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Wisconsin hospitals strain as confirmed number of daily COVID cases surpasses 11,000

New confirmed COVID-19 cases and seven-day average as of Jan 5, 2022
Wisconsin Department of Health Services
New confirmed COVID-19 cases and seven-day average as of Jan 5, 2022

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services confirmed 11,574 positive COVID-19 cases Thursday.

It’s the highest number ever reported in a single day since the pandemic began.

And it’s likely an undercount. DHS numbers do not include the results of at-home COVID tests.

But there is some good news.

“The omicron variant of the virus is less likely to cause severe disease, so that is a silver lining,” says Dr. Ryan Westergaard, the chief medical officer of the DHS Bureau of Communicable Diseases.

However, because the omicron variant spreads so quickly, many more people are getting infected.

“That will translate, and is continuing to translate, to full hospitals which brings risk to all of us who might need emergency healthcare in the future.”

About 2,000 Wisconsinites are currently hospitalized with the virus.

Statewide, 97 percent of intensive care beds and 98 percent of immediate care beds are full.

Thirty-five Wisconsinites died from the virus Thursday.

To prevent further strain on the state’s health care systems, DHS officials urge people to get vaccinated and boosted, to wear a mask in all indoor public settings, and to get tested if symptoms develop.

Erin Gottsacker worked at WXPR as a Morning Edition host and reporter from December 2020 to January 2023. During her time at the station, Erin reported on the issues that matter most in the Northwoods.
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