Area hospitals near capacity amid “serious surge” in COVID-19

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 10:30 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 14, 2021 at 6:11 PM CDT
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NEENAH, Wis. (WBAY) - ThedaCare says area hospitals are near capacity due to the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19.

The hospital system says it is nearing staffed-bed capacity to care for inpatient COVID-19 patients.

“We are facing a serious surge in COVID-19 in the coming days and weeks, and we need our communities’ help to change course and get infections under control,” said Dr. Imran A. Andrabi, ThedaCare President and CEO. “ThedaCare team members are prepared to care for an increased number of COVID patients. We have the technology, the skills and knowledge. We are asking our friends and neighbors to rally again, get vaccinated, take COVID-safe precautions and support each other.”

As of Sept. 10, there were 1,047 people hospitalized in Wisconsin. ThedaCare says 322 of those patients were in intensive care.

“The 13 hospitals in the Fox Valley region were caring for 88 COVID-19 patients, including 18 in ICU. According to WHA, as of Sept. 10, in the Fox Valley, 92% of hospital beds were in use,” reads a statement from ThedaCare.

Since July 1, ThedaCare’s COVID-19 hospitalization numbers are as follows:

• 79% of positive cases are unvaccinated.

• 79% of hospitalized patients are unvaccinated.

• 83% of the patients in our ICU are unvaccinated.

Andrabi says the 2021 situation is different from 2020 in that many patients are younger than 65.

“Last year, in fall 2020, without vaccinations, the majority of people hospitalized with COVID-19 were older, which put them at a greater risk of death,” said Dr. Andrabi. “Now, that group of individuals, those 65 and older, are better protected by vaccinations, with a very high percentage fully vaccinated. What we are seeing at this time is those who are falling ill with COVID-19 are younger and overall healthier. We are grateful that they have the energy to fight the virus longer. It also means their hospital stays are often extended.”

ThedaCare asks the community to help by taking these steps:

• Get a COVID-19 vaccination if eligible

• Wear a mask in public

• Practice social distancing

• Avoid large gatherings, especially indoors

• Wash hands often with soap and water

• Avoid people who are sick, stay away from others if you are sick

• Get your flu shot early

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