JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – Doctors at Henry Ford Health in Jackson say despite being nearly two and a half years into the pandemic hospitalizations remain steady. Patients with the virus are filling up around ten percent of hospital beds.

“It is discouraging. We’d want to see that we are not still at those levels at this point,” said Preventive Medicine Physician, Dr. Courtland Keteyian.

Doctor Keteyian’s been fighting COVID-19 on the front lines since the very beginning. He says they’ve recently seen 20 and sometimes 30 people hospitalized at one time with a few people on ventilators. The majority of those people have other medical conditions.

“We’re losing somebody usually every week, so one or two people a week typically are dying of COVID in Jackson county.”

Case levels are not where they were earlier this year, but experts say new sub-variants of omicron like BA5 are causing deeper lung issues.

“It’s very very easy to get and you also see immune breakthroughs, so that means people that have been vaccinated or who have had Covid already are still getting BA5 because it is so good at infecting people.”

Doctor Keteyian says this doesn’t mean the vaccines are not doing their jobs.

“The vaccines have been and continue to be excellent in preventing people from getting very sick.”

Experts say plans are in place for an updated vaccine that will treat new variants. Doctor Keteyian expects it to come around October.

Now you are going to have basically protection against the original COVID Virus but also these new variants.”

The hospital says they’ll continue to adapt to whatever the need is, and that includes the potential of an increase in cases this fall.

“It’s just an expectation we have now in health care that we need to be in a hospital ready to accommodate surges that happen with COVID and we have to flex our operations accordingly.”