'We're at a breaking point': Beaumont reports 40% increase in COVID-19 patients in past week; 430+ workers out

Beaumont said the current COVID-19 surge is taking a huge toll on its Metro Detroit hospitals.

On Thursday, Beaumont said it was "at a breaking point," when reporting that there has been a 40% increase in Covid patients at its eight hospitals in the past week.

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 "The omicron variant is one of the most contagious viruses we have seen in our lifetime. It’s more important than ever for the community to help contain the spread of this illness. Our health care systems are overwhelmed. If you have ignored our pleas for help before, now is the time to take action. We need everyone’s help to get through this fourth surge. Wear a mask. Get vaccinated. Get boosted," said Dr. Nick Gilpin, Beaumont Health’s medical director of infection prevention and epidemiology.

According to Beaumont, 62% of the hospitalized Covid patients are unvaccinated, and 8% have had a booster shot. Gilpin said boosters help keep people out of the hospital.

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Additionally, Beaumont has more than 430 employees out of work because of Covid symptoms.

This week, Beaumont leadership requested each hospital strongly consider reducing elective surgical procedures, outpatient imaging, and testing to dedicate more staff to hospitalized patients, including Covid patients, trauma, oncology, and acute medical issues.

As Beaumont deals with strain, the U.S. Department of Defense medical team that has been helping at the hospital in Dearborn has been extended for another 30 days.

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The hospital is receiving help from six registered nurses assigned to the Emergency Center, eight registered nurses assigned to the ICUs, two respiratory therapists, two advanced practice providers, and DOD leaders.

More DOD personnel will be in the Emergency Center during this extension.

"They’ve done phenomenal work alongside our amazing staff at Dearborn," Beaumont Dearborn Chief Operating Officer Tom Lanni said. "We were able to open additional beds in critical care, and our patients and staff have truly benefited from the expertise the DOD team has brought to our hospital. We feel fortunate to be able to work with DOD team members for an additional month."