Pontiac nurse treating COVID patients since pandemic started gives dire warning amid surge in cases

Hospitals filling up with more younger people occupying beds

DETROIT – Many people become frustrated and nervous when they hear about Michigan’s latest COVID surge.

There are questions surrounding how frontline workers feel about the dramatic rise in numbers.

On Tuesday, Local 4 News spoke to one Pontiac nurse with an important message and dire warning to share amid the surge of COVID cases.

It does not take long for a dream to fade when you are a nurse attending to COVID patients in a hospital.

Carol St. Henry, a nurse anesthetist and critical care nurse at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Pontiac was invited by National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell to the Super Bowl in February.

St. Henry was invited for her work as a frontline worker and scored seats so close to the action she became a part of it.

Previous coverage: Local nurse invited by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to Super Bowl recounts her experience

Now that feels like forever ago. In February the vaccines were rolling out and COVID numbers were going down.

There was hope within sight, but with the recent surge that hope has slipped below.

“I talked to a friend of mine who is a physician and she looked at me and was like I have twenty patients again,” said St. Henry.

“It is just like, oh my God, will we catch a break from this?”

At the five hospitals in the St. Joseph Mercy System in southeastern Michigan the numbers are dire.

Dr. Anu Malani is an infectious disease physician and the medical director for Infection Prevention and Control at St. Joseph Mercy Health System.

“As of about a couple of weeks ago we had less than about 20 patients hospitalized. We were probably in the ten to twenty range. Now we are in the eighty to ninety range,” said Malani.

He says the numbers are going up everyday.

“It is exhausting, why can’t people just wear a mask,” said St. Henry.

Coronavirus in Michigan: Here’s what to know April 6, 2021

The hospitals are filling up with more younger people occupying the beds.

“It’s not political, it’s here. People are still dying of this. It is very serious. Just get vaccinated if you can,” said St. Henry.

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