COVID-19 spike in Green Bay could force new patients to Milwaukee hospitals

NOW: COVID-19 spike in Green Bay could force new patients to Milwaukee hospitals

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- With hospital bed and ICU capacity both eclipsing 80 percent in Wisconsin, hospitals in hard-hit areas like Green Bay say another surge will force them to send new COVID-19 patients to Milwaukee.

“Normally we would potentially transfer overflow to the Fox Valley area, but they are also at the same levels that we are at in terms of their hospital capacity,” Bellin Health Systems CFO Jim Dietsche said.

The New York Times recently listed three Wisconsin communities among the five worst in the entire nation for COVID-19 – including Green Bay, Appleton, and Sheboygan, which is struggling to alert people of a positive test result within 24 hours.

Racine has also seen a surge, and is now listed as “very high risk” by the state. That has prompted the county public health department to urge residents to follow public health guidelines.

“I think, you know, the continued diligence around hand hygiene and safe social distancing and wearing a mask are incredibly important right now,” Ascension All Saints Hospital President Kristen McManmon said.

McManmon added, people can do their part to keep hospital space open by getting a flu shot at the beginning of flu season.

“Everyone should get a flu shot every year," McManmon said. "Every season. And it’s right around this time every year that the flu shots become available.”

Governor Tony Evers says there will be a 530 bed field hospital for state overflow cases at State Fair Park Wednesday.

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