Wausau Pilot & Review

Officials at Aspirus say nearly half of the system’s 91 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are in the intensive care unit.

As of Oct. 13, 43 of Aspirus’ 91 patients are in ICU beds, according to a news release issued Wednesday, the vast majority of which are unvaccinated.

“The ICU is essentially one of the areas in our hospitals that take care of the sickest of the sick,” said Aspirus System Senior System Physician Executive of Primary Care Dr. Susan Schneider. “We’re seeing with this most recent surge with the Delta Variant that patients are somewhat younger than they have been in the past and needing a much higher level of care.”

This problem is affecting health care systems across the country. More ICU patients requires more staff and resources. That can cause non-emergent procedures to be delayed.

Aspirus, which does not require its own employees to be vaccinated, are encouraging the public to get shots, wear masks and practice social distancing to protect themselves.

“Over 80% of our patients right now that are admitted with COVID-infections are unvaccinated,” Schneider said. “We know masking decreases transmission rates. So, for people who can’t get vaccinated or can’t socially distance, it’s still important to wear a mask.”