MADISON (WKOW) “In certain regions of the state, it’s getting difficult to find beds for patients,” says Dr. Ryan Westergaard, Chief Medical Officer of the DHS Office of Communicable Diseases.
This is partly due to the rising corona figures. DHS officials reported 3,503 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, up from 1,843 a month ago.
“We’re seeing daily numbers that we haven’t seen since the end of 2020,” Westergaard said.
As the number of COVID-19 rises steadily, SSM Health officials say at least one of their hospitals had to divert patients.
“For a short period, on Tuesday, at St. Clare Hospital in Baraboo. We went on diversion, then we went on diversion, we got quite a few more patients than we normally would,” said Kyle Nondorf, president of SSM Health St Mary’s Hospital.
Other hospital systems said they have never had to divert patients, but have come very close due to the rising number of coronaviruses.
“We often run nearly or at full capacity every day. Most days, when we have that kind of staff shortage, we’ve been able to lay off enough people, find enough beds, add an extra nurse somewhere, something like that to be able to maintain our capacity levels,” says Nathan Bubenzer, Unity Point Emergency Preparedness Safety Manager.
DHS data shows that nearly 91% of hospital beds and 93% of ICU beds are in use.
“We see that in ICUs and intermediate care beds in particular, occupancy rates have increased in tandem with the increase in COVID-19 disease activity,” said Westergaard.
“Diversion happens every now and then, of course, something we do to try to relieve the pressure of having too many patients coming at once. We still take patients to the emergency room with walk-ins. We’re really trying to reduce the number of times.” We’re going to minimize diversion, but it’s happening,” Nondorf said.
SSM health officials said they were able to reduce capacity issues at St. Clare Hospital in Baraboo and resume normal operations