Less than a week into the new year, Wisconsin hit a grim milestone in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, passing the millionth positive case mark on January 3rd. 

Healthcare professionals with Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay say their hospital has reached an all-time high number of COVID patients.

At this point in time, nearly every one of us has had an up-close and personal view of the coronavirus.

“I know you’ve experienced it firsthand or you know someone who has COVID,” said Dr. Raul Mendoza, a pulmonologist with Aurora BayCare.

“You are pandemic fatigued and we are fatigued as well,” Mendoza said.

Mendoza said the rapid spread of the virus has hospitals and healthcare workers stretched to their limits.

“Remember, this Omicron variant wasn’t detected until November,” Mendoza pointed out. “In a matter of a few weeks, we’re talking about it in the entire world and how it’s affecting us.”

In that same couple of months,  Aurora BayCare representatives say the number of hospitalized COVID patients has quadrupled.

Adding to that, Mendoza says community transmission of the flu virus has nearly doubled in just this past week.

“It is increasing week after week,” Mendoza said. “Last week 7 percent up from 4 percent the week prior.”

Meaning, we could face a possible “twin-demic” this winter.

“It is possible,” Mendoza confirmed. “We have a patient in the hospital and she has both influenza and COVID.”

While the public looks to medical professionals to help get us through this pandemic, those medical professionals are looking to the public.

 “If you have not done much during this pandemic, think about this,” Mendoza urged. “Getting vaccinated to protect others will help.”

Another way you can help, according to medical staff, is to not go to emergency rooms for non-emergency situations.  In fact, they say you can triage yourself using the symptom checker feature on their LiveWell app, so you’re not taxing already overcrowded resources.

However, if you have a fever, are having trouble breathing or have an underlying condition, like emphysema, that’s when they say you need to get in to see a doctor.

For more information, call: 1-866-938-0035 or email: healthwatch@aurorabaycare.com