MILWAUKEE — Coronavirus patients are filling Wisconsin hospitals, forcing doctors to transfer patients to other facilities as the disease surges across the state.
The number of people hospitalized in Wisconsin stood at 646 on Tuesday, a new record, with 205 patients in intensive care units, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. Case spikes in northern and northeastern Wisconsin are driving much of the hospitalizations.
Officials at Bellin Hospital in Green Bay say their facility is at 94% capacity. Aspirus Healthcare President and CEO Matthew Heywood says the Wausau hospital has had a 30% increase in COVID-19 patients between Monday and Tuesday.
State health officials say if cases don’t subside, patients could be directed to a 530-bed field hospital the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built on the state fairgrounds in West Allis in April.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK
— Wisconsin hospitals filling with patients as virus surges
— Czech government declares state of emergency after virus spike
— At virus milestone, Italian priest reflects on loss, lessons
— U.S. restaurants are facing the new challenge of chilly weather amid a pandemic that’s expected to claim even more lives. New York reopens indoor dining, restricting capacity to 25%.
— Scientists say genes some people have inherited from Neanderthal ancestors may increase the likelihood of more severe forms of COVID-19 symptoms.
— Scores of actors, technicians and theater staff marched through London’s West End to Parliament to the beat of showtunes, asking for plan to revive the arts.
Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
HILO, Hawaii — Hawaii officials say state contact tracers have received productive responses from about half the travelers in a program for screening and contact tracing.
The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported a House Select Committee on COVID-19 heard testimony that during phone calls to ensure traveler quarantine compliance, contact tracers have successfully engaged half of the time.
Hawaii Medical Service Association CEO Mark Mugiishi says travelers can be reluctant to respond because of several factors, including thinking contact tracing calls are scams and an unwillingness to provide personal information.
The state is expected to launch a pre-travel testing program Oct. 15.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is “urgently advising” people throughout the Netherlands to start wearing face masks in indoor public areas.
That includes wearing masks in shops, bars, museums, theaters and libraries to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Rutte says the government doesn’t plan to legislate to make masks obligatory. Instead, he says, “let’s make it an urgent advice and see how it goes.”
Under the current virus containment measures, facemasks are mandatory on public transport and advised in public indoor areas of the three major cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague.
More than 19,000 people in the Netherlands tested positive in the last week, a sharp increase from the nearly 13,500 a week earlier.
The country has nearly 126,000 confirmed cases and 6,456 dead, according to a tally by