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Aspirus workers 'cautiously optimistic' as COVID cases and hospitalizations trend down

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Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Positive COVID cases and hospitalizations are trending down in Wisconsin after record-high numbers. Healthcare workers in the Aspirus System are still caring for high volumes of COVID patients, but some say they’re encouraged by the recent data.

More than 130 patients are hospitalized for COVID-19 across the Aspirus system.

It’s among the highest number of COVID patients in the system since the pandemic began.

But as COVID cases start to trend down in Wisconsin, some Aspirus healthcare workers say they’re feeling optimistic.

Jeff Wicklander is the president of Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

Jeff Wicklander Aspirus
Aspirus Health
Jeff Wicklander, president of Aspirus Wausau Hospital

“We’re cautiously optimistic about the omicron variant and what we’re seeing compared to delta,” he says. “Yes, we have a lot of patients that are coming to be tested in our emergency departments and even some are hospitalized. However, the level of ICU acuity is less.”

Wicklander says the omicron variant is extremely contagious, but the symptoms that present tend to be milder than with the delta variant.

“It’s fairly rapid in the onset of symptoms,” he says. “However the symptoms for the vast majority are mild.”

Since the beginning of January, the number of COVID patients in Aspirus intensive care units has dropped by 30 percent.

Only 5 patients are currently on a ventilator, compared to 20 earlier this month.

Wicklander says the best way to stay protected from Omicron is to get vaccinated and boosted.

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