Michigan getting federal aid to fight COVID-19 surge

Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Hospitals around the state are hitting capacity, that’s the warning Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) officials shared during a press conference today.

The warning comes a day after the first case of the omicron variant in Michigan was reported in Kent County.

Today’s update comes as hospitals are struggling to balance caring for COVID-19 patients with handling other medical needs.

MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel says they are working with health care groups to get ventilators from the state supply and the national stockpile into hospitals.

Data released today shows more than 20% of the inpatient beds are being used by the COVID-19 patients, an all-time high. That percentage is in addition to other medical care hospitals were already working on, leading Michigan and other states to ask for federal help.

“At this time, as you know, there have been three Department of Defense clinical teams mobilized to assist with staffing at Beaumont Dearborn, Spectrum Butterworth, and Covenant Health Care. However, if the strain on hospital systems increases, there are no additional federal teams available,” said Hertel.

As to whether the state will consider tighter health restrictions as the surge continues through the holiday season, Director Hertel says right now the state is focusing on increasing vaccination and booster rates.

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