Wisconsin reaches record COVID hospitalizations, association says

According to the Wisconsin Hospital Association, the state reached a record 2,278 people hospitalized due to COVID-19 complications on Wednesday, Jan. 12.

The mark surpasses the previous high, set in November 2020, by one patient.

Aurora Health doctors say, right now, there is a major strain on the health care system as COVID-19 patients continue to fill hospital beds. The health care system said it is now caring for more than 1,700 COVID-19 patients – a record number.

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Aurora Health Dr. Robert Citronberg added that the latest numbers are probably double what they were just a few weeks ago. He said roughly 75% of the 1,700-plus COVID-19 patients had not been vaccinated.

"We're filled with COVID patients. We are doing everything possible to continue normal operations during this time and hopeful that the surge will end soon and we can resume normal operations," Citronberg said.

The doctor said another 18% of Aurora's COVID-19 patients had received two doses of the vaccine but had not received a booster. The remaining patients, while fully vaccinated and boosted, are immunocompromised.

Citronberg also said the latest treatment options for COVID-19 include a new product called sotrovimab, which has been shown to work against the omicron variant.

"We've been successful. We’ve established infusion clinics around our system in both Illinois and Wisconsin to give outpatient infusion sotrovimab," said Citronberg. "We are – and we’ve been – really ramped up the full speed this week on that, so we’re able to serve as many of our patients who qualify.

"Those who are at highest risk of progression to severe disease – primarily those who are immunocompromised – we were able to give them a monoclonal antibody. Now, those trials show that those antibodies were extremely effective in keeping people out of the hospital."

Other COVID-19 treatments include anti-viral pills available through pharmacies. Citronberg said those pills are in short supply right now, but he hopes to see supply increase soon.

Aurora Health said it is starting to see a leveling-off in the growth of cases in its hospitals, but the health care system is still caring for a lot of people.

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