Federal disaster help team to work at Henry Ford Wyandotte amid omicron surge

As the wildly contagious omicron variant challenges our workplaces, school districts, and just about every other part of our lives, Covid’s battle with our frontline healthcare workers rages on.

Currently, at Henry Ford hospitals: there are 520 patients with Covid — including five children.  The total number is a 10 percent jump from last week.

The health system says more than 60 percent of its Covid patients are unvaccinated, and 90 percent did not receive a booster.

"We keep seeing the misinformation related to vaccines and efficacy of the vaccine. It is honestly getting more and more frustrating. the data is mounting. the evidence is extremely strong," said Dr. Adnan Munkarah, executive VP, Henry Ford Health.

During its weekly Zoom address, Henry Ford health leaders said help is on the way. Another federal disaster medical assistance team will work in Wyandotte. The group will provide 24 in-patient beds.

This week, nearly 90 beds are unavailable due to staff shortages across the health system.

"It is a great sign of hope (and) optimism to our care teams that they’re not alone. That support as needed is coming," said Bob Riney, president of healthcare operations Henry Ford Health.

When the federal team arrives, it will help one of Metro Detroit’s major health systems navigate its toughest challenge yet.

Three in 10 people are testing positive for Covid in our area, but Henry Ford doctors say one out of every two people coming to the hospital with symptoms, is infected.

A third of the positive tests come from people ages 21-40.  Also, almost 600 hospital employees are out due to Covid, but the president of healthcare operations says it’s due to community spread.

"There is not a silver bullet solution," Riney said. "We have systemic challenges with incredible volume and very, very tired medical practitioners."

Details on the second team’s deployment are in the works.  The first team, which arrived January 9th, will leave next Friday.