Only 20 ICU beds open in Rock County, Public Health Officials say

JANESVILLE, Wis. – Hospitals in the Rock County area have just 20 ICU beds combined, according to public health leaders.

In a release issued Tuesday evening, the Rock County Public Health Department said the 20 available beds is roughly half of the normal capacity.

“We’re trying to make sure that we have the resources available,” said Dr. Danielle Mitchell, a physician with SSM Health in Janesville.

Mitchell says her biggest concern is what might happen if the county is met with a surge of cases.

“Right now what we’re preparing for is a surge,” she said. “(A) chest pain patient that comes to the ER with a life threatening situation is just as much in need of acute critical care as someone who might be a critical COVID patient. So what can we do to help allocate those resources?”

Mitchell says the best measure people in Rock County can take is to continue social distancing. Health officials say if only half of the county’s population social distances, a surge in cases could require 85 ICU beds. If very few people practice social distancing, a surge could require more than 300 ICU beds.

“Protect yourselves, protect your family,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell says SSM Health is working with hospitals in its system as well as other hospitals in Rock County to help stretch resources as far as possible.