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Ashland hospital busy, but not at capacity as Wisconsin COVID cases surge

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SUPERIOR, WI -- Governor Tony Evers announced Wednesday the opening of a 500-bed field hospital at the Wisconsin State Fairgrounds as a surge in COVID-19 cases threatens to overwhelm hospitals.

Now Evers and local leaders are urging those in Wisconsin to stay home as COVID-19 cases surge throughout the state.

"Perhaps now more than ever that Wisconsinites step up and stay home," Evers said during a COVID-19 briefing.

Kathy Ronchi, with Douglas County's Department of Health, said many cases they're seeing are among people in their 20's and 30's.

Ronchi said, "We definitely have a spikbe in the last couple weeks in September."

According to the county, there is a higher number of cases in Superior but it hasn't come as a shock.

"With the population being so much higher than the rest of the county," said Ronchi.

Ashland County is also seeing a spike in cases.

They're asking residents to follow state guidelines to help support their health care systems.

Ashland Memorial Hospital representatives said while testing there has increased and they're busy with COVID-19 activity they are not at capacity.

Statement by Memorial Medical Center

They added that they're well prepared and working with other regional hospitals to track bed availability while also planning for what might come their way.

"By wearing the mask, you basically are protecting our health care system and our health care workers so that they'll be there if you need them," said Ashland County Administrator Clark Schroeder.

With the use of a digital data map, Ashland County leaders hope it can help the public be more aware of where positive cases have been.

"What we can do is say you should watch yourself if you were at this place during this period it's more of public awareness," said Schroeder.

Ronchi adds by not following state and local guidelines it will make it harder to end the pandemic.

"As much as people want to get life back to normal and get back to doing the things, they want to do this is contributing to our case numbers and it's concerning to me," she said.

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Emma Quinn

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