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Wisconsin activates field hospital as COVID keeps surging

Wisconsin’s governor has announced a field hospital at the state fairgrounds will open next week as a surge in COVID-19 cases threatens to overwhelm hospitals

Wisconsin has become a hot spot for the disease over the last month, ranking third nationwide this week in new cases per capita over the last two weeks. Health experts have attributed the spike to the reopening of colleges and K-12 schools as well as general fatigue over wearing masks and socially distancing.

State Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm told reporters during a video conference that the facility will open on Oct. 14.

The move also came as a state judge was considering a lawsuit seeking to strike down Evers’ mandate that masks be worn in enclosed public spaces. The governor on Tuesday issued new restrictions on the size of indoor public gatherings through Nov. 6.

Only 16% of the state’s 11,452 hospital beds were available as of Tuesday afternoon, according to the DHS. The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients had grown to 853, it’s highest during the pandemic according to the COVID Tracking Project, with 216 in intensive care.

The DHS reported 2,319 new confirmed cases on Wednesday and 16 more deaths. The state has now seen 138,698 cases and 1,415 deaths since the pandemic began.

Virus spread is particularly rampant in northeastern Wisconsin. The Green Bay Packers announced this week that no home fans would be admitted to home games until the situation improved, and head coach Matt LaFleur asked area residents to wear masks and practice social distancing.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built a 530-bed field hospital on the state fairgrounds in West Allis just outside Milwaukee in April at the request of Evers’ administration. Local leaders had warned about the possibility of area hospitals being overwhelmed, but hospitalizations never reached the point where the hospital was needed until now.

The hospital will accept patients from across Wisconsin but is designed to provide low-level care, and it will accept only patients who

Wisconsin to open field hospital as COVID-19 hospitalizations surge

Wisconsin will be opening a field hospital at the state fairgrounds near Milwaukee next week as a spike in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations is threatening to overwhelm hospital systems, Gov. Tony Evers (D) announced Wednesday.

The state has become one of the nation’s new COVID-19 hot spots in recent weeks and has ranked third nationwide this week in daily new cases per capita, according to The Associated Press. Health officials have attributed the surge to the reopening of universities and K-12 schools and fatigue among the public over health measures such as wearing masks and social distancing. 


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State officials said Wednesday that due to the increase in COVID-19 cases last month, hospitals fear they may soon reach capacity.

In early September, there were 289 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, but on Wednesday, state officials said 853 patients are hospitalized across the state and 216 are in intensive care. About 16 percent of the state’s hospital beds are currently available. 

“We hoped this day wouldn’t come, but unfortunately, Wisconsin is in a much different, more dire place today and our healthcare systems are beginning to become overwhelmed by the surge of COVID-19 cases,” Evers said Wednesday in a press release. 

“This alternative care facility will take some of the pressure off our healthcare facilities while expanding the continuum of care for folks who have COVID-19,” he said.  

The governor’s office said hospitals are also experiencing critical worker shortages as staff members are becoming infected or exposed to the virus. 

The alternative care facility will open on Oct. 14 and has space for 530 patients. The facility will not accept walk-in patients, but will instead coordinate with hospitals to treat those who are not seriously ill in need of hospital-level care. 

Since the start of the pandemic, Wisconsin has confirmed 138,698 coronavirus cases and 1,415 deaths, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.


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Wisconsin to open field hospital as cases surge

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin’s governor has announced a field hospital at the state fairgrounds will open within the next week as a surge in coronavirus cases threatens to overwhelm hospitals.

According to the state Department of Health Services, only 16% of the state’s 11,452 hospital beds are available as of Tuesday afternoon. The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has grown to 853, including 216 in intensive care.

The COVID-19 test results on an additional 262 in-patients are pending. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built a 530-bed field hospital on the state fairgrounds in West Allis in April, but it wasn’t needed until now.


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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— President Trump’s doctor says he’s been symptom-free for 24 hours

— What do we know about superspreader events in the pandemic?

— Gov. Cuomo issues restrictions in parts of New York

— Eli Lilly and Company has asked the U.S. government to allow emergency use of an experimental antibody therapy.

— Ethics experts say the special treatment Trump received to access an experimental COVID-19 drug raises fairness issues and public’s right to know about his condition.

— Tennessee will not be returning to the team’s facility after two more players tested positive and New England Patriots have canceled practice through Thursday amid reports that a third player has tested positive for the coronavirus.

— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — U.S. District Judge Keith Watkins refused to grant the temporary restraining order requested by plaintiffs represented by former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore.

Watkins says there is no urgency because the health orders were first issued this spring and the mask order followed in July. The case will go forward. Watkins asked the two sides to file briefs on whether the case should be dismissed.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey last week extended the state mask order through Nov. 8. Ivey says the measure has proven effective at helping control the state’s coronavirus outbreak even if some people do not like it.

Moore argued the mandate, as well as state health orders that closed businesses or directed people to stay home, were unconstitutional. The lawsuit was filed by Moore’s Foundation for Moral Law on behalf of seven plaintiffs.

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JOHNSTON, Iowa — Gov. Kim Reynolds says the health care system can handle the increase in coronavirus cases and record hospitalizations without more action to reduce infections.

There were 444 people treated for the coronavirus in hospitals on Wednesday. In the past day, the state confirmed 919 new positive cases and 15 deaths.

Despite the increases, Reynolds said hospital officials had reported that they were equipped to handle the surge.

Reynolds emphasized everyone needs to take personal responsibility. Asked whether the state should do more, Reynolds says there would be a cost to requiring more stringent safety measures.

She says it’s a balancing act, and she’s “working with Iowans and businesses across the state. There’s

New Army field manual recommends midday naps

Oct. 1 (UPI) — The Army released a new field manual Thursday that officially embraces midday naps to help improve performance.

The new guide focuses on individual wellness rather than the health of whole units, and it updates the branch’s health and fitness recommendations for the first time since 2012.

In addition to encouraging afternoon napping, the Army plans to shift its hourlong early-morning training sessions to fitness training regimens tailored to individuals.

“This will require physical training to occur throughout the duty day, not just during a one-hour period in the early morning,” said Megan Reed, a spokeswoman for the Center for Initial Military Training at Fort Eustis, Va., which spearheaded the service’s health reform efforts outlined in the new field manual.

The new manual also has chapters on setting goals, visualizing success and “spiritual readiness.”

“We’ve made leaps and strides, by not looking at soldiers as carbon copies of one another, but as individuals. That’s the point of Health and Holistic Fitness,” said Maj. Gen. Lonnie Hibbard, the commander of the CIMT.

The decision to overhaul the Army’s approach to wellness was driven by reports of injuries and other health issues that have placed a drag on soldiers’ performance.

According to Army statistics, more than 58,000 soldiers — the equivalent of 13 brigade teams — were considered nondeployable, with 15,000 of those being considered permanently nondeployable.

In 2018, more than half of American soldiers reported a new injury, and Army medical documents said 71% of soldiers hurt that year were diagnosed with preventable medical injuries caused by overuse.

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