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COVID-19 Hospitalizations on the Rise in Door County

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 in Door County reached a new high earlier this week, according to Brian Stephens, CEO of Door County Medical Center.

The hospital has consistently had five or six patients with COVID-19 hospitalized for several days, after having few to none for several months. Stephens said those patients typically stay an average of six days for treatment. The hospital’s COVID-19 isolation ward has six rooms. 

“There’s an uptick in admissions both for COVID-19 and in general hospital admissions,” Stephens said. 

Door County has reported 566 positive tests for COVID-19, with 431, or 76.1 percent, recorded since Sept. 1.

Stephens said some elective procedures and clinic visits have been rescheduled, largely to free up nurses to staff the emergency department. 

“There is not a blanket cancellation or change in policy,” Stephens said. “The availability of those surgeries and clinic visits is being monitored on a day-to-day basis. This is the situation we’ve been preparing for since the pandemic began.”

Wisconsin reported 1,017 hospitalizations for COVID-19 through Wednesday, including 152 in northeast Wisconsin. That uptick makes it more difficult for the hospital to transfer patients to Green Bay facilities for treatment and to move patients to local nursing homes for rehabilitation, which keeps hospital beds in Sturgeon Bay occupied for longer stretches as well. 

As hospitals reached 84 percent capacity statewide (hospitals normally operate at about 65 percent capacity), the Tavern League of Wisconsin (TLW) continues to pursue an effort to overturn Gov. Tony Evers’ order limiting public indoor gatherings to 25 percent of a room’s capacity. 

The lawsuit filed in Sawyer County argued that Andrea Palm, secretary-designee of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, had ignored the state Supreme Court’s previous ruling on the Safer at Home order issued earlier this year. 

TLW’s complaint states that hundreds, if not thousands of its member bars and restaurants could not operate profitably and would be forced to discontinue business operations if Evers’ order were enforced.

Judge John Yackel issued a temporary injunction on the order and scheduled further hearings for Monday. 

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