Some southcentral Wis. hospitals report rise in COVID admissions

Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 11:11 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - With concerns over rising cases of coronavirus statewide, doctors are bracing for a rise in hospitalizations. Some say they’re already seeing it.

“It’s starting to feel like the surge we saw back in January of 2021 again,” Christopher Wistrom, an emergency medicine doctor at Mercyhealth hospital in Janesville, said.

Hospitalizations at UW Health have been on the rise for about two weeks, Dr. Ann Sheehy, division head of hospital medicine at the UW, said.

“Each day we’re just a notch higher than we were the day before,” she said, pointing to the Delta variant.

Doctors also say many new COVID patients are unvaccinated.

According to Angelia Foster, chief administrative officer at Marshfield Medical Center-Beaver Dam, all deaths in July across the Marshfield Clinic health system involved unvaccinated patients.

Foster also said COVID hospitalizations throughout the system have tripled over the past two weeks.

Thursday, Iowa County reported 26 new cases so far this week, up from 8 new cases last week. Keith Hurlbert, the county’s emergency management director, said almost three quarters of this week’s new cases involve people who are not fully vaccinated.

“It’s telling us that the vaccine is significant to fighting off the virus, whether it’s completely fighting it off or it’s limiting its effects on an individual,” he said.

Upland Hills Health, which Hurlbert calls a “partner” of Iowa County, said it hasn’t seen a rise in inpatient admissions. But doctors say they are prepared if hospitalizations do rise,

A spokesperson at Sauk Prairie Healthcare said there are no COVID hospitalizations right now, but administrators are concerned about the rising case count.

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