| Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Wisconsin’s coronavirus crisis reached new heights Monday as the state reported a record 950 people were hospitalized with the virus, nearly three times more than a month ago.
The state Department of Health Services also reported 1,956 more coronavirus cases and another nine deaths Monday.
The number of coronavirus patients in hospital care has risen by 168 in the last week, continuing a trend of increasing hospitalizations that has overwhelmed health care resources in the state, especially in northeast and central Wisconsin.
Of the 950 people hospitalized, 240 were in ICUs across the state, also an all-time high. One month ago, there were 319 people hospitalized with COVID-19 and 94 in ICUs.
The nearly 2,000 new cases pushed Wisconsin’s seven-day average of new daily confirmed cases to an all-time high of 2,547, the state Department of Health Services reported Monday.
Nine more Wisconsinites died from the virus, bringing the death toll to 1,474 people, health officials said.
Wisconsin now has 10 of the top 20 metro areas with the highest infection rates in the country, according to an analysis by The New York Times. Those areas are Oshkosh-Neenah, Appleton, Green Bay, Sheboygan, Manitowoc, Wausau-Weston, Marinette, Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac and Platteville, the analysis shows.
“We have uncontrolled spread that is threatening all aspects of community life. Reliance on voluntary compliance to slow the spread of disease has, to date, failed,” reads the latest communication from the Winnebago County Health Department.
Mondays typically turn out the lowest case counts of the week, as fewer tests are conducted and processed over the weekend. The nearly 2,000 positive tests reported Monday make it the highest Monday case count ever.
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Nearly 1.7 million people in the state have been tested for COVID-19. Of the 152,192 who have tested positive, 79.7%, or 121,204, have “recovered,” the agency reported, while another 29,478, or 19.4%, are considered “active,” meaning they aren’t recovered and haven’t died.
The number of people hospitalized in the hard-hit Fox Valley is more than four times higher than a month ago, and the highest ever for the region, according to the Winnebago County Health Department.
“Hospitals in the Fox Valley area are being overwhelmed and their capacity is being exceeded,” the department said in its message.
The department also said it is unable to conduct contact tracing for every new case despite expanding its staff fourfold in recent weeks.
A field hospital at State Fair Park in West Allis is set to open Wednesday as part of the state’s effort to free up bed space at overwhelmed hospitals across the state.
Sophie Carson of the Journal Sentinel staff contributed to this report.