The announcement, during a briefing with the state’s Department of Health Services (DHS), came the same day Wisconsin reported 7,989 new coronavirus cases, breaking a previous record. The governor warned that if current coronavirus trends continue, the state could see 5,000 deaths by the end of the year.
“We are filling our intensive care units. Over the past week, hospitals have reported nine of our ICUs at 100 percent capacity. There are zero ICU beds available in one region of our state, and nine ICU beds in another,” DHS secretary-designee Andrea Palm said at the briefing.
Wisconsin, along with other Midwest states like North and South Dakota, has experienced a brutal coronavirus surge in recent weeks, rivaling that of even the worst days in New York City’s outbreak, according to health officials.
“Here in Wisconsin, COVID-19 is that bad now, and worse,” Julie Willems Van Dijk, deputy secretary of the state DHS, said last week.
“Wisconsin’s daily average is not only that much higher, but it’s higher and our population is smaller by 2.5 million people,” she said.