Health officials report rising coronavirus numbers in Rock County

Medical professionals buckle down for the holiday weekend.
Published: Nov. 24, 2020 at 6:31 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Rock County Department of Health reports an increased spike in coronavirus cases as they prepare for the holiday weekend.

Health officials say that 3,200 COVID-19 tests returned positive since the start of November, representing 37% of the county’s positive cases. The uptick in patients can put a strain not only on hospital resources but also on hospital staff.

“At this point, I’m a little concerned about staffing,” said Dr. Mark Goelzer, the Medical Director for Mercy Health. “We have not had that issue as of yet, but early in the year, when New York and New Jersey had all the problems they had, they were able to get volunteers coming from the rest of the country -- the dilemma we face now is the whole country is having the same issue so there’s not a big labor pool that can shift from one place to another.”

The hospitals in Rock County are trying to get ahead of the rising numbers by expanding the number of ICU beds to allow for more space for coronavirus patients.

Medical professionals stressed that the way the public can help combat the county’s growing number is to stay at home for the holiday weekend.

“If we do a perfect job this year celebrating the next few holidays, there are so many other holidays in the future we can enjoy with our families,” said Dr. Vijaya Somaraju, an Infectious Disease specialist at Beloit Health Infectious.

Dr. Somaraju added another way to help hospitals wear a mask, socially distancing and practicing hand hygiene.

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