WisBusiness, WisPolitics Health Care Report for Sept. 29

WisBusiness, WisPolitics Health Care Report for Sept. 29

The latest seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases in the state was 2,532 cases per day, the Department of Health Services site shows. 

Although the average has dropped slightly over the past week or so from the recent peak of 2,932 cases per day, it remains as high as it was in early January as the current surge in cases continues.

Meanwhile, the seven-day average of deaths from COVID-19 has remained above 11 deaths per day since Sept. 8. Before that, the average had remained below that level since mid-February. A total of 7,979 people in the state have died from the virus.

The Wisconsin Hospital Association dashboard shows 1,109 people are currently hospitalized with the virus, including 323 ICU patients. Both of those numbers have been on the rise since early July but the rate of increase has been leveling off this month. At latest count, 90.5 percent of the state’s hospital beds and 93.5 percent of its ICU beds were in use.

As of today, 56.6 percent of the state’s population have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 53.6 percent have completed the vaccine series. At the national level, 64.4 percent of the U.S. population have gotten at least one dose and 55.8 percent are fully vaccinated.

See the latest case numbers here, death numbers here and vaccination progress here.

The state Senate has voted along party lines to approve legislation that would require health care professionals to provide care to babies that survive an abortion.

The bill is similar to legislation Gov. Tony Evers vetoed in 2019. At the time, Evers said the legislation was duplicative and there were already similar protections in state law.

GOP state Sen. Roger Roth, one of the bill’s co-authors, said Evers got “bad advice” when he said two years ago there were existing protections for infants that survive an abortion attempt. He said the additional legislation was needed to clarify state law and questioned how anyone could oppose its intent, saying no child should be denied care regardless of their “path to birth.”

“It is time for our Legislature to stand up and affirm the universal truth that all life matters,” said Roth, R-Appleton.

But Sen. Kelda Roys, D-Madison, accused GOP backers of pushing the bill as part of a pattern of lying about abortion. Roys also accused them of failing to show they care about children in other ways. Roys recently gave birth and said her GOP colleagues were insensitive for failing to wear masks during session days when they were on the floor together despite studies showing the risks that COVID-19 poses to pregnant women and their fetuses.

“Ultimately, the goal is to ban all abortions and turn Wisconsin into the next Texas,” Roys said.

The legislation would have to pass both houses before it could go to Evers’ desk. Vos has indicated his chamber plans to take up the bill this fall.

The Assembly also passed in a 60-38 vote along party lines a bill that would spend $100 million in American Rescue Plan Act money on creating programs to address mental health in public, private and charter schools.

See more on the bill here.