What Metro Detroit hospital systems are seeing as COVID cases rise

Michigan COVID related deaths near 20K

Metro Detroit hospital systems reveal what they're seeing as COVID cases rise.
Metro Detroit hospital systems reveal what they're seeing as COVID cases rise.

DETROIT – Remember the refrigerator trucks behind hospitals, the ones that held the bodies of the people dying from COVID-19 when the hospital morgues were overloaded?

Those trucks are no longer at many hospitals, including McLaren Health Care, which has 15 hospitals in Michigan and Ohio. The hope is they won’t come back.

If that happens they might see a very different kind of patient.

Read: Michigan coronavirus cases up to 906,538; Death toll now at 19,947

“We’re seeing, believe it or not, patients in the pediatric population. We had an eight month old who was recently diagnosed. We are seeing a lot of the twenty and thirty year olds, as well,” said Dr. Tressa Gardner, executive director for American Physician Partners

Dr. Gardner is an emergency room doctor at McLaren Oakland in Pontiac, but as the executive director for American Physician Partners, she staffs 29 hospitals across Michigan and has her finger on the pulse of what’s going on in hospitals across the nation.

In McLaren Health Care, on July 21, there were 18 COVID-19 in patients spread across 15 hospitals. Eight days later, on July 28, there were 29. As of Tuesday, six days later, there are 38 patients.

The number of confirmed COVID cases in Michigan has risen to 906,538 as of Tuesday, including 19,947 deaths, state officials report.

Tuesday’s update includes a total of 2,605 new cases and 26 additional deaths over the past four days -- an average of 651.25 cases per day. On Friday, the state announced a total of 903,933 cases and 19,921 deaths.

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About the Authors:

Paula Tutman is an Emmy award-winning journalist who came to Local 4 in 1992. She's a Peace Corps alum who spent her early childhood living in Sierra Leone, West Africa and Tanzania and East Africa.

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.