Michigan’s hospital system is overwhelmed as COVID surge continues, health officials say

Dr. Khaldun: Michigan's hospital system overwhelmed as COVID surge continues

DETROIT – The state of Michigan reported more than 7,800 new coronavirus cases Friday afternoon.

April 9, 2021: Michigan coronavirus cases up to 731,131; Death toll now at 16,426

According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, 18% of all COVID tests are coming back positive.

With such highly daily new cases, more people are expected to be hospitalized in a few weeks, which is leading to some Michiganders canceling elective surgeries.

“We are on track to potentially see a surge in cases that’s even greater than the one we saw in the fall,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Khaldun issed a dire warning: Michigan’s hospital system is overwhelmed as case counts continue to soar.

READ: Michigan’s latest COVID surge has Metro Detroit hospitals nearing capacity

“Hospitals are evaluating and implementing their surge plans, including consideration of canceling elective surgeries that are not time sensitive and preparing to make sure they have the equipment, supplies, and staff to be able to take care of both COVID and non COVID patients,” Khaldun said.

More than 15% in Michigan of hospital beds are being used to treat COVID patients. And with variants, the case count is now four times what it was in February.

READ: Tracking Michigan COVID-19 hospitalization data trends

MDHHS is now tracking nearly a thousand outbreaks across the state.

“We are not able to get information on many cases, nor are we able to identify their close contacts,” Khaldun said. “We don’t know where all the cases or outbreaks are and what we do know is likely and under.”

Health officials urge Michiganders to do their part as healthcare workers brace for case counts potentially skyrocketing following spring break.

“Today, we’ve got 42 children hospitalized,” said Michigan Health and Hospital Association Chief Medical Officer Dr. Gary Roth. “Sometimes we see patients and we see our parents. We see brothers and sisters. Well now we’re seeing our children and that is really devastating.”

READ: MHA: Younger age groups driving rise in Michigan COVID-19 hospitalizations

“As I rounded with our nurses and physicians this morning, the two things they said today was wear a mask and get vaccinated,” said Spectrum Health CEO Tina Freese Decker. “On behalf of them who’ve worked so hard this year, please take that advice.”

About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.