Ashland hospital says COVID is taxing resources

Leaders of Memorial Medical Center in Ashland say an increase in COVID-19 cases is taxing their resources.

The hospital says the positivity rate in Ashland County is more than double the treshold for what the Centers for Disease Control considers to be a "high" transmission rate, which is the most severe level. The CDC says Ashland County has had a test positivity rate of 7.72% in the last seven days, with 33 new cases.

Jessica Nuutinen, Memorial Medical Center’s chief operating officer, says their resources are being pushed to the limits.

"We have staff shortages because people are out sick or quarantined. The employees who are able to work are caring for very sick patients who require a high level of care and attention," Nuutinen said in a news release Wednesday.

The hospital said they are seeing younger patients. COVID patients require more care than other cases.

"This is really hard work for our frontline staff with long hours and difficult responsibilities – staff are showing up every day and really caring for the people of our region. The community can help by getting vaccinated and taking proper precautions," Jason Douglas, the hospital’s chief executive officer, said in a news release.

Visitors are not currently allowed at Memorial Medical Center for most circumstances.

Memorial Medical Center is a critical-access hospital that serves as a regional medical referral center for patients from eight counties in Wisconsin and Michigan.