The Marshfield Medical center in Marshfield is preparing to open a third COVID-19 unit.

As of Wednesday, 60 patients were hospitalized in Marshfield due to COVID-19. Systemwide, media relations spokesman Jeff Starck said there were 145 hospitalized COVID patients throughout their nine hospitals.

He explained by email, staffing continues to be a challenge.

“We’ve been averaging about 100 hospital employees absent a day at Marshfield Medical Center due to COVID-19 symptoms or having to quarantine due to exposure,” Starck stated.

He said to compensate for staffing absences throughout the health system, they’ve scaled back non-emergent procedures to free up staff to help in other areas of the hospitals.

“We continue to see people not wearing masks in public places, or taking them off after passing by checkpoints. This is very troubling trend. If you have a medical reason for not wearing a mask, most businesses offer contactless pickup or delivery services,” he stated.

Marshfield Medical Center processes about 13,000 COVID lab tests a week with a positivity rate of about 25%.