Nursing Home Outbreaks May Be Stressing Wisconsin Hospital Capacity

October 16, 2020

Some Wisconsin nursing homes are struggling during the coronavirus pandemic and the situation could be contributing to a state  shortage of hospital beds., according to an article on the WPR website.

As of Oct. 7, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services was investigating 430 active coronavirus outbreaks at longterm care facilities across the state, including 186 at nursing homes, the article said.

Because, for a nursing homes, just one positive test for a resident or staff member constitutes an outbreak, which can prevent a facility from accepting new patients for up to 28 days. Nursing homes are the next stop after being discharged from the hospital but if a nursing home can’t accept new patients, it could mean a longer hospital stay. 

The Wisconsin Health Care Association says it is working closely with public health officials to clarify the guidelines surrounding nursing home admissions so that facilities can accept new patients if they have adequate staffing, equipment and space.

Some Wisconsin hospitals have had to wait-list patients, or send them to other facilities, according to an article on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel website.

The cities of Green Bay, Wausau and the Fox Valley are particularly hard hit. Bellin Hospital in Green Bay was at 94 percent capacity in early October.

Read the full WPR article.



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