Wisconsin opened a 530-bed emergency field hospital this week after a record surge in coronavirus cases left the state’s health system in “crisis,” officials said.
The cavernous facility in Wisconsin State Fair Park just outside Milwaukee has row-upon-row of curtained-off hospital beds ready for a feared influx of patients.
It opened Wednesday — the same day that for the first time more than 1,000 people were hospitalized with the virus in the Badger State.
Health authorities recorded an almost 25 percent spike in coronavirus hospitalizations in the past seven days compared to the previous week, which the state’s Department of Health Services Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk said had left the care system “in crisis.”
“Many of our ICUs are strained,” she told The Capital Times. “And every region of our state has one or more hospitals reporting current and imminent staff shortages.”
The 530-bed care facility was initially built in April but was until now never needed,