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Madison-area hospitals say there is adequate bed space despite record COVID-19 hospitalizations

Published: Oct. 9, 2020 at 5:26 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Madison-area hospitals are keeping a close eye on hospital bed capacity and say despite the record number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, there is adequate bed space.

UnityPoint Health- Meriter, SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital and UW Health are all assessing their schedules for non-emergency and non-urgent procedures and surgeries. Urgent procedures like c-sections, appendectomies and bone fracture repair will continue at all hospitals. Non-urgent procedures may be postponed, but only in limited numbers.

The CEO of UnityPoint Health - Meriter Susan Erickson said that by and large, people are not needing to go into intensive care as much at this time. There is more general medical care happening in their facilities, at least at the moment.

“It is not in any of our plans to close down, we don’t believe we need to close down, but we do believe that we need to look at some small levers to make sure we have the incremental bed need that we need to take care of that population coming in,” Erickson said.

Erickson explained that part of the uptick in hospitalizations they are seeing are coming from further in the region than what they normally see, including patients from Oshkosh and Green Bay.

Hospital officials say COVID-19 treatments are improving, which will also free up beds in the ICU. Changes to staff scheduling is also freeing up resources to take care of COVID-19 patients.

If a patient procedure has to be postponed and rescheduled, care teams will reach out directly to affected patients.

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