Madison Regional Health System is not at capacity and is able to serve the community, according to Savannah Seeger, MRHS marketing manager.

Seeger was responding to questions posed by the Madison Daily Leader in response to rumors that the hospital has been inundated with COVID-19 patients in recent days as the number of cases in the state has soared.

As of Monday, 159 active cases were reported in Lake County, up from 105 just four weeks earlier.

During that same timeframe, three deaths in Lake County have been attributed to COVID-19.

Regarding hospitalizations, the state Department of Health reports 203 beds in the Sioux Empire region, which includes Lake County, are occupied by COVID-19 patients. Of these, 42 are in ICU and 36 are on ventilators.

“We have seen an influx of COVID positive patients in our clinic and hospital,” Seeger indicated via email, noting this is comparable to other facilities in the region. “Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have continuously seen an ebb and flow of COVID positive patients.”

She added, “Even when it is not directly related to COVID-19, there are times that we do transfer patients to tertiary facilities. Several factors contribute to those decisions, including the best interests of the patient and proper allocation of our resources as a crucial access hospital in a rural community.”

Statewide, the DOH website indicates 307 are hospitalized with COVID-19. Of these, 66 are in ICU and 52 are on ventilators. Although the Associated Press is reporting hospitalizations are skyrocketing across the nation of children under 5 with COVID-19, the state does not provide specific information regarding hospitalized children in the state.

MRHS does emphasize the importance of getting vaccinated, practicing good hand hygiene and staying home if sick. A Facebook post on Monday reiterated this message.

“It is important that everyone does what they can to help themselves and help others be as healthy as possible. We are encouraging individuals to get the COVID-19 and influenza vaccines.

Additionally, you can help stop the spread of germs by practicing good hand hygiene and staying home when you are sick,” it stated.