Wisconsin Watch is a nonprofit newsroom that focuses on government integrity and quality of life issues, and we always provide our news for free.
You can read all of our coronavirus/COVID-19 coverage by signing up for our Wisconsin COVID-19 Update newsletter, and please consider becoming a member to support our nonprofit journalism.
Wisconsin plans to open a facility at State Fair Park in West Allis to treat COVID-19 patients overflowing from hospitals, Gov. Tony Evers announced Wednesday.
The facility will open as early as next week. It is not a hospital, and it will not accept walk-ins, Evers’ office said. The facility will coordinate with health systems to admit patients who need oxygen or other care to speed their recovery — but not those who are seriously ill and in need of hospital-level care.
“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 in a statement. “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.”
The announcement came as statewide COVID-19 hospitalizations surged to 873 on Wednesday, more than triple the levels from a month ago. As the virus continues to spread, Wisconsin hospitals are also seeing critical staffing shortages – largely due to infections or exposures among staff members, Evers’ office said.
David Wahlberg has the full story for the Wisconsin State Journal.
State planning to open COVID-19 hospital overflow facility in West Allis — Wisconsin State Journal
Miller Park to become a COVID-19 testing site as National Guard moves out of Milwaukee — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Judge delays release of names of businesses linked to COVID-19 for at least seven weeks — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Sauk County in ‘crisis mode’ as officials can no longer call all COVID-19 close contacts — Baraboo News Republic
Small spike in COVID-19 cases could exceed capacity of local hospitals — Daily Jefferson County Union
Most patients’ COVID-19 care looks nothing like Trump’s — The New York Times
Food access trouble?
We know that when classes are virtual, many Wisconsin students and families lose access to food schools provide. And as the school year starts, some meal sites are closing. Share your experience with News414, Wisconsin Watch’s service journalism collaboration with Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service and Outlier Media. Click here for details.
You can also view a list of Milwaukee-area food distribution sites for students here.
Data to note
Here are the latest statewide hospitalization trends from the Wisconsin Hospital Association.
Some 72% of Wisconsites agree that masks should be required in public places, compared to 26% who disagree with requiring masks, according to a new Marquette Law School poll.That is up from August, when 69% supported a mask requirement and 29% were opposed.
The latest poll of 805 registered voters in Wisconsin was conducted Sept. 30 through Oct. 4. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 percentage points.
People helping others and showing resilience during this time of anxiety. Send suggestions by tagging us on social media — @wisconsinwatch — or emailing us: email@example.com.