Michigan has most COVID cases in the nation in latest CDC data

For the second time this year, the state of Michigan is leading the nation in COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

According to the latest data, Michigan has over 50,311 new COVID-19 cases in the past week. That comes out to 503.8 cases per 100,000 and is the most in the nation. Minnesota is second with 490 cases and New Mexico has 462 cases per 100,000.

The last time Michigan led the nation was in April when the state encountered the largest surge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Adnan Munkarah, the Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer for Henry Ford Health System, said on Tuesday that they had hoped for better news for this Thanksgiving compared to last year.

"Hoping we’d be in a better situation this Thanksgiving than we were last," Dr. Munkarah said. "We are greatly concerned."

As the Covid infection rate climbs in Michigan and more people are being hospitalized, hospital systems across the state are forced to make tough decisions. Bob Riney, President of Healthcare Operations and Chief Operating Officer, Henry Ford Health System said that's been their process, of late.

"There’s been a couple of days where we have had to curtail some procedures in a couple of our hospitals because the overall volume and, particularly, the growth of Covid, put us at capacity," Riner said.

In the past three weeks, Henry Ford says its hospital system has seen a 60% rise in the number of patients hospitalized with COVID, and Macomb County appears to be the hardest hit.

"We have 330 patients with Covid hospitalized across our 5 hospitals. We have another 35 patients with Covid or suspected Covid," Dr. Munkarah said. "Our highest number of Covid patients are in Henry Ford Macomb Hospital that has 81 patients with Covid."

Munkarah said most of those hospitalized with COVID-19 are not vaccinated.

"When we look at your admissions with Covid 70 to 75% of U.S. patients have been unvaccinated," he said.

Hospital leaders say in addition to high Covid numbers, there’s growing concern about what a twin pandemic - both Covid and flu - would do to hospital systems already bursting at the seams.

"Currently our hospitals across the region are full. In talking to many colleagues, all of us are between 95 and 100% occupancy," Munkarah said.

There’s also concern about family and social gatherings as the holiday season nears that’s why the push for the Covid vaccination continues

"The best way for us to continue to get this under control is by getting vaccinated," Munkarah said.

The vaccine will reduce the number of people getting infected with Covid and ultimately take the pressure off hospitals

"We know that if we can reduce the burden and the impact that we are seeing and stop this growing trend with Coivd then we will be able to accommodate everything if we can’t, then we all collectively will have to make tough calls," Riner said.