cases are on track for containment and on average, there are less than 1case per 100,000 population per day.
 Yellow means that there is initial community spread and on average, there are 1 to 10 cases per 100,000 population per day
 Orange means there is accelerated community spread and on average, there are 10 to 25 cases per 100,000 population per day
 Red means the rate of cases is at a tipping point for uncontrolled community spread and that on average, there are greater than 25 cases per 100,000 per day.

With the new cases, Health Director Barb Barczak said the department is at capacity for contacting people who test positive. “We are diligently working to keep up, but the number of cases are difficult to manage. We need people to take this seriously and stay home if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 or are a close contact to someone who tested positive.”

The department plans to hire additional contact tracers.

The statement said more people with the virus were reporting being at social functions in the two weeks before getting symptoms.

One event that the department identified where at least two COVID positive people attended was the Nacho Cheese Fest in Blair between September 18-20.

They are working to identify anyone who might have had high-risk close contact with the individuals. They also consider anyone at the event or any participating businesses in Blair on those dates to consider themselves at medium risk exposure. The department said any possible exposures should self-monitor for any symptoms of the virus and limit all non-essential activities for 14 days from the exposure date.

The health department plans a free COVID-19 testing site at G-E-T Middle School in Galesville on Saturday, September 26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is open to any Wisconsin resident age five or older who is experiencing at least one symptom or has had contact with someone who later tested positive.

RELATED: Monroe County sees September increase in COVID cases

Find more COVID-19 coverage here

Kevin Millard

Kevin Millard-Social Media Digital Content Manager for WXOW.

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