Hospitalizations high as Michigan's COVID-19 case numbers trend down

Over the past week, Michigan has seen its highest-in-the-nation COVID-19 case rate slowly start to decrease. While doctors are optimistic we're rounding the curve, hospitalizations are still high.

Doctors at McLaren Macomb say the ICU is at capacity with COVID patients - which is true for the rest of its 12 hospitals across the state. However, the ICU Director of McLaren Macomb, Dr. Shelly Schendel, said in the last few days, they've seen a plateau.

"We have seen the number of people come into the hospital slow a bit so I’m hoping we are on the right track and this surge is brief," she said. 

This third surge of COVID-19 patients has put the hospital in a similar state as almost every other hospital across Michigan.

"We had one COVID unit on the regular medical floors that eventually spilled over into another unit we had to open. The ICU has been at capacity," Dr. Schendel said.

McLaren has a dozen hospitals from Southeast Michigan to the U.P. and all have similar COVID numbers.
 
"Staffing is really difficult to find right now, throughout the hospital and in addition to low numbers - people are tired," she said.

Dr. Schendel has been at this for more than a year and says it's tough seeing younger patients getting so sick. 
 
"We've had several people in 20s and 30s, we've had a few women that are pregnant or postpartum - recently postpartum - that are very ill," she said.
 
McLaren Oakland is in better shape than the other locations as COVID units are not at capacity anymore and it’s trending downward. The doctor says, this time they have more successful treatment options including oxygen, steroids, Remdesivir, and anti-inflammatory medication. 
 
If you’re not sick, the best thing you can do is to get a vaccine, even if you’re hesitant. Dr. Schendel admits she was concerned but ultimately chose to get the vaccine. 
 
"Get reliable information from good sources to make their decision. But I do recommend getting the shot - it is safe it is effective," she said.

McLaren Macomb hospital in Macomb County, Michigan.