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Wisconsin hospital system reports record number of COVID patients amid statewide surge

Wisconsin's seven-day average for patients hospitalized was 1,784 as of Jan. 4.

Wisconsin is seeing COVID-19 hospitalization numbers not seen since its peak last year, with one hospital system reporting record numbers last week.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Service’s COVID-19 dashboard, the state’s seven-day average for patients hospitalized was 1,784 as of Jan. 4. On Dec. 2 of last year, that figure was 1,825.

The areas experiencing increases in hospitalizations are the southeast and south central regions of Wisconsin.

The state is not reporting a “significant” change in ICU hospitalizations. As of Jan. 4, the seven day average for COVID-19 patients requiring intensive care was 424.

But Hospital Sisters Health System confirmed it had reached record numbers of hospitalizations. According to a Friday announcement, the system, which also operates in Illinois, had 303 COVID patients hospitalized, more than the past record of 293 in November of 2020.

Of those patients hospitalized, 76% are unvaccinated.

“To say we are concerned and disheartened cannot begin to explain our frustration,” Dr. Marc Shelton, senior vice president and chief clinical officer for HSHS, said in a statement.

“HSHS was hopeful to have turned a corner when the vaccine became readily available, but we are now well over a year into vaccine availability and yet our hospitals have reached a new record number of COVID-19 hospitalizations primarily due to unvaccinated patients.”

And as of Jan 4., 91.5% of hospital beds were also in use in Wisconsin.

Other hospitals are also feeling the strain of the surge, with SSM Health St. Mary's, UnityPoint-Meriter and UW Health delaying many low-risk procedures due to low capacity, according to Wisconsin Public Radio

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