Categories
US

Wisconsin’s COVID-19 outbreak worse than New York City’s April peak

Wisconsin‘s COVID-19 outbreak is now at such dire levels that its health department had to create a new category to track infections – as the state’s daily cases surpass what initial epicenter New York had at its peak. 

The number of infections, deaths and hospitalizations have consistently been breaking daily records ever since the surge started in September. 

The state recorded a single-day high of nearly 7,500 cases on Thursday.

Hospitalizations also hit record highs with more than 2,000 patients being treated for COVID-19. 

The state recorded 58 deaths, which is down slightly from the record 66 deaths reported on Tuesday.  

The number of infections, deaths and hospitalizations have consistently been breaking daily records ever since the surge started in September

The number of infections, deaths and hospitalizations have consistently been breaking daily records ever since the surge started in September

The outbreak is now so bad that Wisconsin's Health Department had to create a new category to track 'critically high' infections. Nearly every county falls into the new category with 1,000 cases per 100,000 residents

The outbreak is now so bad that Wisconsin’s Health Department had to create a new category to track ‘critically high’ infections. Nearly every county falls into the new category with 1,000 cases per 100,000 residents

The outbreak is now so bad that Wisconsin’s Health Department had to create a new category to track infections after almost every county started surging past even the highest classification.

The state now has three separate categories just to track high infections. 

The minimum cutoff for the newly created ‘critically high’ category is nearly three times higher than the level below.  

Despite this, nearly every Wisconsin county still falls into the critically high category. 

It means that almost all counties currently have 1,000 cases per 100,000 residents. 

‘Far too many of our communities are in a dire situation,’ DHS Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk said. 

‘To put these new data in perspective, Wisconsin is now seeing more average cases per day than New York City did at the peak of its surge last spring.’ 

At the peak of New York’s outbreak in April, NYC was averaging about 5,000 cases per day. The state was averaging about 10,000 per day.   

‘Because of these critically high levels of disease, public health can no longer adequately contact trace, hospital beds are filled with patients with COVID-19,’ Willems Van Dijk said. 

The state recorded a single-day high of nearly 7,500 cases on Thursday

The state recorded a single-day high of nearly 7,500 cases on Thursday

The state recorded 58 deaths, which is down slightly from the record 66 deaths reported on Tuesday

The state recorded 58 deaths, which is down slightly from the record 66 deaths reported on Tuesday

Hospitalizations also hit record highs with more than 2,000 patients being treated for COVID-19. Hospital beds and ICU beds are also nearing capacity across the state

Hospitalizations also hit record highs with more than 2,000 patients being treated for COVID-19. Hospital beds and ICU beds are also nearing capacity across the state

In a prime-time address on Tuesday, Governor Tony Evers urged residents to stay home as much as possible and heed the advice of experts by wearing masks, washing their hands and social distancing. 

‘It’s not safe to go out, it’s not safe to have others over – it’s just not safe. And it might not be safe for a while yet,’ Evers said

In a prime-time address on Tuesday, Governor Tony Evers urged residents to stay home as much as possible and heed the advice of experts by wearing masks, washing their hands and social distancing

In a prime-time address on Tuesday, Governor Tony Evers urged residents to stay home as much as possible and heed the advice of experts by wearing masks, washing their hands and social distancing

‘So, please, cancel the happy hours, dinner parties, sleepovers and playdates at your home.’

Gov Evers, a Democrat, activated a 530-bed field hospital just outside Milwaukee last month to deal with the surge in COVID-19 patients. 

Wisconsin is now near the point where hospitals are so overwhelmed they will not be able to save the lives of people who come in to be treated, said Dr Ryan Westergaard, the state’s chief medical officer, during a Wisconsin Health News panel on Wednesday. 

‘We’re close to a tipping point where this could get much worse quickly,’ Westergaard said. ‘And that tipping point is where we stop being able to save everyone who gets severely ill.’ 

Dr. Mark Kaufman, chief medical officer for the Wisconsin Hospital Association, said the only way to stop the coronavirus pandemic from getting even worse in Wisconsin was to ‘triple down’ on public health measures. 

Wisconsin is doing much worse than its peers and is not flattening the curve, Kaufman said.

‘We need to triple down on following public health measures we know will work and if we do that, we will slow the pandemic,’ Kaufman said. ‘And if we don’t do that, it will continue to get worse.’

The Governor’s attempts to curtail the virus in Wisconsin have been met with resistance from Republicans and the state’s business community. 

His ‘safer at home’ order issued in March was challenged by Republican lawmakers and ultimately struck down by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. 

His statewide mask mandate, in place since August, is being fought by lawmakers and a conservative law firm. The state Supreme Court scheduled arguments on that Monday.

A state appeals court last week struck down Evers’ attempt to limit how many people can gather at bars, restaurants and other places indoors.  

Gov Evers, a Democrat, activated a 530-bed field hospital just outside Milwaukee last month to deal with the surge in COVID-19 patients

Gov Evers, a Democrat, activated a 530-bed field hospital just outside Milwaukee last month to deal with the surge in COVID-19 patients

Medical personnel work inside a field hospital known as an Alternate Care Facility at the state fair ground last month

Medical personnel work inside a field hospital known as an Alternate Care Facility at the state fair ground last month

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.