COVID-19: Hospital Capacity by Region and County

Important updates regarding our data

Please note that the Wisconsin Electronic Disease Surveillance (WEDSS) system underwent routine maintenance and enhancements over the weekend of October 16-18, 2020. During that time, data reporting, and visualization updates were temporarily paused. Due to this temporary pause in reporting, no new cases were reported out on October 17, 2020. This resulted in a backlog of positive cases. As health departments work through importing these cases, our historical data, and case numbers may be higher over the next few days. The upgrade to WEDSS allows negative results to be automatically imported into the system, which is why the backlog only applies to positive cases. DHS has resumed their regular schedule of data refreshing as of October 19, 2020. For a more accurate representation of COVID-19 in Wisconsin over the course of this upgrade, we recommend looking at the 7-day rolling averages.

 

Understanding our data: What does hospital capacity mean?

How high are COVID-19 hospitalizations and how much capacity do hospitals have to handle a surge?

The hospital capacity section builds on the disease activity charts by showing hospital-reported trends in the number of COVID inpatients, including those who are in intensive care units (ICU). It also displays the use vs. availability of hospital beds, ICU beds, and ventilators. Maintaining some availability of these key resources is critical at any time, but especially if COVID hospitalizations (or any other hospitalizations, including for influenza) start to increase rapidly.

Please note that the Wisconsin Electronic Disease Surveillance (WEDSS) system underwent routine maintenance and enhancements over the weekend of October 16-18, 2020. Due to this temporary pause in reporting, multiple days of data were uploaded at once, affecting the single day count for the visualizations during that time.

About our data: How do we measure hospital capacity?

How high are COVID-19 hospitalizations and how much capacity do hospitals have to handle a surge?

These metrics describe patients currently hospitalized in an inpatient bed who have laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 and the capacity of hospitals to admit more patients.

Data source: Hospital capacity data are from the Emergency Management Resource (EMResource) system, as reported on a daily basis by participating hospitals. These metrics are only reported by HERC region, as not all counties have hospitals.

Please note that EMResource data underwent system-wide changes on 7/21/2020 to comply with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services data changes. As a result, reporting differences may appear between data entered before and after that date.

Hospitalized patients

This count is the number of patients currently hospitalized in an inpatient bed who have laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, in the past two weeks. This count includes patients within and outside of ICU and excludes any patients in observation status.

Patients in ICU

This count includes the number of patients in ICU who have laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in the past two weeks. This count is a subset of all hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

Trajectory of patient hospitalizations

This indicator is the percent change in patients from the previous week to the current week. The percent change must be at least a 10% increase or decrease and be statistically significant to be considered growing or shrinking.

Hospitalizations trajectory status Value (change from prior 7-day period to most recent 7-day period)
Shrinking Percent change in hospitalizations or ICU stays is less than or equal to negative 10 percent, and is statistically significant (p-value is less than 0.025).
Growing Percent change in hospitalizations or ICU stays is greater than or equal to 10 percent, and is statistically significant (p-value is less than 0.025).
No Significant Change Any other conditions besides those that meet the "shrinking" or "growing" statuses described above.
Hospital beds

This metric is the percent of beds in use out of all staffed ICU beds, medical-surgical beds, intermediate care beds, and negative-isolation beds, over the last two weeks.

ICU beds

This metric is the percentage of ICU beds in use out of the total number of staffed inpatient ICU beds, in the past two weeks. This is a subset of all hospital beds.

Ventilator use

This metric is the percentage of mechanical ventilators currently in use out of the total number of mechanical ventilators, in the past two weeks.

Prior to July 21, 2020, hospital ventilator supply was reported only for “general use bedside ventilators,” which are most common for treating COVID-19 patients in need. However, when necessary, there are additional ventilator machines that can be used.

After July 21, 2020, ventilator capacity includes the use of all of the following types of equipment in the hospitals:

  • General Use Bedside Ventilators
  • Anesthesia Machines
  • BiPAP Machines
  • ECMO Machines
  • Home Use Ventilators
  • Oscillators / High Frequency Ventilators
  • Weight Limited NICU Bedside Ventilators

We plan to update our data each Wednesday by 4 p.m.

 

How can I download DHS COVID-19 data?

All DHS COVID-19 data is available for download directly from the chart on the page. You can click on the chart and then click "Download" at the bottom of the chart (gray bar).

For spatial and mapped data visit one of the following links:

You can find more instructions on how to download COVID-19 data or access archived spatial data by visiting our FAQ page. The data dictionary(PDF) provides more information about the different elements available in the data above.

Last Revised: October 18, 2020