Health officials not ruling out more COVID-19 restrictions after spike in cases, hospitalizations

NOW: Health officials not ruling out more COVID-19 restrictions after spike in cases, hospitalizations

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- State and local health departments are closely monitoring COVID-19 trends after infections more than doubled earlier in the week

Over the next few days, officials say they’ll have a better understanding if the uptick in COVID-19 infections was just a one-time thing or a trend that could lead to more restrictions. 

“At any time, we may have to go back to more restrictive measures based on the data,” said Darren Rausch, health officer and director at the Greenfield Health Department. 

New COVID-19 variants and more people traveling during spring break could be linked to the spike after weeks of cases holding steady, state health officials said earlier this week. 

Rausch and other health professionals said as of right now it’s too early to determine if capacity limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings could change. 

“I think it’s too soon and too premature to be making more restrictions, but certainly want to point out cases are starting to inch up,” Rausch said. 

Milwaukee County’s COVID-19 case indicator has been raised to "red" level concern for the first time since Jan. 11, after accumulating more than 1,100 cases the last two weeks.

Governor Tony Evers is also monitoring the coronavirus trends to see if he’ll issue another statewide mask requirement which is set to expire April 5. 

“(Cases) need to continue downwards and frankly that’s not happening right now, it’s plateauing. If needed, will be issuing that order in the near future,” said Evers during a press conference in Wausau. 

Hospitalizations are also on the rise in the southeastern part of the state. St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison is also experiencing an increase in COVID-19 patients. Officials said while it’s concerning, it’s not alarming, as they feel well prepared for what lies ahead. 

“Not an alarm by any means, it is something we closely watch and monitor,” said Kyle Nondorf, president of St. Mary’s Hospital. “We’re in a great position in terms of PPE and our supply chain.”

Despite the increase in cases, health leaders were optimistic that the vaccine rollout can help get the state back on track.

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