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DHS reminds residents vaccination reduces hospitalization risk

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WISCONSIN (WQOW) - The struggle of hospital capacity continues statewide with just 3% of all ICU beds in Wisconsin readily available for patients. For intermediate care beds, only 2% is currently available.

The struggle doesn't just come from patients taking up space in beds, but also a lack of adequate nurses, doctors, CNA's, and even janitorial staff to provide service to a room.

The president of Prevea Health Dr. Ashok Rai said the winter is already historically the busiest season in healthcare, but now 20% of their patients are receiving care for COVID-19, or long-term effects caused by COVID-19. 

Some of these coronavirus patients are not even coming because they know they are infected, but for run-of-the-mill care, and end up being positive when tested, sometimes even after they're vaccinated.

"Some we find out they have COVID-19 because they're there for a different reason, say an appendectomy, but they still get counted because they still have to be isolated and treated like a COVID patient, and their outcomes could be worse because of that," Rai said. "But the majority of what's overwhelming us right now are the unvaccinated. They are the ones that are not only using the highest amount of resources, but staying the longest."

The state reminds people studies show that vaccinations significantly reduce the chance of being hospitalized with COVID-19, thus keeping the strain they see low.

Doctor Rai added that lower numbers also helps keep all care local, as many hospitals statewide are diverting even emergency patients sometimes up to 200 miles away.

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