'A breaking point:' Covid patients fill over 4,000 Michigan hospital beds

November 25, 2020, 1:48 PM by  Alan Stamm

Beaumont's eight hospitals have nearly 600 Covid patients, the most since early May(Graphic: Beaumont Health)

The fall surge is serious and straining some Michigan hospitals, as it did last spring.

Statewide, 4,040 adults were hospitalized with confirmed or suspected Covid infections as of Friday, Lansing data shows. Intensive care units were occupied by 843 of those critically ill patients, including 464 on ventilators.

Hospitals in the tricounty Detroit area and Ann Arbor had 1,242 Covid patients -- just over one-third of the total. 

In addition, Michigan hospitals were treating 35 pediatric patients with coronavirus symptoms, according to a daily Department of Health and Human Services display.

Escalating caseloads bring a visitor ban at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor, starting today. It had 103 Covid patients as this week began and was at 84-percent occupancy overall.

Beaumont Health says its eight-hospital network cared for 583 Covid patients as of Tuesday, the second-highest total in four weeks (behind 592 last Friday). 

Six regional hospitals in the Ascension group listed 102 coronavirus patients Monday in Macomb Township, Madison Heights, Novi, Southfield, Warren and Rochester.

Henry Ford Health System's five hospitals logged 334 Covid patients as of this Friday, mostly at its Macomb facility in Clinton Township. Beds at the West Bloomfield site were 90-percent full at the start of this week.

Seven smaller Metro Detroit hospitals were treating for 223 pandemic in-patients Monday, the state database shows.

Featured_covid_hospital_patient_depositphotos_medical_45813(Posed photo: DepositPhotos)

Bridge Michigan puts the late November escalation into context:

The state’s rate of new cases [is] 70 per day for every 100,000 people. It was 31 on Nov. 1 and just eight daily cases per 100,000 as of Oct. 1. The surge in cases has put Michigan hospitals on edge . . .

And the rise of infections appears to be unabated: Nearly 13 percent of 70,910 tests reported Tuesday came back positive, a clear sign of community spread. Three counties (Muskegon, Dickinson and Hillsdale) have rates over 20 percent over the past week and 26 others are over 15 percent.

Rep. Tommy Brann: "Hospitals are reaching a breaking point."
(Photo: WILX)

And a Republican state lawmaker from Kent County, Rep. Tommy Brann of Wyoming, says in a statement quoted by MiBiz:

"The public health facts in West Michigan are changing rapidly and for the worse. Our family members, friends, and neighbors are becoming sick and dying at unprecedented rates, and our community hospitals are reaching a breaking point.

"From hospital CEOs to frontline medical workers, the people I talk to from West Michigan are asking for help."

Related today:

Ford and Beaumont Prepare for Distribution of Covid Vaccine

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