On Wednesday, Wisconsin experienced a record high in COVID-19 cases, a situation that overwhelmed hospitals in the state. A record high of 2,367 new COVID-19 cases was reported around the state, with 737 people hospitalized. An additional 27 deaths reported on Tuesday was the state’s highest single-day increase in fatalities resulting from coronavirus pandemic since May.
Wisconsin is among the US states with the fastest spreading cases of coronavirus in the last two weeks. According to reports coming from John Hopkins University, the average number of daily new cases increased by 950 – an increase that is nearly 97%.
In the course of the pandemic, 122,274 people have reported positive for the coronavirus. While 82% of these numbers have recovered, there are still over 20,000 active cases, and about 1,327 people have died.
As of Wednesday, Wisconsin had the third-highest positivity rate of any state in the country. Hospitals in the state are also saying that they are overwhelmed by the rising cases of patients that are being admitted. Experts had predicted an upsurge in cases in the state, and now it seems like that exact scenario is taking place.
For officials at ThedaCare Hospital in Fox Valley, the current wave of hospitalizations has made the hospital unable to accept new patients. The hospital is now sending patients to hospitals in Neenah, Berlin, Shawano, and Waupaca regions of the state.
Michael Hooker, a top official of ThedaCare Hospital, said if the spread should continue in the same manner that it has for the past two weeks, then hospitals in the state are going to be in a very “dire situation” in the coming weeks.
The same scenario is playing out across hospitals in other areas of the state. Matthew Heywood, the president of Aspirus Healthcare, a healthcare facility located in Wausau, said that many patients are now on their waiting lists for periods ranging from several hours to a full day. The same can be said of the Bellin Hospital in Green Bay, whose officials converted its campuses to facilities for patients.
A statement by the state governor, Tony Evers, says people throughout Wisconsin need to take steps to slow down the spread of the virus.
Meanwhile, the state’s chief medical officer, Dr. Ryan Westergaard, has admitted that the state is indeed in “crisis.” He says although there haven’t been any cases of patients that have been turned back due to the lack of facilities, patients can always be accepted at the 530-bed field hospital in West Allis, built by the US Army Corps of Engineers.
With President Trump scheduled to have a campaign rally at crisis zones of the state in Lacross and Green Bay, the White House has called on the state to increase social distancing to the highest level possible.