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Alternative Care Facility at WI State Fair Park to Start Accepting COVID-19 Patients

Governor Evers announced today that the Alternative Care Facility created at the Wisconsin State Fair Park in West Allis will start accepting COVID-19 patients on October 14 in order to ease the burden on hospitals. Hospitals are facing a surge of cases and requested the low-acuity facility to be opened. COVID-19 hospitalizations jumped to 853 yesterday, an increase of 71 over the day before.

 

Hospital leaders in Green Bay, Appleton, Neenah, and Wausau are reporting ICUs at capacity, and have been transferring patients to other facilities. Hospitals across the state have staffing shortages due to COVID-19 infection or exposure to the coronavirus in their communities.

 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began building the Alternative Care Facility in April. The facility will not take walk-in patients from the general public and is not a hospital. It is a transitional facility that will offer oxygen and medical care for COVID-19 patients who still need support in their recovery. The facility expects to open with 50 patient beds and can be ramped up to accommodate more than 500. The facility will be funded by monies from the CARES Act Governor Evers set aside for an anticipated surge in cases. For more information on the facility is available here.

 

“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,” Gov. 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. I want to thank the many frontline healthcare workers and first responders who are caring for our most vulnerable COVID-19 patients and I urge all Wisconsinites to step up to help these folks by staying home as much as possible so we can flatten the curve, prevent hospitalizations, and save lives.” 

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