Covid patients fill 3,580 Michigan hospital beds; 7,400 more test positive since Monday

November 17, 2020, 3:25 PM by  Alan Stamm

Covid floors and intensive care units at Michigan hospitals are crowded again, as they were last spring.

The health department says 3,580 adults were hospitalized as of Monday with confirmed or suspected coronavirus, and 747 were critical enough to need intensive care. Another 21 Covid patients are in pediatric units.

That's a jump of roughly 40 percent in a week, according to Michigan Radio. "With new cases continuing to come in," it adds, "the state is on pace to set a record for coronavirus hospitalizations before the end of this week."

Daily statistics compiled in Lansing show 7,458 confirmed cases of the infection since Monday and 79 more deaths, including 24 that occurred earlier.

This chart tracks the daily rise in Michigan hospitalizations for Covid since mid-August. The solid line shows a seven-day average. (Graphic: The Covid Tracking Project)

In a six-county Southeast Michigan region that includes Metro Detroit, 1,645 adults are hospitalized after testing positive or awaiting results after having severe symptoms. That's 46 percent of the statewide total as this week began. 

Nearly 280 of those patients were in intensive care Monday in the region that covers Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Monroe counties. 

As occupancy and contagion concerns escalate, four Beaumont Health sites sharply limit visitation. The hospitals in Royal Oak, Grosse Pointe, Troy and Taylor make exceptions for patients near death, under 21, women in labor and other extreme situations. (Details are here.) 

Beaumont posts a statement from Dr. Nick Gilpin, medical director of infection prevention and epidemiology:

"We've had a notable rise in Covid-19 cases in Metro Detroit. Last spring, we took care of the most Covid-19 patients in the state and we know that taking difficult steps like restricting visitors will help us keep our patients and our staff safe."

New data from the state Department of Health and Human Services. The last two lines show additions since Monday.

Michigan's Covid crunch mirrors nationwide circumstances. "Healthcare systems around the country warned that they are approaching a breaking point," says a recent blog post at The Covid Tracing Project, a volunteer group launched in March with The Atlantic magazine.

The number of people who are hospitalized with Covid-19 in the United States has nearly doubled in the past two weeks, and hospitalizations increased in 47 states. ... 

The current national case surge has been underway for nine weeks [and] hospitalizations have risen for seven weeks. ... Hospitalizations have broken the previous national record and are rising very quickly in every U.S. region—something we've never seen before.

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