Coulee COVID-19 Compass now offered by health departments

After a successful debut in La Crosse County on May 29, health departments in Buffalo, Crawford, Jackson, La Crosse, Monroe, Trempealeau and Vernon counties have partnered to develop and launch the Coulee COVID-19 Compass. 

“COVID-19 doesn’t respect county borders, so collaboration and partnerships  with our neighboring counties is critical,” said Beth Johnson, director and health officer for Vernon County Health Department. 

This tool will use each county’s data to identify each county’s level of risk related to COVID-19. This risk level will guide recommendations for each county’s residents. It will also allow the public to see the data for neighboring counties and the region at a glance. 

“The Compass responds to data so we can make timely recommendations on  current risks. The tool is responsive because we anticipate that COVID-19 will ebb and flow in our communities,” said April Loeffler, health officer and public health supervisor for Buffalo County Health and Human Services. 

The Coulee COVID-19 Compass provides risk assessment using 10 data points in three categories (epidemiology status-what the disease is doing, healthcare capacity and public health capacity). These data move the Compass needle  between four risk levels (severe, high, moderate, low). As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the health departments anticipate changes to the risk level over time. It is expected that the needle will move responsively between lower and higher risk levels as communities experience waves of the virus. This will occur until a vaccine or treatment is widely available. 

The regional version of the Coulee COVID-19 Compass will be available for viewing at

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