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This state is in ‘crisis mode’ when it comes to COVID-19

Wisconsin has entered into a ‘crisis mode’ when dealing with surging COVID-19 cases.

Wisconsin National Guard members administer COVID-19 tests in a parking lot Monday May 11, 2020, in Milwaukee. This was one of two sites in the city to open Monday and offer free testing.
Wisconsin National Guard members administer COVID-19 tests in a parking lot Monday May 11, 2020, in Milwaukee.
Morry Gash, Associated Press

Dr. Paul Casey, emergency department medical director at Bellin Hospital in Green Bay, Wisconsin, recently told CNBC the state of Wisconsin is facing a crisis when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key quote:

  • “All hospitals across the state are either at or nearing capacity,” Casey told CNBC.” “Today we had a record number of COVID-19 cases, 7,500, and two weeks ago it was half of that, and this is straining us almost to capacity.”

Context:

Wisconsin has seen just under 300,000 coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic, which includes about 43,000 in the last week alone. In fact, the state saw about 9,000 more new cases than the previous week.

As I wrote for the Deseret News, Wisconsin had to add a new benchmark for determining a high level of COVID-19 activity — called “critically high” — this week to explain the rising cases. Most of the counties there shattered that record easily.

  • “Far too many of our communities are in a dire situation,” DHS Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk said, according to NBC 15. “To put these new data in perspective, Wisconsin is now seeing more average cases per day than New York City did at the peak of its surge last spring.”

What we can do

Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, told CNBC the state needs to adopt widespread testing.

Casey, the emergency department medical director, said there’s a lot everyone can do to stay safe.

  • “The most important thing is realizing that we all have to take an active part in stemming this pandemic,” Casey said. “Wear a mask, socially distance, wash your hands — all these things are extremely important right now.”