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Aspirus sees highest COVID-19 positivity rate since January 2021

Aspirus ICU
Aspirus ICU(Aspirus Health)
Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 3:43 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Aspirus Health data shows the positivity rate of COVID-19 tests processed at the Aspirus Reference Lab increased for the third straight week. Last week, 17.6% of all tests were positive. The health care system noted that is the highest positivity rate since January 2021.

“Typically, the higher the case number, the higher that prevalence or positivity rate translates to more patients requiring hospitalization,” said Susan Schneider, MD, Aspirus System Senior System Physician Executive of Primary Care. “And we really are seeing those numbers, especially with this latest Delta variant. There seems to be a higher transmission rate, younger, healthier people are requiring hospitalization because they are developing severe COVID.”

As of Wednesday, Aspirus had 106 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 throughout its system. Of those patients, 76% were not fully vaccinated and 29 required ICU-level care.

Aspirus Health COVID data on Nov. 17, 2021
Aspirus Health COVID data on Nov. 17, 2021(WSAW)

“I really think there’s a disconnect with what’s happening in the perception out in the community versus what’s happening within our health system as well as actually the rest of the health systems across the state,” Dr. Schneider said. “This pandemic has been going on for a long time and people are tired of it and really want to get back to normal life, but that’s not really what we’re seeing in the health care system.”

Data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services show significantly higher rates of infection, hospitalization and death among individuals who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19. These rates in September 2021 were five times higher for infection, nine times higher for hospitalization and 19 times higher for death.

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