Multiple mid-Michigan hospitals are battling over-crowded facilities and staffing shortages. This month, facilities like MidMichigan Health in Midland have been diverting ambulances to other hospitals.

Rising COVID-19 cases are only part of the problem. Patients who put off care during the pandemic are showing up and asking to be treated.

As of Monday, nine Michigan hospitals were at 100 percent capacity, according to the state's coronavirus tracker. In Genesee County, Hurley Medical Center is full, and McLaren Flint is almost at capacity.

Danielle Lederer is the chief epidemiologist with the Genesee County Health Department.

"Lately, we've been seeing closer to 88 percent, and some hospitals being at capacity day-to-day, or close to capacity. So that's how we know it's a little bit different than usual," Lederer said.

Hurley said it has 55 COVID-19 patients and only one is vaccinated.

"As we move indoors, that increase in spread is going to continue, as well as COVID-19 fatigue. It is really impacting our communities across Michigan," Lederer said.

Not all the beds are taken by COVID-19 patients, but rising case numbers don't help.

"We are close to 430 cases per 1,000 a week. In terms of cases, that is below the state average, but that state average is climbing. We're in high community transmission at this time with increasing hospitalizations as well," Lederer said.

The health department is asking people to consider avoiding hospitals if possible.

"Delaying medical care can greatly worsen your outcome. Hospitals are ready to care for you in a time of emergency, but if it's not an emergency, we ask that people call their primary care provider and if they don't have a primary care provider to seek out an urgent care," Lederer said.

All this comes as the school mask mandate ends in just over a month.

"We're really hoping that our schools decide to put in place their own mask mandates, and put it in the hands of the schools, the school boards, as well as parents to encourage individuals that are 5 and older to continue to get vaccinated," Lederer said.

The mandate will still be in place for kids under five.

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(2) comments

Bill C.

And now you see the problem with the "slow the curve" strategy.

Now you see the although it is slower, the curve still exists and you will still reach the pinnacle. But now that it has lasted so long you have lost a lot of your workforce to fatigue and you have not made any preparations to deal with the volume at peak because like the "vaccine", "slow the curve" was marketed as a cure, rather than something that *temporarily* addresses a specific set of symptoms.

Democrat leadership has botched the handling of this pandemic so bad that they have succeeded in making it worse.

Merry Christmas, America. Here is your present...

Jeremy Nelson

Stop putting Trump's plan on the Dems. He started it and they continued it, both sides screwed this up.

Merry Christmas Bill. Here is today's recent history lesson.

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