Michigan hits record high COVID-19 hospitalizations, majority are unvaccinated

Michigan's COVID-19 cases are still soaring, and medical experts are now releasing a new benchmark in the state's cases. This week, Michigan has hit the highest number of hospitalized COVID-19 cases of the pandemic.

Nearly 4,700 patients were in the hospital statewide Wednesday during a fourth surge in infections. The roughly 4,400 hospitalized adults with confirmed cases was at the highest point in the 21-month coronavirus pandemic and 150 more than a week ago. 

This the highest number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Michigan healthcare facilities since March 2020. University of Michigan Health President Dr. David Miller said they're having to make some drastic changes due to the number of hospitalizations.

"At Michigan Medicine, we are continuing to cancel surgeries because we just don’t have the beds. This week alone we canceled more than 40 cases. These are heartbreaking decisions," Dr. Miller said.

Hospitals are overrun with COVID cases and the overwhelming majority of those patients are not vaccinated.

Additionally, doctors at UM say every single patient currently on a ventilator has not gotten a COVID-19 vaccine.

"Vaccination is the only way out of this pandemic. The unvaccinated aren’t just risking their lives and the lives of loved ones, you’re risking the lives of others that may die of preventable disease who can’t get their needed health care," said Michigan Medicine CEO Dr. Marschall Runge.

As Christmas looms just a little more than two weeks away, experts are particularly worried about gathering this season.

"We want you to be careful if you’re gathering with your family during this holiday season… ask friends and family if they’ve been vaccinated and if they haven’t, wear a mask, first line of protection," said Dr. John Carethers.

And doctors are reminding you that if you do need life-saving medical care, seek it.

"Although our emergency department is crowded, please don’t stay home. Come to the hospital to get emergency care if you have symptoms like chest or abdominal pain, stroke symptoms, or trouble breathing," Dr. Miller said.

Baby with COVID

FILE - A nurse wearing full PPE cares for a newborn infected with COVID-19.