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Health leader says Wisconsin hospitals not full

Health leader says Wisconsin hospitals not full

Created: March 31, 2020 05:57 PM

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin has not been reporting how many COVID-19 patients are currently hospitalized, but a state health leader said Tuesday that she has not heard concerns about hospitals being near capacity at this point.

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Wisconsin Department of Health Services Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk said the state was working to update its data system to collect hospitalization numbers and report those “in days to come.”

Gov. Tony Evers announced on Tuesday that the state was opening voluntary isolation centers in Madison and Milwaukee on Wednesday to alleviate the strain on hospitals. Van Dijk said the Madison hotel can house 137 people and one in Milwaukee can take 110, but there were no patients yet.

She said the goal is to keep hospital rooms open for when there is an expected surge in patients, which health officials have said is expected in the next week or so. The centers are for people with mild symptoms who have no other place to go to isolate themselves and voluntarily want to check in. They need a referral from a doctor or public health official.

The Evers administration has provided guidance for other communities interested in doing something similar.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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