hospitals Wisconsin

Wisconsin hospitals filling with COVID patients: ‘A dire situation’ – Chicago Tribune

Associated Press

Sep 30, 2020 6:43 PM

MILWAUKEE — Wisconsin set a new record for COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday and the surge in cases in the state threatened to overwhelm some hospitals.

Health officials reported 27 new deaths, breaking the state’s old record of 22 deaths set on May 27. The disease has killed or played a role in the death of 1,327 people in the state since the pandemic began.

Health officials reported 2,319 newly confirmed cases, bringing the total number of cases in Wisconsin to 122,274 since the pandemic began.

Wisconsin had the third-highest positivity rate of any state as of Wednesday. Hospital officials in some areas said they were close to being overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients — a scenario that health officials have been warning could happen since the pandemic began but that only now seems like it could happen.

The number of people hospitalized in Wisconsin reached a record-high of 737 on Wednesday, according to state health officials and the Wisconsin Hospital Association. Case spikes in northern and northeastern Wisconsin were causing many of the hospitalizations, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Officials at ThedaCare in the Fox Valley said they had exceeded capacity in the COVID-19 unit at their Appleton medical center and had started sending patients to Neenah and hospitals in Berlin, Shawano and Waupaca.

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“If it’s growing the way that it has for the past week or so, we’re going to be in a dire situation in two, three, four weeks,” said Michael Hooker, vice president and chief medical officer for acute care at ThedaCare. “Yes, we saw this coming, but didn’t expect it to be quite so rapid.”

Matthew Heywood, president and CEO of Aspirus HealthCare in Wausau, said that hospital has started putting patients on waiting lists, with wait times ranging from several hours to a full day. The system had 61 patients Tuesday who had or were believed to have COVID-19, which was a 30% increase from Monday, when it had 47.

“The problem is, how do we care for you when you have an accident when we have an overflow of COVID patients?” Heywood said. “There’s only so much you can do before you start to overwhelm the system.”

Officials at Bellin Hospital in Green Bay said their facility was at 94% capacity on Tuesday, with 31 patients being treated for COVID-19, up from 26 last Friday. CEO Chris Woleske said the hospital hopes to convert part of its campus into another space for beds and is teaching nonclinical workers, such as athletic trainers, how to deliver supplies and move patients so that nurses can focus on duties only they can perform.

State Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm and Dr. Ryan Westergaard, Wisconsin’s chief medical officer, said Tuesday that they hadn’t received any reports of patients being turned away from hospitals or not getting care. They said if cases don’t subside, patients could be directed to a 530-bed field hospital that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built on the state fairgrounds in West Allis in April.

Gov. Tony Evers’ spokeswoman, Britt Cudaback, and Health Services spokeswoman Elizabeth Goodsit didn’t immediately respond to messages inquiring about whether the administration was preparing to open the field hospital.

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Democrats Wisconsin

Wisconsin Democrats to organize Veep reunion in latest dig at Josh Gad’s YouTube channel – The A.V. Club


Photo: HBO

Earlier in this stupid quarantine, Josh Gad made an effort to bring some bright spots to our miserable lives by hosting a seemingly endless series of big reunion specials over Zoom. On his YouTube page, Gad put together chats with the casts of Back To The Future, Ghostbusters, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, Goonies, Splash, and The Princess Bride. It was exciting in its audacity, proving that celebrities were just as bored and desperate for human contact as the rest of us have been in 2020—not to mention the fact that it probably forced some people to confront what may be an irrational hatred of ol’ Josh Gad.

But then, Josh Gad stopped doing it. Or at least we stopped hearing about it. Maybe he’s on Zoom right now, chatting with all of the surviving James Bonds, and we don’t even know? Either way, a new group has since stepped in to continue Gad’s good work: The Democratic Party of Wisconsin. The state, once reliably “blue,” went to Donald Trump in 2016 partially thanks to years and years of Republican machinations (harsh voter ID laws, gerrymandering, and the construction of a bunch of stupid roundabouts that probably made it harder for people to drive to the polls), but the cheese-headed Democrats are apparently calling in some favors ahead of the 2020 election. They’ve already hosted fundraisers/reunions with the cast of The Princess Bride (in your face, Gad!) and Parks And Recreation (in your face… Eagleton?), and Variety says they’re now putting together a Veep reunion.

