(Beaver Dam) Marshfield Medical Center – Beaver Dam has announced steps to continue to provide for the community’s immediate needs due to increasing COVID-19 hospitalizations. Last week, the hospital reached 91-percent of its inpatient capacity and has experienced 160-percent of the average daily census from just a year earlier. To align staff and resources, the facility will begin the process to open up another inpatient wing to accommodate the growing need for coronavirus care. They are also finalizing plans to reduce some elective and non-urgent procedures and services in order to reallocate necessary clinical staff. Chief Administrative Officer Angelia Foster says they are once again asking the community to help them meet this challenge by taking the steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19. She says it is important that we stand with our public health officials and their evidence-based guidelines to protect each other and keep the community safe. Hospital officials will continue to monitor census and trend lines and will make further adjustments as needed. Vital emergency department resources can be persevered by utilizing primary care providers and the COVID-19 hotline at 877-998-0022 in the event of minor symptoms or a close contact that could result in the need for testing. Those with urgent health conditions should continue to visit the closest emergency department.