News Release: Many Moving Out of Rental Housing May Increase Disease Transmission of COVID-19


Graphic provided by the La Crosse County Health Department.

La Crosse County Health Department, Guest Contributor

The end of the spring semester brings the end of student leases for those enrolled at UW-La Crosse, Viterbo and Western Technical College as well as others whose leases end this month. With this transition to next year’s housing, neighborhoods around the campuses with student rentals can expect increased traffic and activity related to these moves from mid-May to early June. 

“Moving can bring several thousand people into the community to assist their students with the moving process,” said Jen Rombalski, Director of the Health Department. “This influx of people from outside our county can increase the risk of transmission of the virus that causes COVID- 19.” Rombalski and La Crosse County Health Department shared the following guidance for those moving and those who live in neighborhoods with moving activity to be safe during this transition time. 

Moving is considered essential travel under the Safer at Home guidelines. If you are moving, follow these guidelines to move as safely as possible: 

  • Stock up on needed supplies ahead of time to avoid making extra stops for boxes, packing and cleaning supplies. 
  • Wear a fabric face covering when you have contact with anyone outside your household or as you conduct essential trips at businesses or restaurants. 
  • Practice physical distancing as much as possible to avoid close contact with those outside your household. 
  • Continue to clean hands regularly. Wash hands with soap and water or use a hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your face. 
  • Limit the number of people you bring in to help you move to avoid bringing large numbers of people together. 
  • Talk with roommates and landlords to schedule moveout timing to avoid congregating with those outside your household. 

If your neighborhood has a high number of student rentals, you can expect levels of traffic and street congestion to be higher than normal. For others in our community who may need to run essential errands, please follow these guidelines to help keep you safe: 

  • Plan your trips for essential supplies, food, cleaning supplies and family needs ahead of time to avoid crowded stores. 
  • If you are an individual at high risk for COVID -19, older adult or someone with a chronic health condition, stay home during busy moving days, weekends and evenings. Consider asking a friend to run errands if necessary. 
  • Wear a fabric face covering when you are out of your home conducting essential travel. 
  • Practice physical distancing keeping 6 feet between you and those who do not live in your household. 
  • Continue to wash your hands with soap and water or use a hand sanitizer as you return to your home from essential travel. Avoid touching your face. 

Rombalski recognizes that this is an exciting time for students and families. The Health Department recommends that everyone relies on the tools we have in our toolbox to reduce the transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19; 

  1. Physical Distancing – 6 feet spacing between people
  2. Fabric face coverings
  3. Routine and regular hand washing

Additional guidance is available on the La Crosse County’s COVID-19 website:

Graphic provided by the La Crosse County Health Department.
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