‘We are very concerned’ -- COVID puts strain on Michigan hospitals

COVID puts strain on Michigan hospitals
Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 5:58 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The number of healthcare workers testing positive for COVID in Mid-Michigan is going up, putting another strain on the system.

Jan. 5, 2022: Michigan COVID cases up to 1,595,919 and 27,563 deaths

“Frankly, we are very concerned about what’s going to come in the days ahead,” said Dr. Dennis Cunningham, with Henry Ford Health System.

More than 700 Henry Ford Health employees are unable to work currently after testing positive for COVID. Doctors said as case numbers rise in the community, they’ll rise among healthcare workers too.

“We are facing one of the bleakest months yet that we’ve had throughout this pandemic,” Cunningham said.

Sick healthcare workers are required to quarantine for seven days, but health officials said if more employees test positive, they might have to consider shortening it to the CDC’s recommended five days.

That might not make things easier.

“It’s why we continue to push forward to make sure that we continue to get vaccinated, our team getting the booster doses,” said Dr. Adnan Munkarah, with Henry Ford Health. “It’s also important to do it among our community members because the community spread is what’s contributing at this present time to the significant number of cases that we are seeing.”

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said nearly 90% of all COVID hospitalizations are unvaccinated patients -- a statistic frustrating local doctors.

“The way to prevent this whole process was to get vaccinated and people should’ve gotten vaccinated and they chose not to get vaccinated and at some point in time, all of us pay for that,” said Dr. Alan Vierling, president of Sparrow Hospital Lansing.

Sparrow has seen its case numbers among staff triple in the last 10 days. Vierling said the situation will only improve if everybody does their part.

“Wear a mask and if you don’t wear a mask for yourself, wear a mask for somebody who’s going to have to take care of you in the hospital or going to have to take care of a loved one,” Vierling said.

Both health systems said if you have an emergency, you will get care. Don’t go to the emergency room to get a COVID test, call a doctor instead.

More: Where to get COVID testing in Mid-Michigan

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