University of Wisconsin hospitals are short of staff at ‘all times’ as Covid slams state

Covid-19 hospitalizations in Wisconsin are at an all-time high of almost 1,915, based on a seven-day average, according to a CNBC analysis of data from the COVID Tracking Project, an effort run by journalists at The Atlantic. That is up 22% compared with a week ago.

“We’re finding that all of our hospitals are reaching their limit in capacity,” Kaplan said, noting the influx of Covid patients must be handled alongside people who need treatment for unrelated conditions. “It’s taking care of those who still have illnesses that haven’t gone away, whether it be cancer, traumas or other types of diseases.”

Wisconsin’s seven-day average of new cases now sits at nearly 6,300, which is up 23% compared with a week ago, per CNBC’s analysis. The state also tallied 159 deaths from Covid-19 on Wednesday, according to Hopkins data. The seven-day average of coronavirus fatalities is nearly 57, up 54% from the prior week.

The coronavirus outbreak in Wisconsin has been intensifying for weeks, with Democratic Gov. Tony Evers warning of “alarming trends” in early October. At the time, the state had just reported its highest one-day death total of 27. Overall, Wisconsin has at least 2,554 deaths from Covid-19.

“Our big surge was late April and May and now this second surge, since we didn’t have a large summer surge, is quite a bit more severe,” Kaplan said. “If you look at our total of nearly 300,000 cases over the past year, 50% of those have occurred in the last month, including nearly half of the deaths we’ve experienced.”

— CNBC’s Nate Rattner contributed to this report.