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Local hospitals seeing rise in COVID patients

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Local hospitals are seeing the impact of rising coronavirus case rates, with both Gundersen Health System and Mayo Clinic Health System experiencing increased patient volumes.

Hospital room interior (copy)

Gundersen has reported that across its sites between 40 to 50 COVID patients are being hospitalized on a given day and states “many” are unvaccinated. Coronavirus inpatients, Gundersen notes, “need more staff and more resources than an average patient.”

Mayo states that its locations are seeing both a rise in COVID patients and general hospitalizations. Since August, Mayo’s acute care capacity has ranged between 81-100% on an average day, with COVID patients making up between 15-20% of acute care or ICU patients.

“Mayo Clinic is using predictive modeling to stay ahead of the situation with COVID-19 and are constantly assessing our capacity and capabilities to determine our admitting capacity. Our bigger concern is the anticipated ongoing challenges in meeting the needs of all patients, including those without COVID-19,” Mayo stated. “Our staff are doing an exemplary job in providing this care, and we are moving aggressively to address staffing shortages to provide our staff needed assistance and relief.”

Both hospitals stress the importance of vaccination, for which individuals age 12 and older are eligible, and standard prevention practices.

“Be part of the solution to one of the greatest public health efforts of our lifetime,” Gundersen says. “Vaccination is an incredible feat of modern medicine that works with the body’s immune system to provide the best protection against severe illness, hospitalization and death. COVID-19 vaccination combined with masking, distancing and hand hygiene at work, school and any indoor, public spaces significantly lowers your risk of COVID-19 infection.”

As of Monday, the Wisconsin Hospital Association reported 1,056 COVID patients being hospitalized statewide, including 327 in the ICU. For the same day, those numbers in Western Wisconsin were 53 and 8, respectively.

Emily Pyrek can be reached at

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