Healthcare systems in the northern and central part of the state are seeing a significant jump in cases of COVID-19 and expect more cases in the coming weeks. Some hospitals are seeing exponential growth of COVID-19 patients, says Aspirus CEO Matt Heywood, noting Aspirus went from ten patients to 60-80 in three weeks. The virus is affecting people of all ages, Heywood said. About 50% of COVID-19 patients in the Aspirus hospital system are 70 years old or older; 30-35% are 50-69 years old; and 15-20% of patients are 49 years old or younger. Many Aspirus staff have also contracted the virus, which is an additional challenged posed by the pandemic.
Aspirus, Marshfield Clinic Health System, and Ascension wrote a joint statement asking people to take preventative measures—such as wearing a mask, hand washing, social distancing and staying home if sick—seriously in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus.