With 872 COVID-19 patients hospitalized and another 217 patients being tested for COVID, Wisconsin has decided to open a field hospital at the state fairgrounds in West Allis, CNN reports. The field hospital, in the Northeastern part of the state, is being set up by the National Guard for patients with only mild illness.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has issued an emergency order limiting public gatherings to 25 percent of room capacity in stores, bars, restaurants and other businesses with public entry. From the CNN report:
At Bellin Hospital in Green Bay last week, beds were set up in the hallway to handle the crush of patients.“There’s a significant part of the population that doesn’t believe in the public health measures we all recommend,” said Dr. Paul Casey, medical director at the Bellin Health Emergency Department. “So the common theme we’re seeing right now is acquisition of the virus through close family or friend contact.”
Republicans successfully sued in May to bring and end to Evers’ stay-at-home order. It’s likely they’ll sue Evers, a Democrat, over the recent emergency order. However, today a Wisconsin circuit court upheld the statewide mask mandate, which had been contested by a conservative group.
Testing positivity in Wisconsin is 9.3 percent.
At the start of the pandemic, the Arkansas Department of Health drew up plans for using War Memorial stadium in case hospitals became overwhelmed. Arkansas hospitalizations hit a record 576 on Oct. 11. The 242 in ICU are occupying 24 percent of statewide intensive care capacity. Fewer Wisconsin residents have died of the disease than have in Arkansas: The death toll in Arkansas as of yesterday was 1,576; it was 1,465 in Wisconsin.
UPDATE: There are 608 people hospitalized in Arkansas with COVID-19, 260 of them in ICU, 104 on ventilators.