Covid hospital cases in Southeast Michigan rise at faster rate than statewide pace

January 04, 2022, 7:56 AM by  Alan Stamm

Michigan hospitals were treating 4,339 adult and pediatric patients Monday with confirmed and suspected Covid infections, the latest state data shows.

(Photo: University of Mississippi Medical Center)

That's 12.3% more than the previous Monday and 5.7% more than two weeks earlier on Dec. 20, but 5% below the Dec. 13 total three weeks ago.

The total includes 107 children and adolescents, exceeding the previous record from last April.

"We expect Omicron to lead to more hospitalizations in the coming days," says Ruthanne Sudderth, a senior vice president at the Michigan Health and Hospital Association quoted in media coverage. "It's just not letting up." 

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In six Southeast Michigan counties, the new hospitalization totals are 2,575 adults and 77 pediatric patients with Covid symptoms -- 61% of the statewide total, according to Department of Health and Human Services figures updated three times each week.

The region's pandemic-related hospital admissions have climbed much faster than the state average during the past three weeks.

Covid-related hospital cases in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and three adjacent counties (Washtenaw, Monroe, St, Clair) were 21% higher Monday than on Dec. 27 a week earlier. The new regional total is 22% above the Dec. 20 level two weeks ago and 8% higher than on Dec. 13.

All three percentages of increase far exceed the statewide rates of change.

(Graphic: Covid Act Now)

This week's 77 hosptialized children and adolescents with confirmed or suspected coronavirus in the six counties are more than twice the number (33) being treated 14 days earlier in Southeast Michigan.

The pediatric total has risen steadily since Dec. 20 in the region, as it has throughout Michigan. The statewide figure went from 52 two weeks ago to 107 Monday. (Pediatric patients are 18 or younger.) 

"We've had a slow rise in [pediatric] cases since the beginning of the K-12 school year, followed by a more rapid rise when the weather got colder and people came inside," Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, the state's chief medical executive, tells the Detroit Free Press.

"We are not in a good situation in Michigan. Our cases continue to go up. We are in a place that I don't think any of us imagined being in a year ago."

Federal data from last showed that pediatric hospital admissions nationally reached a record high last week. 

Because the pediatric numbers are much smaller than those for adults, even modest increases appear dramatic in percentage terms. Yet the figures reflect a notable national surge in children diagnosed and hospitalized with Covid, according to recent news coverage.

The federal Food and Drug Administration on Monday authorized coronavirus vaccine booster shots for 12-to-15-year-olds as schools nationwide struggle with disruptions from the surging Omicron variant.

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