Tuesday, November 23, 2021

COVID-19 hospitalizations reach alarming rate as new cases soar in Michigan

Posted By on Tue, Nov 23, 2021 at 10:54 AM

click to enlarge COVID-19 hospitalizations are increasing at an alarming rate in Michigan. - SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Shutterstock
  • COVID-19 hospitalizations are increasing at an alarming rate in Michigan.

As Michigan continues to lead the country in new COVID-19 cases, hospitals are reaching or exceeding capacity at an alarming rate.

In the past week, Michigan reported 53,575 new cases, the highest number since the pandemic began in March 2020.

As of Sunday, the number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital reached 3,785, including 784 in intensive care units. About 72% of those in the hospital are unvaccinated, and a vast majority of the patients in intensive care units have not been vaccinated, state health officials said.

It’s the first time in more than six months that COVID-19 hospitalizations exceeded 3,000 in Michigan.

With the flu season approaching and the number of COVID-19 cases increasing, hospitals are reaching a critical point, according to the Michigan’s Health and Hospital Association (MHHA).

"We are extremely concerned because our best predictions are that COVID-19 patients will continue to increase during the weeks ahead as we enter the yearly flu season," MHHA said.

At the same time, hospitals are experiencing a high number of patients without COVID-19. As a result, hospitals are becoming understaffed, and wait times are increasing.

"This combination is straining or exceeding the capacity of emergency departments and hospitals across the state," MHHA said. "We cannot wait any longer for Michigan to correct course; we need your help now to end this surge and ensure our hospitals can care for everyone who needs it."

If the demand for hospitals continues to increase, "we all risk facing increasing delays and challenges in accessing care for everyone who needs emergency services and inpatient hospital care,” MHHA warned.

On Monday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer held her first press conference in more than a week, urging residents to get vaccinated. Whitmer and state health officials said they’re worried about outbreaks during the holidays.

"Take this opportunity to tell your loved ones how much you love them and how much you want to spend Christmas with them,” Whitmer said. “It's time to get vaccinated."

The state is expected to soon release more guidance for holiday revelers.

On Friday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued a public health advisory, encouraging residents to wear masks at public indoor spaces, even if they are vaccinated.

On Monday, 123 schools in the state reported COVID-19 outbreaks in the past week. The worst outbreaks have occurred in schools without mask mandates.

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