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COVID surge pushing Michigan hospitals past capacity

Published: Nov. 12, 2021 at 7:09 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan hospitals are seeing an alarming number of patients walk through their doors as COVID-19 cases surge yet again, and mid-Michigan is a hotspot.

Brian Peters is Chief Executive Officer of the Michigan Health And Hospital Association.

“We’re monitoring a very disturbing increase in the number of COVID-related hospitalizations,” Peters said. “In fact, this is a surge that’s effecting virtually every region throughout the state of Michigan, both urban and rural. Certainly here in the Mid-Michigan and greater Lansing region as well.” Both Sparrow Hospital and McLaren Greater Lansing are already near or over capacity.

Jay De Los Reyes, Chief Operating Officer Mclaren, said, “Here of late this week, we’ve probably been ranging anywhere from 85% to 90% capacity.”

And doctors, like Sparrow’s Karen Kent VanGorder, say they expect more to come.

“Actually, you see the community starts to go up and then Sparrow kind of starts to reflect that,” VanGorder said. “So you can see here this is the current moment. We knew this is kind of coming because we’re a reflection of the community.”

Sparrow Hospital says they have reached 120% capacity, with 88 of their 700 beds occupied by COVID-19 patients. Doctors say that alone is enough to test their staff.

“That’s two whole nursing units and then some, really closer to three whole nursing units that have patients that have a disease that didn’t exist two years ago,” VanGorder said. “So, it really compromises our ability to care for people that have strokes, heart attacks, cellulites, and pneumonia and other diseases that people still get.”

News 10 asked each doctor what we can do to prevent future surges. They couldn’t stress enough the importance of getting vaccinated for both the flu and COVID-19.

They have seen a few breakthrough cases, but say that nearly all of patients ending up in intensive care units from COVID-19 are unvaccinated.

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