Wisconsin, Illinois health system records highest number of Covid patients, 7 deaths in past 24 hours

WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) has reached an unfortunate milestone across their six Wisconsin hospitals and nine Illinois hospitals, with a record 303 patients currently hospitalized and being treated for Covid-19. 

The health system's previous record was 293 patients in HSHS hospitals in November of 2020, before a vaccine was available. 

They say those currently hospitalized with Covid range from the very young to elderly, and include pregnant women.

HSHS is also reporting seven Covid-19 deaths in the last 24 hours. They say six of those seven patients were unvaccinated. 

There are currently nine pediatric Covid patients in HSHS hospitals.

“To say we are concerned and disheartened cannot begin to explain our frustration,” says Dr. Marc Shelton, SVP and chief clinical officer for HSHS. “HSHS was hopeful to have turned a corner when the vaccine became readily available, but we are now well over a year into vaccine availability and yet our hospitals have reached a new record number of COVID-19 hospitalizations primarily due to unvaccinated patients.”

The hospital system reported the following numbers across HSHS Wisconsin and Illinois hospitals as of Jan. 7:

  • Of 303 patients hospitalized, 230 (76%) are unvaccinated
  • Of 64 patients in the ICU, 51 (80%) are unvaccinated
  • Of 32 patients on ventilators, 27 (84%) are unvaccinated 

HSHS is encouraging community members to get vaccinated, boosted, stay home if ill and practice masking, social distancing and increased handwashing. 

They ask individuals not to go to an emergency room or urgent care facility for a Covid vaccine or test. These resources are not currently available unless a person is admitted to the hospital. 

“Our communities need your help immediately,” said Allison Paul, interim CEO and chief nursing officer at HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, IL. “Please, please reconsider getting vaccinated if you haven’t already received it. It will literally save lives; maybe your own or maybe someone you love.”

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