COVID-19-related hospitalizations continue to rise significantly, increasing by 100% over the past two weeks and establishing the largest increase in hospitalizations since the surge began in October, according to newly released data from the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA).
In total, 3,071 patients are currently hospitalized in Michigan hospitals due to COVID-19 (Figure 1). In addition, the average daily COVID-19 hospital admissions for the past 30 days are 344, which exceeds the average of 301 experienced in April. All regions except southeast Michigan have seen record numbers of COVID-19 hospitalizations. The Saginaw region now has the highest hospitalization rate per 100,000 people. (Figure 2). Current trends could result in nearly 5,000 hospitalized COVID-19 patients within the next few weeks if nothing is done to change the growth rate of the surge. The MHA and its members statewide are asking for the public’s help in protecting their workers and communities and preventing serious capacity issues. The public is urged to reduce socialization, stay distanced and always wear a mask outside the home.
“Michigan is at a pivotal point in our fight against the spread of COVID-19,” said MHA Chief Medical Officer Gary Roth, DO. “With Thanksgiving just two weeks away, the most effective prescription I can provide to Michiganders is to practice scientifically proven activities that slow the spread of COVID-19. I urge you to consider downsizing your Thanksgiving gathering this year. Limit your get-together to those that live within your home. If you do see other loved ones, wear a mask, maintain at least six feet of distance between others, avoid crowds and routinely wash hands. The upcoming holidays will challenge us all. The actions we take today can lead to full dining room tables for many more holidays to come.”
CEOs of Michigan hospitals, including Henry Ford Health System President and CEO Wright Lassiter III, UP Health System Market President Gar Atchinson, Spectrum Health President & CEO Tina Freese Decker, Munson Health Care President & CEO Ed Ness and Beaumont Health President & CEO John Fox, joined business leaders during a virtual press conference today organized by the Michigan Economic Recovery Council. The group expressed the severity of community spread in Michigan and shared personal stories of the toll the pandemic has had on their respective staffs and patients.
“The advice from our medical professionals is resoundingly clear – the path toward beating this disease is in the public’s control and can only be done by avoiding social gatherings,” said MHA CEO Brian Peters. “A significant portion of the increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations is related to smaller social gatherings without proper safety precautions. The viability of our healthcare system depends on reducing the rate of community spread that is impacting our healthcare workforce. Michigan hospitals need the public’s cooperation to ensure all facilities are at the ready to provide care. Support our hospitals by protecting yourself and those you love this holiday season.”