The event will be held on October 4, and you’ll have to give at least a little money to the Wisconsin Democrats to attend, but if you’re willing to pay up you’ll get to see Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Anna Chlumsky, Reid Scott, Sam Richardson, Tim Simons, Tony Hale, Clea Duvall, Matt Walsh, and some “surprise guests” talk about Veep. You can see a video of Louis-Dreyfus talking about the event below. Naturally, there’s a lot of talk about defeating Trump and electing Joe Biden, but there is weirdly little talk about tearing down Wisconsin’s many roundabouts and replacing them with traditional intersections, where no one ever makes a mistake about when and where they should go. Oh well, we imagine someone will address tha

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divisiveness Wisconsin

‘Now is not the time for divisiveness’: Wisconsin governor urges Trump not to visit Kenosha – Washington Post

Now, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) says he worries that President Trump’s planned trip to Kenosha this week will inflame those tensions again. In a Sunday letter, Evers urged Trump to cancel the trip.

“I am concerned your presence will only hinder our healing,” Evers wrote. “I am concerned your presence will only delay our work to overcome division and move forward together.”

Despite the governor’s plea, Trump still plans to visit Kenosha on Tuesday, the White House said.

“The White House has been humbled by the outreach of individuals from Kenosha who have welcomed the president’s visit and are longing for leadership to support local law enforcement and businesses that have been vandalized,” the White House said in a statement to The Washington Post. “President Trump looks forward to visiting on Tuesday and helping this great city heal and rebuild.”

Trump has recently sought to turn the violence in Kenosha and elsewhere to his political advantage, The Post reported Sunday. The president has blamed rioting and looting on Democratic lawmakers, including Evers, and accused Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden of supporting the lawlessness, though Biden has repeatedly condemned destructive protests. Trump also praised the armed civilians who have come to cities such as Portland and Kenosha, where police said a 17-year-old killed two protesters Tuesday.

On his visit to Kenosha, the White House said Trump will “survey damage from recent riots” and meet with police. It is unclear whether the president plans to meet with Blake’s family. Blake’s attorney, Benjamin Crump, said on “Face the Nation” Sunday that they had not heard from the White House. Blake’s family spoke with Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), for “about an hour,” Crump said.

In his letter, Evers said a peaceful weekend in Kenosha made him optimistic that the city had moved beyond violent clashes. But Trump’s visit could hinder that progress, he argued.

“When I visited Kenosha last week, what I saw was a community working to deal with the trauma and pain of these events and extreme loss,” Evers wrote. “They are exhausted and heartbroken with the division that has ripped apart their community, but they are also already working to rebuild, together, and support each other in the face of adversity.”

Evers also wrote that Trump’s visit will “require a massive redirection” of resources at a time when law enforcement is needed to keep the “people of Kenosha safe and supporting the community’s response.”

Trump’s political message, he argued, was at odds with the city’s attempt to heal.

“It is our job as elected officials to lead by example and to be a calming presence for the people we know are hurting, mourning, and trying to cope with trauma,” Evers wrote. “Now is not the time for divisiveness. Now is not the time for elected officials to ignore armed militants and out-of-state instigators who want to contribute to our anguish.”

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surpasses Wisconsin

Wisconsin surpasses 1K COVID-19 deaths, inches closer to 60K confirmed cases – – WISC-TV3

Logan Rude



A coronavirus graphic

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin has now surpassed 1,000 confirmed coronavirus deaths, according to state and county health officials.

The major milestone comes just over six months after the Wisconsin Department of Health confirmed the state’s first case of the coroanvirus. At least 1,001 people have died from complications due to the coronavirus.

In total, 59,965* people have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Of the 13,162 tests that came back Saturday, roughly 8.9% of them were positive. That’s up nearly two percentage points since Friday afternoon when 7% of all tests came back positive.

For other COVID-19 headlines, click here.

*News 3 Now uses data from DHS and county dashboards to calculate daily cases and deaths. DHS posts new numbers daily at 2 p.m., and our newsroom continues to update our totals throughout the day with additional cases that individual counties report. By using a combination of state and county data, News 3 Now is dedicated to providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date COVID-19 coverage.




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Reports Wisconsin

Wisconsin reports 922 new COVID-19 cases, Eau Claire County tops 500 – WEAU

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) – The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is providing a new update on where Wisconsin stands with COVID-19.

