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Wisconsin opens state fairgrounds to free up space in hospitals with COVID-19 patients

"I didn’t expect this, but here we are," said Wausau Mayor Katie Rosenberg.

WISCONSIN, USA — The COVID-19 situation has become dire in the state of Wisconsin as hospitalizations continue to climb, with some regions reporting 90% of ICU beds full, according to a release from Governor Tony Evers. 

"I didn’t expect this, but here we are," said Wausau Mayor Katie Rosenberg. 

"Right now it seems like almost everyone who comes to the emergency department has COVID," said Dr. Bradly Burmeister, an E.R. physician at Bellin Health in Green Bay, Wisconsin. 

Wisconsin saw its highest death toll in a single day at 48, and since March there have been more than 180 thousand confirmed cases statewide

The seven day average in Wisconsin is well over 3,400. Needless to say, medical experts tell KARE 11 these numbers are troubling.

"That first week of September we were seeing seven cases of COVID per day and that’s compared to last week where we are having 121 cases per day," said Rosenberg, as she described the situation unfolding in Marathon County. 

"Our fire department is transporting more COVID patients everyday now. I have a fire department that’s sleeping in facemasks now because they have to... so they can protect each other,” added Rosenberg.

The Wisconsin State Fair Park was recently converted into a makeshift field hospital and as of Wednesday, the state’s first patient had been admitted. 

"That field hospital down in Milwaukee is a nice insurance plan for us so that if the number of cases do continue to increase that we will have somewhere that we can send people," said Dr. Burmeister 

As numbers continue to surge across the state with students back in schools, people attending events and quarantine fatigue settling in, medical experts say this isn’t a hoax and are urging people to take this seriously. 

"We have no benefit in over playing this and if anything it actually harms our ability to offer care by having people overwhelm us," said Dr. Burmeister. 

"It's so easy to follow these protocols and yet they’re not doing it," said Mayor Rosenberg. 

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.

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