'Huge jump' in COVID-19 hospitalizations in Milwaukee Co., official says

Posted at 2:55 PM, Jan 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-03 16:02:01-05

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee County experienced a "huge" jump in hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients in recent days, according to the county's Chief Health Policy Advisor, Dr. Ben Weston.

Weston said 635 people are now hospitalized with complications caused by the coronavirus. That's a 50 percent increase in less than a week, he said. This comes amid a surge in cases spurred by the new Omicron variant, and as thousands of Americans return home from holiday traveling.

While the county's dashboard has yet to reflect the new numbers - Weston noted the dashboard will be updated Tuesday morning - it currently shows 434 people are hospitalized because of the virus. The dashboard states that's up 104 patients compared to the previous week.

The uptick is more bad news for area health providers, which have been warning since the beginning of December that their hospitals are full and that most of their critical COVID-19 hospitalizations are for people who have not been vaccinated.

Weston wrote in his tweet Monday that he didn't believe Monday's number at first, but had to double check and verified it. "Be safe out there," he writes.

The seven-day average number of cases in the county meanwhile stands at 873 - 247 more than the previous week. The percent of positive tests over the last seven days sits at 22.6 percent, almost 9 percent up from the previous week.

The Wisconsin Hospital Association reported Monday that 1,710 COVID-19 patients are in hospitals in the state, including 396 people in the ICU. [To learn more about hospitalization statistics in Wisconsin, head to the American Hospital Directory's website here.]

Also on Monday, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services recorded its millionth confirmed COVID-19 case since the pandemic began. The 7-day average number of confirmed cases in the state spiked to 5,392 on Sunday, according to the DHS' COVID-19 dashboard. Just last week DHS recorded the 10,000th confirmed death linked to COVID-19 in Wisconsin.

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