They are reporting 922 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, for a total of 54,924. There has been one new death, bringing Wisconsin’s total up to 948.

80% of all cases have recovered, or 43,964. 904,666 people have tested negative for the virus.

Eau Claire County is reporting an increase of 18 cases on Sunday, bringing the county’s total above 500. They are still at 3 deaths.

La Crosse County is reporting 26 more cases on Sunday, for a total of 821 cases in the county. They’ve had one death from the virus.

Chippewa County is reporting 209 cases, and Dunn County is reporting 105.

Copyright 2020 WEAU. All rights reserved.

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Governor Wisconsin

Wisconsin governor authorizes National Guard to be called in after Madison protest turns violent – Chicago Tribune

Graffiti on the windows of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art in Madison, Wis. is removed on May 31, 2src2src, by volunteers following an overnight looting and rioting spree along State Street in the city's downtown.

Graffiti on the windows of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art in Madison, Wis. is removed on May 31, 2020, by volunteers following an overnight looting and rioting spree along State Street in the city’s downtown. (John Hart / Wisconsin State Journal)

Hundreds of volunteers gathered early Sunday morning in downtown Madison to clean up after a night of violent protests over the death of George Floyd in which a police car was burned, businesses were broken into and a museum and other buildings were vandalized.

More than a thousand people held a peaceful protest Saturday afternoon in the Wisconsin capital, but like many of the protests around the country over the death of Floyd in Minneapolis, it later took a violent turn, with a group of about 150 demonstrators throwing rocks at police in riot gear who fired tear gas on the crowd.

Police said Sunday that 75 stores were damaged or broken into overnight and three people were arrested. One police officer was injured, but protective equipment prevented more serious injuries, acting Police Chief Victor Wahl said in a blog post.

One Madison police cruiser was broken into, driven a short distance and then set on fire, police said. Two rifles were stolen from the car, police said, noting that an armored police rescue vehicle was also hit by a bullet and multiple small fires were set and extinguished in the area.

Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway declared a state of emergency and imposed a 9:30 p.m. Sunday curfew in downtown Madison where the previous night’s unrest occurred. Gov. Tony Evers authorized Madison authorities’ request for help from the Wisconsin National Guard, and troops will be available Sunday, said his spokeswoman, Melissa Baldauff.

Most of the damage was to stores located near the state Capitol, but police said stores throughout the city, including at shopping malls several miles away, were also damaged.

Among the businesses that were targeted was the gift shop at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, where several protesters threw large chunks of concrete through the display window. A man who tried to stop them was knocked to the ground as protesters knocked items off the store shelves, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

Floyd, who was black and handcuffed, died Monday after a white Minneapolis police officer used his knee to pin Floyd to the ground for several minutes while Floyd pleaded for air and eventually stopped moving. The officer was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter on Friday. He and the other three officers who were arresting Floyd were fired on Tuesday. None of the other officers have been charged.

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Supreme Wisconsin

Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling overturning stay-at-home order highlights widening US debate on pandemic – USA TODAY

Published 4:54 p.m. ET May 14, 2020 | Updated 5:46 p.m. ET May 14, 2020


Protesters took to the streets around the Virginia State Capitol to show support for ending tight restrictions due to coronavirus pandemic


WASHINGTON – The Wisconsin Supreme Court decision overturning the state’s stay-at-home orders added fuel Thursday to a widening U.S. debate over how and when to lift restrictions put in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

President Donald Trump in a tweet called the Wisconsin ruling a win for the state, adding that “people want to get on with their lives.” But Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, warned that the decision by the court – an elected body that tilts conservative – would put “public health and lives at serious risk.”

Across the country, tensions have flared as people experienced months of restrictions to combat a virus that has infected 1.4 million and killed more than 85,000. Health experts such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease specialist, have credited the lockdowns with saving lives and have said the death rate could march higher if the restrictions are eased too quickly.

But the stay-at-home orders have walloped the economy and sent the U.S. unemployment rate soaring to 14.7%, the highest level since the Great Depression.

Experts said the decision highlights the balance that officials face between public health and individual rights while grappling with how and when to reopen.

“The only response to the disease is something that grates at Americans’ sensibilities and national identity, which is personal freedom and personal liberty,” said Kent Greenfield, a law professor at Boston College. “The tensions are likely to grow as the summer heats up.”

