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Published on November 19, 2020

COVID-19 pandemic worsens in Gundersen Health System's service area

Experts recommend gathering only with household members during upcoming holidays

The COVID-19 pandemic has breached emergency levels in Gundersen Health System's service areas and the crisis will worsen if communities don't act now to control the spread.

Cases are surging, Hospital capacity and staffing levels are stressed and patients are losing their battle against the virus.

"Who to care for, who gets the resources that they need to survive - those are extremely difficult decisions to make and ones we want to avoid. We are prepared to make them if we have to, but this is the time to act so we do not have to make these very difficult, tragic decisions," said Gundersen Health System Chief Executive Officer Scott Rathgaber, MD.

Gundersen Infectious Disease experts caution the public against leaving home except for work, necessities and medical care.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic is worsening in our area at a difficult time. The upcoming holidays are traditionally celebrated by gathering with family, friends and neighbors to give thanks, celebrate joy and welcome new beginnings.

To protect your family and our communities, Gundersen recommends gatherings are limited only to household members to reduce the spread of the virus.

Gundersen recognizes how difficult it will be for families not to open their homes this holiday season. But if we don't practice proven safety measures like masking, distancing and hand hygiene, we risk:

  • Continued school closures
  • Continued economic impact on locally owned businesses
  • Postponed or cancelling important surgeries and appointments
  • Depleted beds and staff to care for people who need immediate care
  • Preventable deaths

The COVID-19 crisis is fluid. To stay updated, visit gundersenhealth.org/covid19 often.

what to expect

We've taken steps at all our locations to keep you and our staff healthy and safe. Here's what to expect when you visit us.

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