State well being officers urge Wisconsinites to assist drive down COVID-related hospitalizations and deaths | WUWM 89.7 FM

The vacation week began with a robust COVID-19 message from the Wisconsin Division of Well being Companies.

The company is asking on all Wisconsinites to take urgent action to stop extra hospitalizations and deaths on account of COVID-19.

DHS secretary-designee Karen Timberlake mentioned the seven-day common of recent circumstances is 3,294. That’s practically double the speed of simply two months in the past.

Timberlake reported excessive charges of transmission in each county. She added: “The extremely contagious Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been detected and is anticipated to trigger a fast improve of illness exercise in our state within the coming weeks, simply because it has in different states and different nations.”

Timberlake mentioned well being care techniques across the state are being strained to the breaking level.

“Statewide, 96% of intensive care beds and 98% of intermediate care beds are at present in use. As of Dec. 17, our companions on the Wisconsin Hospital Affiliation reported there are 1,664 Wisconsinites hospitalized with COVID-19 — 423 of them in intensive care models,” Timberlake mentioned.

Dr. William Melms, chief medical officer for Marshfield Clinic Well being Programs, mentioned its expertise mirrors hospitals across the state.

Screenshot taken by Susan Bence

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Dr. William Melms speaks at a DHS media briefing Monday.

“Higher than 90% of the COVID deaths in our services have been among the many unvaccinated. We simply went by means of a four-week interval right here at our fundamental hospital in Marshfield the place we had 35 of our sufferers died of COVID,” Melms mentioned. “COVID has severely affected our operations. We’re turning away over 100 referrals per week from hospitals and services that want our assist. As I inform my groups, we are able to at all times create extra space, which we do, however we can not create the folks to take care of our sufferers.”

Monday’s public well being advisory referred to as for getting vaccinated for COVID-19, together with a booster as quickly as you’re eligible, carrying a well-fitting masks indoors if you’re with folks you do not dwell with, maintaining vacation gatherings small, and should you do not feel nicely, keep residence.

Dr. Ryan Westergaard, chief medical officer of the DHS Bureau of Communicable Ailments, mentioned the suggestions aren’t completely different than earlier than, however folks want to listen to them otherwise, “as a result of we’re in a unique place, we’re in a really harmful place, and we want folks to contribute in each means they’ll to assist save the lives that we’re in grave hazard of not having the ability to save,” Westergaard defined.

The Division of Well being Companies is fielding a whole lot of requests from hospitals and long-term care services needing staffing assist.

Milwaukee Health Department Clinics and HealthyMKE.com provide free COVID-19 testing and vaccine data.

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