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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.

Go deeper

Jan 14, 2021 - Health

SoCal on the brink

A COVID-19 ICU at Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital in the Willowbrook neighborhood of Los Angeles. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Southern California's COVID outbreak is in a terrible place, and hospitals haven't even been hit with a wave of potential infections from Christmas and New Year's.

The big picture: Hospitalizations have stabilized, but public health officials say that's just from infections linked to Thanksgiving, the L.A. Times reports.

Jan 14, 2021 - Health

Coronavirus deaths climbing while country deals with political unrest

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Coronavirus deaths continue to reach tragic heights while the country grapples with a vaccine rollout, an impeachment and ongoing civil unrest.

Jan 14, 2021 - Health

WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins

Health workers at a cordoned-off section of the international airport in Wuhan, China, as the World Health Organization team arrives on Thursday. Photo: Nicolas Asfouri/AFP via Getty Images

A World Health Organization team of researchers arrived in Wuhan, China, Thursday ahead of their investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Driving the news: Dominic Dwyer, a Sydney virologist based who's among the scientists on the visit, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation they don't expect to find a "patient zero." "But we may have a much better indication of whether the virus truly started in Wuhan," he said.