Wisconsin COVID-19 hospitalizations reach record high

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin COVID-19 hospitalizations have reached a pandemic high, surpassing the state’s previous record by a single patient.

The latest data shared by the Wisconsin Hospital Association indicates that as of Wednesday, 2,278 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19 throughout the state. The previous record of 2,277 was set Nov. 17, 2020, during what was then Wisconsin’s largest COVID surge.

COVID cases have been surging statewide at break-neck speeds over the past two weeks due to the Omicron variant that’s taken over as the dominant strain of the virus that causes COVID-19. Last week, health officials reported record-breaking single-day case counts for four straight days.

That surge in cases has in turn led to a rapid rise in hospitalizations that have overwhelmed health care providers, including those in Madison.

“We’ve seen it fills up our hospitals really quickly and puts a lot of workers out of work at the same time, which has implications all over society, to restaurants to deliveries and supply chain, everything is influenced by that if you have a lot of people out at once,” Dr. Dan Shirley, UW Health’s Interim Medical Director for Infection Prevention, said.

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Dane County has seen records set on a county-wide basis over the past two weeks, too. On Tuesday, Public Health Madison & Dane County reported COVID-19 hospitalizations had reached a record high. That record was broken again Wednesday when PHMDC reported five more people were hospitalized with COVID, bringing the county’s total number of patients hospitalized with the disease to 202.

Statewide, the Department of Health Services’ dashboard lists COVID-19 case activity as critically high in all 72 counties.