Aspirus discusses increase of cases, current situation with hospital

Published: Oct. 22, 2020 at 6:09 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Aspirus in Wausau held a press conference on Thursday to talk about the increase of cases in north central Wisconsin, and how the hospital has responded.

Aspirus says they’re currently testing around 5,000 people a week, with a positive rate of 23%.

The Wausau hospital also has 45 people admitted because of COVID-19. Officials say that number has been growing slowly as well. But to help test people that are asymptomatic, Aspirus is testing all of the admitted patients for COVID-19.

“Even if patients don’t have symptoms we are doing a test on them as well," Chief Medical Officer of Aspirus Dr. Ryan Andrews said. "Through that process we have been able to identify the asymptomatic or super spreaders that we were able to put in the proper isolation and limit the spread of the disease,” he added.

Despite the recent surge, the hospitals say they’re in a pretty good place as far as taking care of cases.

“We took advantage of that time to lay out an incremental plan to increase our physical capacity and transition units from treating traditional patients to COVID patients,” Dr. Andrews explained.

“Any organization no matter how well prepared, may find themselves in a position where they don’t have enough beds, people, and equipment. But right now we’re in good shape,” Aspirus CEO Matt Heywood added.

Aspirus also warned the virus has shown to be dangerous in any type of community, and people should be cautious no matter where they live.

“I think that we’re starting to find in our communities that rural does not mean we are not challenged by this situation. It’ll probably be continuing to be a challenge for the next few months,” Heywood stated.

Aspirus officials are still preaching for people to wear masks and social distance, but also to take the virus seriously. Even the medical staff getS upset with how people treat the virus.

“If I had to be honest, I get frustrated when I see people not respecting the virus and not respecting the severe impact that it’s having on multiple people. Maybe we’re tired of it, But we can’t get tired of it because the virus doesn’t get tired,” Dr. Andrews said.

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