for the past week or so, as I’ve watch the state hit new daily records and hospitals were starting to reach their capacities, I have been wondering when Wisconsin would utilize the emergency facilities that were created at State Fair Park in West Allis. Well the answer is next Wednesday:
Wisconsin is set to open a field hospital at State Fair Park next Wednesday as the state continues to face a surge of COVID-19 patients that is overwhelming hospitals — especially in the Fox Valley, Green Bay and Wausau areas.
The alternate care facility, which currently has 530 beds, will serve patients who need help but aren’t in need of hospital-level care.
The news comes one day after the number of people hospitalized due to the virus in Wisconsin surpassed 800 — reaching an all-time high. The total of 853 people receiving hospital care due to the virus on Tuesday represented an increase of 71 patients in a day and a jump of more than 200 in the last week. There were 261 coronavirus patients in ICUs Tuesday.
“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,” Gov. Tony Evers said in a statement.
Evers said he was opening the field hospital at the urging of hospital leaders in Green Bay, Appleton, Neenah and Wausua, who are reporting that their ICUs are at-capacity, they are transferring patients to other facilities, and are warning of critical staffing shortages.
My biggest question isn’t about the physical facilities themselves…but how are we going to staff it. Because all news stories point not only to limited hospital facilities but lack of staff because hospital employees can’t report to work because they too are falling ill.
btw: what plans for additional efforts to keep Wisconsin safe are being prepared in the legislature? just wondering.