Public health vs. individual liberties

Elizabeth Goitein, who co-directs the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty and National Security Program, said there have been a number of lawsuits in states exploring how to balance public health orders against individual rights.

“We’ve never seen restrictions imposed by a state for public health reasons as draconian as the ones we’re seeing now,” said Goitein, a former Justice Department lawyer and Senate counsel. “But there’s a reason for that. For many, many decades, we haven’t seen a public health threat as significant as what we’re seeing now. There’s always a balancing between public health and safety on the one hand, and individual liberties on the other hand.”

Activists, including some with rifles, have rallied against restrictions in states such as Michigan, Virginia and Texas.

Trump, who has encouraged protests, has made his call for a faster reopening central to his election-year campaign message.

Experts said the decision highlights the balance that officials face between public health and individual rights while grappling with how and when to reopen.

Until scientists develop a vaccine or better treatment, public health officials have said staying home, keeping at least 6 feet apart in public and avoiding large gatherings are the best ways to prevent the spread of the disease. At least 42 states adopted stay-at-home orders, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service.

AG Barr likens restrictions to house arrests

Attorney General William Barr told radio host Hugh Hewitt on April 22 that the Justice Department would review state restrictions for the virus that he likened to house arrest because “federal constitutional rights don’t go away in an emergency.”

But former Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday that the Wisconsin decision “callously puts lives at risk.”

Traditionally, police powers such as protecting public health and safety take priority over individual rights when the government can demonstrate a compelling reason for restrictions, experts said.

A New Hampshire court denied March 25 an emergency motion to overturn a ban on gatherings of more than 50 people. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court refused April 13 to overturn restrictions from Gov. Tom Wolf in a case from four businesses and an individual who had argued he didn’t have the authority to close the businesses.

“The claims that people are making that their constitutional rights are being violated are not particularly strong, in my view,” Greenfield said. “That doesn’t mean they aren’t strong as a political or a cultural matter – they are quite strong as a cultural and political matter.”

The Wisconsin case was somewhat unusual because it pitted the Republican Legislature against the Democrat administration in a case decided by an elected Supreme Court. The same four justices who overturned the coronavirus restrictions also prevented Evers from postponing the state’s April 7 primary because of concerns about protecting the health of voters.

“These guys have been at loggerheads for a long time,” said Susan Sullivan Lagon, a senior fellow at Georgetown University’s Government Affairs Institute. “It’s a weird circumstance.”

Courts may continue to have a role in gauging restrictions as protesters are arrested. But legal experts said decisions will eventually become political for governors and legislatures to resolve.

“I think ultimately the question of when and whether states lift the restrictions will probably be more likely decided by politics than the courts,” Goitein said. “There are going to be plenty of states in which courts uphold these restrictions, but there may still be political pressure on governors to lift them.”

Greenfield said most courts would recognize the compelling interest in upholding restrictions. Polls suggest Americans remain concerned about the health threat, even as restrictions begin to ease.

“This is going to be mostly a political battle,” Greenfield said.


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updates Wisconsin

Live updates: Wisconsin Supreme Court strikes down stay-at-home order; cities will keep restrictions in place – The Washington Post

Here are some significant developments:

  • A rapid-response coronavirus test hailed by President Trump missed a third of the infections that were identified by a rival company, according to a preliminary New York University study.
  • Britain meanwhile has approved a long sought after antibody test to see who has already had the virus from Swiss firm Roche, calling it “extremely reliable.”
  • Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has asked the state’s highest court to block voters from using fears of covid-19 as a reason for obtaining an absentee ballot. Paxton also issued a warning to the mayors of San Antonio and Austin on Wednesday, telling them not to enforce local health orders aside from those that Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has mandated statewide.
  • U.N. head António Guterres warned that the isolation brought by the pandemic has also unleashed a mental health crisis, urging countries to invest in their services to address it.
  • Speaking at an ordinary volume can produce small respiratory droplets that stay in the air for at least eight minutes, possibly explaining why so many clusters are found at conferences and other confined spaces.
  • At least 16 states have reported cases of children contracting a severe inflammatory illness that could be linked to the coronavirus.
  • Starbucks told its corporate landlords it “will require” rent breaks for at least a year after temporarily shuttering many of its stores.

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