Health director concerned about Loggers games, other large gatherings, as virus surges in La Crosse
Playing sports in a viral pandemic is something the billion-dollar industry at the pro level is having a difficult time figuring out.
The NBA wants to play in a bubble. Baseball will be regionally. Neither with fans. In fact, neither sport may get going at all.
At the college level, virus outbreaks are sending large portions of teams into quarantine.
On that note, while La Crosse County has had 413 cases of the virus since June 1 — 26 cases in all of May — the La Crosse Loggers season-opener is 7:05 p.m. Friday at Copeland Park, and fans are allowed — at 50 percent capacity.
La Crosse County health director Jen Rombalski isn’t thrilled about the idea.
“I struggle with it, frankly,” she said at a public briefing Wednesday. “I think that if we do those types of events right, we may see outbreaks and cases and it does concern me.
“Our environmental health staff have spoken with those at the Loggers, and we’ve tried to tell them what we would want to see them doing. They did some of those recommendations — not all.”
Rombalski didn’t get into specifics about what recommendations the Loggers were or were not taking, but was not excited to know there could be large gatherings at Copeland Park, at the La Crosse Speedway and for firework shows on the Fourth.
“I’m concerned about any activity that brings folks together, even though it’s an outdoor space,” Rombalski said. “Those are not in alignment with our current recommendations.
“My messages is that if you’re going to attend one of those events, that you take every precaution, and you understand that you may be putting yourself at risk — just because we really shouldn’t be having those kinds of events right now.”
The Loggers did open their season Thursday with a 1-0 win on the road in Rockford, Ill., getting an RBI double by JT Thomas in the top of the ninth. They play again Thursday, before heading back to La Crosse.
TOP PHOTO: File — Copeland Park