Many Wisconsin hospitals are facing an unprecedented increase in COVID-19 patients.
“We are seeing a surge of patients like we have not seen so far in our COVID experience. And it is without question the result of great rates, very, very high rates of community spread and infection in the state of Wisconsin,” said Eric Borgerding, President and CEO of the Wisconsin Hospitals Association.
Public health authorities attribute the state’s coronavirus crisis in large part to a failure by many people to take the virus seriously, and not following recommendations such was mask wearing, social distancing and avoiding large gatherings.
Borgerding said hospitals and their staffs are doing everything possible, to address the state’s rapidly growing coronavirus case count.
“But we absolutely must have the public taking COVID seriously, and abiding by those simple practices that can help slow this down. Wearing a mask. Social distancing. Washing your hands. And whenever you possibly can, avoid large gatherings.”
As of Wednesday, Wisconsin hospitals reported using 81.1 percent of available beds overall, and 79.2 of ICU beds.
Some Wisconsin hospitals are resorting to wait-listing patients, or sending them to other facilities. The Journal Sentinel reports that those in Green Bay, Wausau and the Fox Valley are particularly hard hit, as they are located in the state’s latest COVID-19 hot spots.
“Now is the time more than ever, for our state, our citizens to really take this seriously and abide by all of those really simple precautions. If we do that, we can maybe get ahead of this,” Borgerding said. “But right now it’s very concerning, where we are today and where we seem to be heading.”