'You can't infinitely expand': COVID-19 hospitalizations reach record high in Wisconsin

COVID-19 hospitalizations in Wisconsin reached a record high this week, placing strain on some hospitals in the state, according to local news station WKOW.

Mark Kaufman, MD, CMO of the Wisconsin Hospital Association, told the news station that hospitals in the Fox Valley, Northeast and North Central regions are particularly affected by an increase in hospitalizations. 

"There is no doubt that we are in a significant near-crunch time in a number of regions in the state," he said.

Although infection rates are rising and bed availability is decreasing in the state, UW Health Chief Quality Officer Jeff Pothof, MD, said the Madison-based health system has a plan in place to create bed capacity, but warned that those plans have an endpoint.

"Here at UW Health, we have a really solid plan for how we will continue to try to create capacity," Dr. Pothof said. "But all those plans have an endpoint. You cannot infinitely expand."

In addition to a strain on hospitals in Wisconsin, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City is reaching capacity, according to Radio Iowa. As a result, the hospital is denying some transfers from other local facilities. CEO Suresh Gunasekaran told the radio station that the high demand is not solely due to COVID-19, but also stems from residents with chronic illnesses avoiding care earlier on during the pandemic. 

More articles on patient flow:
North Carolina hospital opens maternity unit after 28-year closure
Washington hospital resumes surgeries after 13-day pause
1 dead, 4 injured in Wisconsin ambulance crash

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