Henry Ford Health fights climbing COVID cases as health professionals maxed out

It's been a long 18 months for the doctors and nurses at hospitals across the country. With three effective vaccines being distributed, cases of COVID-19 should continue to decline. Instead, they're going the other way and most of those hospitalized are unvaccinated.

Dr. Adnan Munkarah, Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer, Henry Ford Health System, spoke on Tuesday with updates about the latest cases in the hospital system and they're close to returning to spring levels.

"We have 100 inpatients with Covid across our five hospitals," Dr. Munkarah said."Of those patients, 77 are unvaccinated and 19 are vaccinated. And four are in between doses meaning not fully vaccinated."

That's just a snapshot of confirmed cases. The hospital says their counts could grow soon.

"We also have about 100 patients who currently their Covid tests are pending," he said.

READ NEXT: Grosse Pointe, Livonia schools consider masks as Whitmer refuses statewide mandate

For reference, the last time Henry Ford Health System saw triple digits in Covid hospitalizations was in early May.

"Continue to be worried about these numbers climbing up," Dr. Munkarah said.

The numbers are climbing as the hospital works to fill key positions. Bob Riney, President of Healthcare Operations and Chief Operating Officer, said Henry Ford has tons of openings and they're not the only ones.

"We have several hundred RN openings at a time that we are very, very busy both with the treatment of Covid patients, as Dr. Munkarah described, and heavy volumes in all other aspects," he said. "18 months of dealing an incredibly, incredibly exhausting situation takes its toll. We have a lot of our nurses who are working extra shifts, etc. while we work very, very hard to fill these gaps."

MORE: ‘I should have gotten vaccinated’: woman hospitalized one day after diagnosed with COVID-19

While he was giving an update on the COVID-19 fight, a recruitment event was happening just outside the office.

"6 feet outside the office that I'm in, a big job fair is going on right now where are inviting any nurses in to understand all the different options and opportunities that we have for them," Riney said.

The hope now is that more people will get vaccinated after the FDA approved the Pfizer vaccine on Monday.

"We are very excited and hopeful that it will provide some additional assurance to those that may have been hesitant…It really could be an inflection point in our efforts to get more people vaccinated," Riney said. "Variants change and find ways to get through. Our job is to stop the variance from being able to form."