MILWAUKEE — Three Aurora urgent care facilities in the Milwaukee area are temporarily closed as of Wednesday.
Aurora officials tell TMJ4 that staffing shortages have contributed to the temporary closures and the recent COVID-19 surge.
The facilities include the urgent care center on River Center Drive in Milwaukee, and the care centers in Menomonee Falls and Brookfield.
- Milwaukee: 1575 N. Rivercenter Drive
- Menomonee Falls: N84 W16889 Menomonee Avenue
- Brookfield: 16985 W. Bluemound Road
Officials say they will share plans for reopening in the coming days. A staff member told TMJ4 News over the phone that the River Center Drive location will open Jan. 6. The clinic in Menomonee Falls is still open despite the urgent care closing.
In a statement, Advocate Aurora Health writes, "Managing the COVID surge combined with staffing shortages have contributed to temporary closures at our urgent care centers in Menomonee Falls, Brookfield, and on River Center Drive in Milwaukee."
It's not the only health system feeling the strain.
Milwaukee County Chief Health Policy Advisor Dr. Ben Weston tweeted Wednesday there are 434 Covid-19 hospitalizations in the county—a 32 percent increase from last week and the highest recorded in 12 months. He adds that is before the impact of omicron.
Dr. Jeff Pothof with UW Health also expressed his concerns on social media Wednesday, saying an increase of Covid patients affects everyone needing care.
"I'm likely to diagnose people with other conditions that need to be admitted to the hospital, and I'm not sure that we'll be able to get them out of the emergency department tonight," Dr. Pothof said.
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State data shows more than 90 percent of hospital beds in Wisconsin are full right now, while more than 92 percent of beds in intensive care units are taken.
Many doctors and nurses say they are overworked and burnt out.
"Nurses continually try to pick up extra shifts just to support the patient and the families and their coworkers," said Gina Dennik-Champion, the executive director of the Wisconsin Nurses Association.
The Association surveyed more than 340 nurses around the state last month. It found more than half of the respondents reported experiencing an increase of verbal abuse by patients or visitors. More than 20 percent said those experiences made them consider leaving.
"We're all frustrated," Dennik-Champion said. "We're angry we're back in this situation. And yes, we have to get our anger out, but let's keep it in check."
Aurora also said due to high demand, you might have to wait longer for visits.
"Due to extremely high demand as we manage through this COVID surge, you may experience longer than usual wait times across our locations and for virtual visits," Aurora Health Care said in a tweet.
Due to extremely high demand as we manage through this COVID surge, you may experience longer than usual wait times across our locations and for virtual visits. Thank you in advance for your patience & kindness. Stay up to date on all things COVID-19: https://t.co/aSzdXVl54J— Aurora Health Care (@Aurora_Health) December 29, 2021
To find an Aurora Health Care near you, click here.