Sparrow passes 1,000 days fighting COVID

“We’re in a much better place.”
Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 5:45 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Nearing one million COVID tests since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic is a milestone for Sparrow Health System. It is also a milestone that Sunday, December 4, 2022 marked the 1,000th day since Sparrow Health collected its very first inpatient COVID swab.

Dec. 6, 2022: Michigan reports 11,918 new COVID cases, 242 deaths over past 7 days

Right now, Sparrow’s COVID numbers are not even close to where they were last November. Dealing with staffing shortages and supply chain issues, Sparrow is taking what they have learned from the pandemic into the future of health care. Reflecting back to March 2020, Dr. Paul Entler recalls how far they have come.

“It was a really scary, eerie feeling when we got that first case that this is reality and then it just kept coming and coming and coming,” said Dr. Entler, Sparrow Health System’s Chief Clinical Officer. “And then the unknown when we had these variants coming in and then these waves.”

Last November, Sparrow had between 40 and 50 COVID-related deaths. This November, there were only four. As numbers continue to go down, nurses at Sparrow told News 10 they’ve got a pretty good hold on COVID today.

“It’s a lot better than what it was. Last year this time was probably the worst time for Sparrow with COVID. We were seeing tons of sick people with it. We’re seeing a lot less of COVID now. Like I said, we’re seeing more of just being sick, or flu, and RSV,” said Kelly Spitz, Assistant Department Manager for the Emergency Department at E.W. Sparrow.

Dr. Entler said the chances of dying from COVID are five times higher if you have never been vaccinated. Sparrow currently has less than 30 patients with COVID and to keep numbers low, Dr. Entler said “it’s never too late to get vaccinated or boosted.”

Health experts are also encouraging people to get the flu shot as they are seeing significant rises in influenza-A.

“We’re in a much better place. So there’s a lot of immunity from vaccinations, a lot of immunity from natural immunity and we have a bank of therapeutics. We’re watching these new variants coming in but I’m fairly optimistic we won’t see what we saw previously last year when we saw that huge surge,” said Dr. Entler.

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