Join hc1 and Becker’s Healthcare at the Precision Health Virtual Summit November 17-18. 

By Dr. Peter J. Plantes

October 17, 2020

“This is not a regional crisis, but instead one that is intensifying almost everywhere in the country,” the Washington Post Health desk wrote. The number of daily new U.S. coronavirus cases reached its highest point since late July, exceeding 64,000 on October 15th. Nearly every state has reported rising caseloads in the last few weeks, and hospitals in the Upper Midwest and Great Plains are running low on intensive-care beds as tens of thousands of people across the country fall ill with the disease. A long-feared autumn spike in infections and serious illnesses has arrived.” (By Avi Selk with Angela Fritz, Washington Post, Coronavirus Updates, Oct 16th ,2020.) 

Far and away the #1 County area with the most concerning rate of COVID-19 is Sheboygan Wisconsin. On the western shore of Lake Michigan this lakeport city of 115 thousand is north of the Milwaukee area.  The LRIs (Local Risk Index) is still accelerating past 37 with the current 7-day average vs. previous 7-day average (7vs7) ratio remaining above 1 (accelerating) since September 23rd.  The 7vs7 has been as high as 2.7 reflecting the LRI is doubling as frequently as every 5.8 days. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has reported (Oct16th) the state has a 26.47%  positivity, new daily cases of 3,861/day (664 cases per 100,000 population) and testing rates at 2.3 per 1000 population. It is the fourth day in a row with more than 3,000 cases. Sheboygan County has now had a total of 2,949 cases and 20 deaths. 

The Department of Health Services has put out a national call for Physicians and other clinical care professionals to come help combat the state COVID-19 crisis and is asking retired physicians to reactivate their licenses on a temporary basis. Available ICU-capacity is as low as 5 to 10% in the Northeast and Fox Valley sections of the state.  All of this has already happened, and flu season is just starting. Yet another related crisis for the state, the Green Bay Packers are now restricted to play at Lambeau Field with ‘no fans in the stands.’

About the Author

Peter J. Plantes, M.D. has three decades of experience creating service and delivery solutions that enhance marketplace success and clinical performance for clinical practice groups, academic faculty group practices, hospitals, health systems, and health care organizations. His success stems from his ability to blend and synergize clinical knowledge, operational expertise, financial performance, and collaborative methodology with his deep commitment to serve patients and improve the health of the community. Dr. Plantes has served in CEO & Physician Executive roles for a number of large healthcare clinical delivery networks including regional community networks, academic practices, national hospital networks, international health systems (Chile, Colombia),  and corporate managed care/HMO networks.

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