Oct 7, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Wisconsin to open field hospital as COVID-19 surges

Tony Evers

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D). Photo: Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) announced on Wednesday that a field hospital will be opened at the state fairgrounds near Milwaukee to expand care for coronavirus patients after hospitalizations more than doubled in the past month.

Driving the news: Health officials attribute the state's increase to university and K-12 school reopenings and overall public fatigue on mask-wearing and social distance practices, AP reports.

  • The governor on Tuesday also limited the capacity of stores, bars and restaurants to 25%.

By the numbers: As of Tuesday, 853 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized in the state, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

  • Only 16% of Wisconsin's 11,452 hospital beds were available as of Tuesday afternoon, according to the state health department.
  • This week, Wisconsin ranked third in daily new cases per capita.
  • At the request of Evers' administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built the 530-bed field hospital on the state fairgrounds in West Allis in April. Evers said the field hospital will begin accepting patients within a week.

What they're saying: “We hoped this day wouldn’t come, but unfortunately, Wisconsin is in a much different, more dire place today and our healthcare systems are beginning to become overwhelmed by the surge of COVID-19 cases," Evers said Wednesday.

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