Wisconsin is experiencing a dramatic spike in hospitalization this winter amid the spread of the COVID-19.
This month marks the second highest number of daily patients since the outset of the pandemic.
"Our care providers have been in this for almost two years, and there's a fatigue and emotional drain that is occurring as well," said Mary Beth Kingston, Chief Nursing Officer at Advocate Aurora Health.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced last week that the Omicron variant is now the dominant strain among new COVID-19. cases.
According to the Wisconsin Hospital Association, 96 ICU beds across the state are available out of more than 1,346.
"We're holding our own, but definitely we're starting to feel stretched, and that's why we're out there asking for the public's health to bring this under control," said Kingston.
On Sunday, Advocate Aurora Health ran a full-page ad in Sunday's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, asking the community for help.
The ad states: "WE CAN'T STOP COVID WITHOUT YOU." It encourages the public to get vaccinated, stay home if you feel sick, get tested, and mask indoors in public spaces.
According to Advocate Aurora Health, more than 90 percent of inpatients are unvaccinated.
Amid the spread of Omicron, the CDC has also updated guidance for healthcare workers. In the case of staffing shortages, it's advising shorter periods of isolation for personnel before returning to work.
In a 'crisis' scenario — one in which staffing is seriously compromised — workers are able to return to work without a negative test and even if mildly symptomatic.