MONROE — Southwest Wisconsin hasn’t been immune to the record-breaking and accelerating spread of COVID-19 that the state as a whole is experiencing.
Both Green and Lafayette counties broke single-day records for new infections and for active cases over the Nov. 14 weekend.
Green County reported 42 new infections in a single day and topped out at 185 active infections. Lafayette County, which has less than half the population of Green County, reported 55 new infections in a single day and a high of 351 active infections.
To put this rise in COVID-19 infections in perspective, it took Green County six months to reach 280 cases and one death by early September. In the two and a half months since then, the county’s cases have more than quintupled to 1,410 and four more people have died.
As of Nov. 15, Green County’s active cases included six hospitalized. The 14-day positive rate for testing remains at over 25%, or one in four of those tested. All five Green County residents who have died of COVID-19 were over the age of 65.
In Lafayette County, two residents have died, both over the age of 70, according to interim health director Julie Leibfried.
(Stay) Home for the Holidays
Public health officials in Green County are urging the community to avoid gathering in person with people from different households this holiday season, to “help keep yourself and your community healthy.”
Eating and drinking in bars or restaurants, shopping in crowded stores and spending time in any other crowded space is discouraged.
Instead, Green County Public Health suggests people share a meal with household members, prepare presents or treats for loved ones and use contactless delivery, host a virtual dinner, shop online, and watch sports, events and movies at home.
Efforts are underway to drive holiday sales at local businesses, without in-person crowding, including virtual events, gift certificates and other COVID-conscious shopping. Main Street Monroe and the Monroe Chamber of Commerce are two groups spearheading local holiday shopping initiatives.
If people do choose to gather, Green County Public Health advises keeping it small, practicing physical distancing, wearing masks and avoiding travel.
“Widespread holiday gatherings could have very negative effects on our community — employees unable to work, kids not able to attend school and an increased undue burden on our already overwhelmed health care systems,” RoAnn Warden, public health director, said in a statement.