Is the coronavirus reaching a plateau in Michigan? Maybe, but hospitals are still feeling the pressure

COVID-19 hospitalizations in Michigan have been gradually declining since their peak earlier this month, particularly in southeast Michigan, a sign that the state may be turning the page on this record omicron surge.

On Monday, 3,941 people were hospitalized with confirmed COVID, up from a high of 4,579 on Jan. 14, according to state data.

“We’re going down,” says Dr. Matthew Sims, an infectious disease expert at Beaumont Health System. Across Beaumont’s 8 hospitals, there were 552 COVID patients as of Monday morning, compared to a system-wide peak of 857 COVID patients on Jan. 10.

“I want it to continue. And the big question is, will it go down like previous surges, where it goes down to almost nothing? Or will it go back down to where we were before this wave started , which still numbered in the hundreds?”

So far, hospitalizations have fallen fastest in southeast Michigan (including Wayne, Washtenaw, Monroe, Oakland, Macomb and St. Clair counties), which also saw much higher spikes in mid-January. The area has a larger population than any other part of the state. Overall, hospitalizations there still far outpace western, central and northern Michigan, which typically saw their highest peaks in early December.

“It appears that we are trending toward a decline in daily hospital admissions for COVID-19 statewide and total hospitalizations for COVID-19,” said Michigan Health spokesman John Karasinski. and Hospital Association. “Due to regional differences, it may take even longer for the statewide totals to truly plateau.

Meanwhile, the state reported a total of 39,372 new confirmed cases of the virus over the weekend, for an average of 13,124 cases per day from Saturday through Monday. The numbers mark an improvement from a week ago, but the number of people catching the virus in Michigan is still much higher than at any previous stage of the pandemic.

But the plateau did not ease the burden on hospitals overnight. Many are still overwhelmed by high overall patient loads and severe staff shortages that limit

“Hospitals are full and everyone is busy,” says Sims. “And we’ve had a lot of healthcare workers with COVID symptoms or with COVID.

“… There are still patients who simply do not believe in [the virus] or don’t believe in the vaccine, or want some sort of unapproved and unproven treatment because it’s popular on social media or something. And it puts a strain on you when you try to tell a patient that we’re trying to do our best for you and they don’t believe in what you’re doing… But those things strain people. take care of the sick. A huge, huge emotional burden. And we’ve been doing it for over two years now. So you can only imagine, you know, how much pressure people have been under.

On Monday, the state announced a sixth military medical team would be deployed to Michigan to help treat patients at a Michigan hospital. A team of up to 25 doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists are now due to arrive at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing on February 7. The hospital currently has some 180 COVID patients, down slightly from 195 on Friday.

Four other Department of Defense medical teams are already deployed to hospitals in Grand Rapids, Muskegon and Saginaw. A separate federal team is also helping at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital, with a Department of Defense team expected to arrive there soon.

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