GREEN BAY — Two hundred and fifty doctors in Green Bay issued a desperate call for residents to abide by simple health guidelines as the medical community grapples with the highest number of hospitalizations since the pandemic began.
"There is no other way to say it: we are overwhelmed," writes the president and CEO of Prevea Health, Ashok Rai, in a letter addressed to elected officials and residents Friday, signed by 250 Green Bay area doctors, including Rai.
"As physicians on the front lines, facing COVID-19 and caring for the citizens of your communities, we are deeply troubled by the surge in cases in our region," Rai writes.
Hospitalizations have more than tripled in Green Bay hospitals since the beginning of September, a burden the health system struggles to bear, according to Rai.
"To say that providing care to these patients is severely straining our local hospitals, health care workers and health systems is a drastic understatement," according to the letter.
The doctors pleaded residents to follow a few safety measures, in order to help lessen the spread of COVID-19.
"This is not rocket science, but this IS real science that has been proven in communities throughout the world as they have learned how to successfully conduct business and life in the presence of COVID-19," they say in the letter.
Those measures include (verbatim):
• Keeping a distance of greater than 6 feet from others
• Wearing masks when outside your home and around other people
• Avoiding ANY gatherings, including family events, where physical distancing and masking are not strictly being practiced
• Staying home when not feeling well
• Abiding by a 14-day quarantine after contact with someone who has COVID-19
• Washing hands frequently – especially after touching shared surfaces, before touching your face, before eating and drinking, and upon leaving a public area
"We implore you to promote, facilitate and encourage these behaviors in our community. The ongoing reckless disregard of these basic public health measures is threatening the viability of our local businesses, education of our children, and provision of medical care to everyone in Northeast Wisconsin," according to the letter.