MILWAUKEE — COVID-19 hospitalizations in Wisconsin are at their highest point since January, when a vaccine was not widely available to the public.
Doctors and healthcare officials in the state are concerned with the rising numbers and say they don’t seem to be slowing, which could lead to numbers like we saw last fall.
Right now according to the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) there are 1,039 patients in the hospital across the state with COVID-19. At the peak in November 2020, there were 2,277.
The number of patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is more of a concern, as doctors say the patients they are younger and sicker. In November 2020, 456 patients were in the ICU, compared to 313 as of September 8, 2021.
“It wasn’t that long ago that we had 74 people in the hospital with COVID. Now we're over 1,000,” said WHA CEO Eric Borgerding.
Emergency Room Doctor Brad Burmeister, who is also a member of the Wisconsin COVID-19 Task Force, says “with the current number of patients that we have in our hospitals we are noticing a significant crunch.”
He says he hasn’t had a shift since June where at least one of the new patients coming into the ER didn’t have COVID-19.
Borgerding says a majority of the patients in the hospital right now aren’t vaccinated. He says unlike the fall when social distancing and masking were the only precautions that could be taken, now there is a vaccine. “Right now the best way to mitigate demand is through vaccine,” says Borgerding.
In Wisconsin, 52% of eligible residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.