MADISON, WI—Gov. Tony Evers announced on Wednesday DHS reported the highest single-day of coronavirus death count with an additional 48 Wisconsin lives deaths and the first patient admitted to the Alternate Care Facility (ACF) at Wisconsin State Fair Park, which serves as the overflow facility for hospitals across the state, according to a news release.
Another 4,205 new coronavirus cases were reported, according to the DHS dashboard.
“We are thankful to have this facility available to Wisconsinites and our hospitals, but also saddened that this is where Wisconsin is at today,” said Gov. Evers said in a news release. “Folks, please stay home. Help us protect our communities from this highly-contagious virus and avoid further strain on our hospitals.”
Evers and DHS urge Wisconsin residents to stay home as much as possible to stop the spread, reduce the strain on the healthcare system, and to save lives.
“With record high numbers of positive cases, hospitalizations, and staffing shortages, there has never been a more critical time for Wisconsinites to act and help stop the spread,” said DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm said in a news release. “That's why we ask all Wisconsinites to do their part. Stay home, wear a mask and stay six feet apart when you go out for your essential errands, avoid gatherings and events, and wash your hands. These steps are some of the most effective tools we have to overcome this pandemic.”
The ACF will now accept patients who meet specific clinical criteria directly from hospitals' Emergency Departments, administer Remdesivir, and increase its oxygen treatment capability.
DHS will be updating the number of patients at the ACF every day by 2 p.m. To protect patient privacy, DHS will only be reporting daily census at this time.
Wisconsin continues to see high levels of coronavirus hospitalizations with some regions reporting over 90 percent utilization of ICU beds. The 7-day average of new cases reached nearly 3,500 for the first time since the pandemic began, the release said.
“Wisconsin health systems are doing all they can to provide quality care to their patients, but hospitals are facing incredible operational challenges as COVID-19 continues to surge throughout the state,” said Deb Standridge, CEO of the ACF at Wisconsin State Fair Park. “Although it is unfortunate that Wisconsin is at this place with the virus, I am thankful that the ACF is available to provide a much needed release valve for our hospital systems who may find themselves overwhelmed with hospitalizations, as well as provide valuable care for COVID patients.”
To stop the spread of the virus, DHS urges every Wisconsin resident to follow these steps:
Stay home as much as possible
Avoid nonessential travel and gatherings with people outside of your household
Wear a mask
Wash your hands frequently
If you have symptoms or have been exposed to the virus, get tested and quarantine yourself
If you test positive for the coronavirus, let your close contacts know they have been exposed and they should get tested and quarantine for 14 days.
The DHS also tweeted the following message:
"48 more Wisconsinites have lost their lives to #COVID19 Let’s honor their memories by doing what we can to stop the spread of the virus. Stay home, wear a mask, maintain physical distance, & avoid gatherings."
48 more Wisconsinites have lost their lives to #COVID19 Let’s honor their memories by doing what we can to stop the spread of the virus. Stay home, wear a mask, maintain physical distance, & avoid gatherings. #YouStopTheSpread, #Wisconsin Learn how: https://t.co/TmZGStA2Lw pic.twitter.com/VmJHB1I9sM
— WIDeptHealthServices (@DHSWI) October 21, 2020