LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - The current surge of COVID-19 in Michigan is showing no signs of relenting, as hospitals around the state report increasing numbers of patients battling the illness.
Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, who is Michigan’s chief medical executive and an emergency physician, said 24 hospitals in the state are at 90% or higher patient capacity Wednesday. Nearly 18% of all inpatient hospital beds statewide were occupied by COVID-19 patients Wednesday.
“We are seeing more and more people are being diagnosed with COVID-19. Many of them are younger than what we were seeing with previous surges,” she said. “We’re trying to take care of both patients with COVID-19 and those who are coming in for other medical issues, and it is really putting a strain on our staff and our resources and our bed space, all of which are spread way too thin.”
Khaldun, who worked an emergency room shift over the weekend, likened the current COVID-19 situation in hospitals to what they were experiencing a year ago, when the coronavirus first was detected in Michigan.
“Patients are again lining our hallways like they were last spring. This situation is very serious,” she said. “We need to be using every tool in our toolbox, right now to get these cases and hospitalizations down.”
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported a slight drop in hospitalized COVID-19 patients on Wednesday, but remained close to the record level of over 4,300 set at the end of November.
As of Wednesday, 4,187 patients were hospitalized with confirmed or probable COVID-19 illnesses, which is down 18 from Tuesday. Of those, 3,998 patients have confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Just over 17.85% of Michigan inpatient hospital beds are occupied by patients being treated for COVID-19 illnesses.
The numbers of COVID-19 patients in intensive care and on ventilators both increased Wednesday. Michigan hospitals were treating 864 coronavirus patients in intensive care and 471 of them are on ventilators.
Since Tuesday, there are 22 more COVID-19 patients in intensive care and 10 more on ventilators.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported 7,955 new COVID-19 illnesses on Wednesday for a total of 764,519. Khaldun said the state currently is seeing about 574 new cases of the illness per million people every day, which is five times the average from February.
State laboratories have confirmed more than 2,700 confirmed COVID-19 variant cases, but Khaldun said the actual number of variant cases is much higher because of limited testing specifically for the three variants.
State health officials reported 33 deaths attributed to the coronavirus on Wednesday, which increase Michigan’s total COVID-19 deaths to 16,619.
Coronavirus diagnostic testing dropped back Tuesday from the highest level in nearly four months with nearly 46,300 tests completed. The percentage of positive tests remained steady, settling at 14.63% on Tuesday.
Khaldun said the seven-day average of positive tests is over 18%, which is five times higher than February.
Michigan distributed just over 6.237 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine as of Wednesday, including 3.168 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, 2.739 million doses of the Moderna vaccine and 328,900 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Of those, nearly 5.548 million doses of vaccine have been administered to 3.444 million people statewide. About 42% of Michigan’s population age 16 or older has received at least one dose of vaccine while 28.1% are considered fully vaccinated.
Here are totals for Mid-Michigan counties based on Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and local health department figures with the change from Tuesday:
- Genesee, 28,819 cases and 748 deaths, which is an increase of 269 cases and two deaths.
- Saginaw, 18,070 cases and 536 deaths, which is an increase of 131 cases.
- Arenac, 845 cases, 27 deaths and 603 recoveries, which is an increase of four cases.
- Bay, 8,954 cases and 299 deaths, which is an increase of 90 cases.
- Clare, 1,707 cases, 69 deaths and 1,250 recoveries, which is an increase of 27 cases.
- Gladwin, 1,626 cases, 40 deaths and 1,126 recoveries, which is an increase of 20 cases.
- Gratiot, 2,769 cases and 103 deaths, which is an increase of 16 cases and one death.
- Huron, 2,721 cases and 62 deaths, which is an increase of 31 cases.
- Iosco, 1,506 cases and 65 deaths, which is an increase of 11 cases.
- Isabella, 4,525cases, 79 deaths and 3,363 recoveries, which is an increase of 61 cases and one death.
- Lapeer, 6,562 cases and 147 deaths, which is an increase of 67 cases.
- Midland, 5,693 cases, 72 deaths and 5,270 recoveries, which is an increase of 58 cases, two deaths and 666 recoveries.
- Ogemaw, 1,161 cases and 34 deaths, which is an increase of 21 cases.
- Oscoda, 433 cases and 21 deaths, which is no change.
- Roscommon, 1,428 cases, 43 deaths and 924 recoveries, which is an increase of four cases.
- Sanilac, 3,230 cases and 84 deaths, which is an increase of 45 cases and one death.
- Shiawassee, 4,815 cases, 86 deaths and 3,602 recoveries, which is an increase of 62 cases.
- Tuscola, 4,197 cases and 139 deaths, which is an increase of 38 cases.
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