GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Medical professionals at Advocate Aurora Health are warning the public about hosting gatherings as the holidays approach.
The healthcare system, which covers portions of Wisconsin and Illinois, says the state is well into the second wave of the virus.
According to the doctors, this wave is different from the first.
“The first wave was really concentrated in urban areas, the second wave is urban, suburban, rural,” says Dr. Robert Citronberg, Executive Medical Director of Infectious Disease and Prevention. “There’s really no area of the country that has been spared. All 50 states have reported increasing rates of COVID-19.”
Dr. Citronberg went on to implore Wisconsinites to sacrifice their expectation of what Thanksgiving should be like and, instead, do a bare bones observation of the day.
“What I’ve been telling people is let’s just take a mulligan for 2020. We’ve missed every holiday, look forward to 2021 where it should be a lot better.”
While vaccines for COVID-19 are in the works, Dr. Citronberg says they won’t arrive in time for the upcoming holidays and, with current staffing bed space, he doesn’t believe the local medical community could absorb another spike in cases.
Last week, ThedaCare discussed the impact the recent surge in COVID-19 cases has had on its system.
Chief Financial Officer for ThedaCare, Mark Thompson, says they have been particularly hit hard, reporting they are at 95% capacity for their beds – something they’ve been dealing with for the last few months.
Thompson tells WFRV Local 5 that one of the biggest problems they are facing is exhaustion.
“They’ve been doing this for 10 weeks. They have been taking extra shifts, they have been working extra days, they have been going way out of their way and they are getting tired.”
Dr. Deborah Birx, a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, tells WFRV Local 5 that she’s been watching the spread in Wisconsin.
She notes that one of the reasons behind the most recent spike is because of the blast of cold weather Wisconsin saw in October. People moved indoors again to escape the cold and took their masks off.
The results were obvious.
“You can see how these become spreading events,” Dr. Birx tells WFRV Local 5. “They become spreading events whether you’re in a bar, they become spreading events whether you’re in your home with individuals outside your household. Now that we know that we have created these spreading events and how spreading occurred, we know exactly how to stop it.”