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Now Dane Co. hospitalizations have hit record numbers

Dane Co. started hitting record numbers of COVID-19 cases less than two weeks ago.
The Mississippi State Department of Health said Thursday that 4,885 Mississippians had been...
The Mississippi State Department of Health said Thursday that 4,885 Mississippians had been added to the COVID-19 rolls(generic)
Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 1:34 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 10, 2022 at 4:54 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Less than two weeks after Dane Co. began recording record numbers of COVID-19 cases, the county health agency is reporting that hospitalizations have hit an all-time high.

In a tweet Monday, Public Health Dane Co. and Madison stated that 184 COVID-19 patients were currently admitted to hospitals across the county. That tops the prior record of 179 admissions set during November 2020, which had been the peak month for the virus in Wisconsin prior to this latest surge.

In its message, county health officials urge people to get vaccinated or a booster shot, if needed, as a way to avoid ending up in the hospital or dying because of the virus. Dept. of Health Services data show people with COVID-19 who are not fully vaccinated are nearly 11 times more likely to be hospitalized than those who are. The relative death rate for unvaccinated individuals is even higher at 12.5 to 1.

Health officials in Dane Co. have already been sounding the alarm about running out of beds. UW Health’s Dr. Jeffery Pothof said last week the hospital is at 100% capacity, “trading patient for patient,” as it tries to help everyone coming to its doors.

SSM Health also told NBC15 News they have operated at roughly 100% capacity for the past 90 days. UnityPoint Health Meriter says they sit at 95% capacity. UnityPoint Meriter Chief Medical Officer Pan Wetzel added that health care workers are exhausted as hospital work at a redline pace.

“They’re very weary, they’re very stretched, they’re very stressed,” she said.

Hospital emergency rooms statewide are also under “extreme stress” due to a surge in COVID-19 cases and a seasonal demand in medical services, according to the Wisconsin Hospital Association. The agency is now urging people to not seek COVID-19 tests at hospital emergency rooms to help take some of the pressure off hospitals.

“Patients seeking COVID-19 tests at hospitals not only delay the provision of urgent care in emergency rooms, but also raise the risk of virus spread among medically vulnerable patients,” the WHA stated.

WHA asks that Wisconsinites get tested for COVID-19 by either contacting their primary care provider to see if they have testing, receive a test from a community testing site, or request an at-home testing kit from the Department of Health Services.

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