DETROIT – In the battle against the coronavirus (COVID-19), the ammunition that matters most is medical staff members and critical supplies. We’re getting a better picture of where Michigan stands and its efforts to get more.
An emergency order issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is requiring hospitals to provide daily updates to the state on their bed capacity, levels of personal protective equipment, testing capacity, the number of ventilators and more.
The report offers a snapshot of what we have around the state.
As of Sunday, the state had 27,762 licensed hospital beds -- 25,375 beds that were in place before the state of emergency, plus 2,387 that have been added so far.
As of Thursday, hospitals reported they had 1,622 ventilators. We don’t know how many of those are currently in use, but the state’s chief medical executive said that number isn’t enough to meet the anticipated need.
“We know we are on the upslope right now of cases,” Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said. “We know our hospitals are going to need more beds. We’re going to need thousands more ventilators, and a lot of people are going to get sick.”
The levels of other supplies are broken down by region. For example, as of Sunday, there were more than 300,000 N-95 masks -- nearly half of those in “Region 2 South,” which encompasses Wayne, Washtenaw and Monroe counties.
“Region 2 North” has just 26,000 N-95 masks. That region includes Oakland, Macomb and St. Clair counties.
The goal of the daily reports is to help the state make sure scarce resources are being shared between regions as needed, even as officials desperately try to get more.
“To date, the state has already expended more than $80 million to begin securing more than 20 million masks, 2,000 ventilators, 9 million ounces of hand sanitizer, more than 255,000 boxes of glovers, 2.4 million gowns and more than 2,000 beds,” Khaldun said.
Those are items the state has ordered. As we’ve seen, there’s no guarantee they’ll be delivered.
Although all of the hospitals are required to supply their inventory numbers to the state, Sunday’s report had just 74% of hospitals reporting.
Given the situation, the numbers are already out-of-date by the time they’re reported to the state, but they give us an idea in real time and show where we still have some capacity and supplies.