MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers announced today the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) is reporting the highest single-day COVID-19 death count with an additional 48 Wisconsin lives lost an the first patient has been admitted to the Alternate Care Facility (ACF) at Wisconsin State Fair Park, which serves as the overflow facility for hospitals across the state.
“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. “Folks, please stay home. Help us protect our communities from this highly-contagious virus and avoid further strain on our hospitals.”
As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to break records, Gov. 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. “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. For more information about the facility, please visit the DHS website here. To protect patient privacy, DHS will only be reporting daily census at this time.
Wisconsin continues to see high levels of COVID-19 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.
“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 COVID-19, 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 COVID-19, get tested and quarantine yourself;
- If you test positive for COVID-19, let your close contacts know they have been exposed and they should get tested and quarantine for 14 days.