For the Record: School COVID-19 spread and ICU bed availability

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MADISON, Wis. — Just 8% of the ICU beds in Wisconsin are available, according to Friday morning data from the Wisconsin Hospital Association.

On For the Record for September 19, UW Health’s chief quality officer Dr. Jeff Pothof tells Naomi Kowles those numbers are even worse than they sound.

“There are likely physicians around the state looking to get an ICU bed for their patient, who are not immediately able to get that without waiting for someone else to be discharged or stepped down.”

The state’s chief medical officer Dr. Ryan Westergaard also joined Naomi on For the Record to discuss the spread of COVID-19 in schools. It’s early yet to determine school transmission, he said, but the state has determined school sports to be a cause of some outbreaks.

“We have open schoolwide investigations that we’re helping with at the state health department,” he said. “We’ve also seen some outbreaks related to sports. Our message to all schools is to use all the prevention strategies that we know work.”