Maintaining COVID-19 health practices remains 'mission-critical' Memorial Day weekend, hospital staff say

RACINE -- Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start to summer, is almost here. Though it's normally time for celebration, Ascension All Saints Hospital is warning people there to remain vigilant amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ann Wendorf

It's been two months since Nurse Practitioner Ann Wendorf last focused on cardiac patients. Instead, she's working on the Ascension All Saints Hospital "surge team" serving Racine County's COVID-19 patients.

"We start the ground running and we just keep moving the entire shift," said Wendorf.

Racine County continues to be a hot spot in Wisconsin with the third-highest number of positive cases among those tested for COVID-19.

"We have about a 25-28% positive rate, so that's 25% of the community has been positive," Wendorf said.

And just at Ascension All Saints, the numbers aren't any better.

Ascension All Saints Hospital

"Right now, we started spiking again this week. We're at our highest level since the pandemic began, and curiously that started eight days after Mother's Day," said Kristin McManmon, president of Ascension All Saints Hospital.

McManmon said she and her staff are asking Racine County residents to be especially careful this Memorial Day weekend.

Kristin McManmon

It's a time normally reserved for celebration, backyard barbecues and get-togethers. But as a hot spot, hospital staff say now is not the time to undo months of work protecting one another.

"I know people have heard over and over again, and sometimes it can get a little mundane to hear, but hand hygiene is mission-critical, covering your cough and social distancing," McManmon said.

So the chance to get back to normal can happen sooner, rather than later.

Ascension All Saints Hospital also saw spikes in the week or so after Easter and then after the beginning of May when the weather really started to warm up. They are hoping not to see a spike in cases after this weekend.

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