NE Wisconsin health officials express concern ahead of Thanksgiving Day

Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 10:10 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 22, 2021 at 10:21 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) -Hospital and public health officials say Covid-19 cases in Northeast Wisconsin are trending in the wrong direction as covid patients are coming in sicker.

It’s causing concern with hospitals ahead of Thanksgiving Day as doctors say people are letting their guard down. They’re now urging the public to stop, think, and plan ahead of Thursday’s gathering.

“I’m not saying that you shouldn’t host Thanksgiving and you shouldn’t have a family Christmas, but just be responsible about it,” Jason Perry said. He’s the covid operations director at Bellin Health.

Several hospitals in the Green Bay area are reporting that covid hospitalizations are increasing and patients are younger than before.

“That’s unfortunate being this deep in the pandemic. With the media coverage that covid has gotten, we were hoping as healthcare professionals that people we’re heeding the warning,” Perry said.

According to Perry of Bellin Health, 100% of those in ICU beds are unvaccinated and taking care of them has been taxing on healthcare workers.

On its website, the Wisconsin Hospital Association’s Covid-19 dashboard stated there are only 66 ICU beds available in the entire state.

“They’re still coming into the hospital and into the ICU setting, still in disbelief and still will argue right to the end of getting intubated, argue that ‘I don’t believe it,’” Perry said.

In Door County the picture is different than Brown County.

“Twenty-five percent of our hospitalized population in our hospital is covid. Of those about 80 percent are unvaccinated,” Door County Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. James Heise said.

Door County has a higher vaccination rate than most counties in the state with 70% of residents fully vaccinated.

Heise said a young person died last week because of covid.

“What we’re seeing is people are in the hospital anywhere from three weeks to eight weeks and then they’re going home on oxygen. And so, they’re life isn’t going back to normal any day soon. So it really is a debilitating illness if you get the severe form,” Heise said.

If you are getting together on Thanksgiving, health officials stated to socially distance whenever you can. For example, try not to place food in an area where people congregate.

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