Michigan Hospital Chiefs Say State Can't Wait 'to Correct Course' Amid Winter COVID Surge

Chief medical officers representing hospitals in Michigan said Monday the state can't wait any longer "to correct course" amid an increase in coronavirus cases in the state.

"We need [the public's] help now to end this surge and ensure our hospitals can care for everyone who needs it," chief medical officers of the state's community hospitals said in a statement issued by the Michigan Health and Hospital Association.

"For the 2021 holiday season we are already approaching the highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Michigan since the pandemic began," the statement added.

On Sunday, Michigan reported 3,785 COVID-19 hospitalizations, including 784 patients that were admitted to hospitals' intensive care units (ICU), the statement pointed out.

"The vast majority of patients in the ICU and on ventilators are unvaccinated. In addition to these high numbers of COVID-19 patients requiring emergency care and hospitalization, we are seeing high numbers of patients with other medical conditions requiring care," the statement said. "This combination is straining or exceeding the capacity of emergency departments and hospitals across the state."

The statement added that hospitals' chief medical officers across Michigan are "extremely concerned" about the upcoming winter months, saying that their "best predictions are that COVID-19 patients will continue to increase during the weeks ahead as we enter the yearly flu season."

In addition to COVID-19 patients, hospitals across the state have to treat patients suffering from other illnesses, such as heart disease and cancer, the statement noted.

The state is facing an increase in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations for COVID-19. Over 80 percent of hospital beds in Michigan are occupied, including 18.05 percent used by COVID-19 patients, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The data also shows that 33.77 percent of ICU beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients, while 83.68 percent of the state's total ICU beds are occupied.

Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that Michigan was averaging 8,793 new daily cases as of Sunday. By comparison, at the beginning of this month the state was reporting around 5,000 new daily cases.

With many COVID-19 patients on ventilators unvaccinated, data from the CDC shows that 57.6 percent of the state's residents are considered fully vaccinated.

Newsweek reached out to the Michigan Department of Health for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Michigan Coronavirus
Chief medical officers representing hospitals across Michigan said the state can't wait any longer "to correct course" ahead of an expected winter COVID-19 surge. Above, rows of beds in a convention hall at Suburban Collection Showplace, which was being converted into a field hospital to treat coronavirus patients, on April 11, 2020, in Novi, Michigan. Elaine Cromie/Getty