GREEN BAY, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) — While many people across Wisconsin were home during the pandemic, Adam Rockman and other Intensive Care Unit nurses were busy treating those afflicted with the illness.
“Some people come in and they have a really mild illness, but the ones that are sick are very sick and they stayed with us for a very long time,” he said. “Some people were in our ICU four or five weeks and on the ventilators three, four, five weeks at a time.”
Not only were staff at Bellin Hospital in Green Bay caring for COVID-19 patients, they were also treating people with heart attacks, infections and other serious conditions.
The slow reopening of businesses and public spaces in recent weeks has bought some sense of normalcy, but there’s also a sense of concern over the potential to see more cases for the illness — and the possibility of a second wave.
“We’re still living through a global pandemic,” said Dr. Ashok Rai, president and chief executive officer of Prevea Health in Green Bay. “We’ve never seen a virus like this. We’ve never seen anything this infectious. We’ve never really treated something this deadly that spreads that rapidly.”
About 22,000 people in Wisconsin have tested positive for COVID19. Most will recover, with some requiring hospitalization. There were more than 440 people in the hospital in early April. That figure dropped to 298 in early May before increasing and dropping again. As of Thursday 306 were hospitalized with the illness, according to the Wisconsin Hospital Association.
About 700 people in the state have died from COVID-19.
Cases have been on the increase in about 20 states in the past several weeks. Health officials in Wisconsin are closely monitoring a cluster of cases in Winnebago County that are centered around people in their 20s.
That has care providers on the front lines, like Rockman, unsure of what the future holds.
“It’s hard to expect anything now, really,” he said. “I think a lot of us are just waiting for that other shoe to drop.”