“We’re very close to a tipping point,” Ryan Westergaard, state Department of Health Services chief medical officer, said during an event hosted by Wisconsin Health News. “This could get much worse quickly and that tipping point is when we stop being able to save everyone who gets severely ill.”

Fatality rates for people who become ill with COVID-19 are remaining relatively low, Westergaard said, but the coronavirus patients who require hospitalization are growing at a pace that may soon affect the health care system’s ability to treat everyone else. If that happens, people will die unnecessarily, he said.

“A lot of people in the population don’t perceive themselves to be at high risk of severe COVID-19, but we are truly all at risk if we have hospitals and health systems that aren’t able to be there for us when we need them,” he said.