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Rising COVID cases in Wisconsin may lead to ICU beds, staff shortages


Wisconsin is on track to run out of beds in the intensive care unit and, more importantly, the nurses to staff them, in as little as two weeks if the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 does not drop.

On Tuesday, when the state reported a record 5,200 positive cases, only 187 of the state’s 1,469 intensive care unit beds were available. Of the patients in ICUs, 319 were being treated for COVID-19.

Given the trajectory of new cases, the number of COVID-19 patients being treated could double in two to six weeks, said Bill Melms, chief medical officer for Marshfield Clinic Health System.

“There is nothing magical about this math,” Melms said. “Every single positive increases the probability or likelihood of having another patient who is hospitalized.”



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