‘The situation in our state is critical right now’: Health officials warn of COVID-19 holiday surge

Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — State officials are giving a stark warning as COVID hospitalization rise in the middle of the holiday season and the surge is causing the state to ask for federal help.

Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, courtesy of MDHHS

“The situation in our state is critical right now, cases are surging, hospitals are full, and we have a new variant”, Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, Chief Medical Executive for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

With that, Dr. Bagdasarian closed her update with the state’s hospital data, which shows that more than 20% of the in-patient beds are being used by COVID-19 patients, an addition to the workload hospitals are already dealing with.

“Cases are actually higher today than at this time last year, and unlike last year, numbers are expected to rise following Thanksgiving,” continued Bagdasarian.

The surge has pushed the state to tap into the state and national supply of ventilators, additionally securing three teams of health care officials from the Department of Defense.

Michigan healthcare officials convene to talk about the state of COVID-19 in Michigan.

One health care team is relieving some stress at Beaumont Dearborn Hospital.

“That has been a tremendous lifeline because it addresses that functional vacancy rate. It allowed us to care for the covid patients and at the same time give the same level of care that cancer patients require or people with chronic illnesses,” said Dr. Paolo Barciano of Beaumont Dearborn Hospital.

Elizabeth Hertel, courtesy of MDHHS

As many people plan to drive or fly to family holiday gatherings, state officials did not say if it will move to impose new health restrictions

“Right now our focus is making sure people are vaccinated when they are eligible and getting the booster shots when they are eligible,” Elizabeth Hertel, Director of Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

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