Health workers place 1,300 candles at Capitol to recognize number of COVID-19 hospitalizations

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV)-- Wisconsin healthcare workers placed over 1,300 candles at the Capitol Building Thursday night to recognize every person in Wisconsin who has been hospitalized with COVID-19.

The candle protest/vigil at the Capitol Building Thursday evening (Source: WMTV)

Volunteers and nurses said they lined the steps with candles to get people's attention. They explained they're worried about cases spiking after the Anti-Safer at Home Rally.

"I was fairly disheartened when I heard about the upcoming protest to try and open Wisconsin and I thought it was important to shine a light on all that's at stake," said Ani Weaver, registered nurse.

Organizers say people need to stay home and listen to health experts, or the number of cases will grow.

Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway chimed in, saying an in-person protest in the middle of a pandemic is "ill-advised."

"I think it's a very bad decision for anyone to show up to this rally," Mayor Rhodes-Conway said. "I worry about people who have the virus, show up, and spread it to others and people get sick."

The candlelight vigil/protest comes the day before hundreds are set to march at the Capitol to protest the extended 'Stay-at-Home' order, which closes non-essential businesses and schools and bans public gatherings.

According to the latest numbers from the Wisconsin DHS Thursday, there are 1,318 reported hospitalizations due to complications related to COVID-19 in our state.

The extension, which goes into affect on Friday, will offer more flexibility in what kinds of businesses and activities are allowed. CLICK HERE to learn what will be open under the order.

Watch video during Thursday's candle protest below: