'We hoped this day wouldn't come': Wisconsin to open field hospital amid COVID-19 surge

A field hospital near Milwaukee will begin accepting COVID-19 patients next week, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said Oct. 7. 

The activation of the alternate care facility comes as a surge in COVID-19 cases threatens to overwhelm hospitals in Wisconsin. As of Oct. 6, there were 853 COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state, an increase of 71 hospitalizations from the day before, according to the governor. 

Throughout the last few weeks, hospital leaders in the Wisconsin cities of Green Bay, Appleton, Neenah and Wausau have reported critical staffing shortages, intensive care unit capacity issues and the need to transfer patients. 

"We hoped this day wouldn't come, but unfortunately, Wisconsin is in a much different, more dire place today, and our healthcare systems are beginning to become overwhelmed by the surge of COVID-19 cases," Mr. Evers said. "This alternative care facility will take some of the pressure off our healthcare facilities while expanding the continuum of care for folks who have COVID-19."

The alternate care facility is in the Wisconsin State Fair Park in the Milwaukee suburb of West Allis and is slated to open Oct. 14. 

This alternative care facility will not accept walk-in patients, according to a statement from the governor. Instead, it will coordinate with health systems across the state to admit COVID-19 patients who still need care but are not seriously ill.


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