More than 20 Percent of COVID Patients in Michigan Hospitals Are in Intensive Care Units

Michigan reached another record high for the pandemic Monday, as the state's hospitals registered 4,185 adults hospitalized with confirmed COVID cases, according to The Associated Press.

The previous record of 4,158 was set in the spring when the state's vaccination rate was much lower, with over 20 percent of those hospitalized in intensive care units.

State officials continued their plea for residents to get vaccinated and wear masks to mitigate the spread as cases surge across the country approaching the holiday season.

"Our COVID numbers are too high. They've always been too high, even when they were small," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer told reporters in Taylor, Mich., during a discussion of the shortage of computer chips and the effect of the shortage on the state's auto industry. "Any COVID is too high, especially when we have access to vaccines and we know masking works. So let's give our hospital workforce support by everyone doing their part in getting vaccinated. That's the most important thing we can do."

Starting in mid-January, Michigan's health department said 87 percent of cases, hospitalizations and deaths this year have been people who were not fully vaccinated.

Whitmer has not brought back restrictions like mask mandates and capacity limits which she lifted in June as more of the state received vaccines.

"We are learning to live with this virus. That's nothing any of us wants to do. And yet we have to because there are a lot of people that are still unvaccinated," she said.

About 58 percent of Michiganders over the age of 5 are fully vaccinated, short of the nationwide rate of 63 percent.

For more reporting from The Associated Press, see below.

COVID, Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer speaks at the start of the 2021 Motor Bella auto show on September 21, 2021 in Pontiac, Michigan. Whitmer said recently it's important for Michigan residents to get vaccinated amid a surge of COVID cases in the state. Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Only Minnesota had a higher seven-day case rate than Michigan as of Sunday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. About 20 percent of tests statewide were positive, a level not seen since the early days of the pandemic when there was a testing shortage. One in every 169 people tested positive in the past week, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The federal government has deployed 44 military medical staffers to help hospitals in Grand Rapids and Dearborn.

Roughly 27 percent of fully vaccinated adults have received a booster, which is available six months after their last dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine and two months after the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The CDC on Monday broadened its recommendation for booster shots to include all adults because of the new omicron variant.