ROYAL OAK, Mich. - "Community spread is tremendous right now, and I think it's going to get worse with the holiday," said Director of Infectious Disease Research at Beaumont, Dr. Matthew Sims.
With it being a holiday season, Beaumont Hospital is worried about what could happen to the already rising COVID-19 hospitalization numbers.
"I've been telling everybody to stay away from their families," Dr. Sims said.
Dr. Sims said the hospital is not seeing spring sized hospitalizations, but they are up to about 600 people admitted with COVID- 19, compared to the 200 a few weeks ago.
"It's more contagious than the flu, it's not something like just the flu and it's more deadly than the flu," he said.
Dr. Sims said he's heard so many misconceptions about the virus.
"It's not a hoax, okay?" he said. "There are people that are dying from it that think it's a hoax. I'm watching people dying of it all the time, and it's sad."
A 20,000-person study recently released by Beaumont on masks, shows that what Dr. Sims says is our best defense.
"People who got exposed to COVID, if they weren't wearing a mask, they were much more likely to get infected if they were wearing a surgical mask and they were more likely to get infected than they were wearing the N95 mask," Dr. Sims said.
As the world anxiously awaits a vaccine, caution from the medical community explains that distribution will be monumental, and not everyone will want one.
"Vaccines probably will help, but they're not going to solve this right away," Dr. Sims said.
Short term goals for local hospitals include protecting healthcare workers.
"We have a lot of heroic people that are saving lives right now," Dr. Sims said.