Second Covid wave swamps Michigan hospitals with over 2,800 patients

November 10, 2020, 8:32 AM

This fall's new coronavirus wave is straining medical care across Michigan.

"Hospital beds are becoming in short enough supply that some procedures are being put off," reports Bridge Michigan, which quotes a Lansing hospital association representative who says: "We are very concerned."

In just over five weeks, Michigan hospitals have seen the number of Covid-19 patients quadruple, from just under 700 on Oct. 1 to more than 2,800 on Monday, including a nearly 400-patient increase since Friday.

"We are getting close to a point where people won’t be able to get care for Covid" or other health issues, said Ruthanne Sudderth, spokeswoman for the Michigan Health and Hospital Association. ...

The stunning jump in hospitalizations shows no signs of slowing down: More than 11 percent of all coronavirus tests are coming back positive, up from 3.1 percent on Oct. 1.

On the front lines of Covid care (Graphic: Michigan Health and Hospital Association)

The state this afternoon listed 6,473 new diagnoses since Monday, though most of those affected don't need hospital care. 

At Beaumont Health, the state's largest hospital system, the number of confirmed or suspected Covid patients more than doubled over the past two weeks, from 172 on Oct. 25 to 377 cases Sunday.

"We've had a notable rise in Covid-19 cases in metro Detroit," says a statement from Dr. Nick Gilpin, Beaumont's director of infection prevention and epidemiology. "Community positivity rates have jumped to 8-11% in the area."

Beaumont this morning began limiting visitors for Covid patients at its Royal Oak, Troy and Grosse Pointe hospitals.

Other hospitals -- including Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor, St. Joseph Mercy Health System, Mercy Health, Covenant Healthcare and Helry Ford Allegiance Health in Jackson -- also limit visitors now, Crain's Detroit Business reports.

Dr. Robert Davidson, an emergency department physician at Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital in West Michigan, tweets late Monday: "Patients are waiting 6+ hours and being transferred to multiple hospitals because everywhere is full with #COVID19."

Statewide, 9,010 new confirmed diagnoses were reported Sunday and Monday, boosting the seven-day average to 4,559. Daily rates of positive tests are the highest since late April, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Field hospitals could reopen in Detroit and Novi to handle the crush of patients.


Read more:  Bridge Michigan

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