WISCONSIN — UW Health employees are urging Wisconsinites to follow COVID-19 guidelines in an open letter posted Monday.
The letter, which was signed by thousands of UW Health employees, asks Wisconsinites to not gather in large groups, wear a mask, and wash your hands often.
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UW Health expressed the dire situation Wisconsin hospitals are in, with bed shortages and the need for ventilators.
"Inside our hospitals, we have patients gasping for breath, needing a ventilator to survive and too often dying. Many of them were walking around healthy just days before. Some tell us they didn’t think COVID-19 was serious. Others say they just wanted to live their lives and get back to normal," wrote UW Health.
They continued on by saying, "Wisconsin is in a bad place right now with no sign of things getting better without action. We are, quite simply, out of time. Without immediate change, our hospitals will be too full to treat all of those with the virus and those with other illnesses or injuries."
Employees are asking Wisconsinites to follow those three simple rules, and if they do, things can start to go back to normal.
"We don’t need to do this forever. We all await the arrival of vaccines that will help us get back to some sense of normalcy. But the virus is here now and the vaccines are not. Wisconsin, you are our family. Our only hope right now is you. Please work with us to get through this pandemic," UW Health wrote in their letter.
The employees expressed their love for Wisconsin and said they'll do what they can to keep people safe, but they need help.
"Wisconsin, we love you. Many of us grew up here, others chose to live here. We all work to serve you. We will do anything we can to take care of you. You are our neighbors and our family...Sometimes you have to have hard conversations with family," they wrote.
These employees are risking their lives to help those who need it and they're seeing terrible things in their hospitals. However, things aren't so good outside the hospitals either.
"Outside our hospitals, we still see big gatherings with no masks. We hear about Thanksgiving dinner plans that will send even more people to our already very full COVID-19 units — units full of patients who might not survive a fight with this virus."
To read the full letter, click here.