Beaumont Health said Wednesday all of its 10 emergency departments are nearly full as an “extreme” amount of patients seeking medical attention.
The health system is encouraging patients to consider all options for treatment and evaluation, such as urgent care. Beaumont said that while some of the patients are seeking care for COVID-19, the “overwhelming majority” of the patients currently coming to Beaumont’s emergency departments have other medical conditions and concerns.
They’re also dealing with a staffing shortage, Beaumont Health CEO John Fox said.
“Many people delayed getting tests and treatment for medical issues because of their concerns about the pandemic. Now, more than a year and a half after the pandemic began, those delays in care are resulting in medical emergencies. Plus, there are many people who still need to get vaccinated. So, our staff must care for those unvaccinated individuals who become extremely ill with the COVID Delta variant, or other variants, and try to balance all the other patients coming in with medical emergencies. Add in a staffing shortage, and you have a perfect storm,” Fox said.
Beaumont Health Chief Nursing Officer Susan Grant said “we know the (COVID) vaccine works and we know it helps save lives” as she urged people to get the shots.
“If you have any questions or concerns about the vaccine, please talk with a physician or nurse,” said Grant.
To address staffing shortages, the health system is working aggressively to recruit new team members to serve its patients. Right now, about 180 of Beaumont’s beds are temporarily closed because of a lack of staffing.
Beaumont is requiring all of its employees, including those in nonpatient-facing roles, to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by Oct. 18. There are limited exceptions for individuals with specific religious or medical reasons.
Moreover, the health system said it’s also experiencing a blood shortage. Beaumont encourages everyone to donate blood.