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Health, Science and Environment

Across the state, some hospitals are close to - or at - capacity

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Ministero Difesa
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As hospitals edge towards capacity for COVID-19 patients, officials make one last plea for safety before the holiday.

According to state data, many hospitals across the state are either at or near capacity - especially in the Upper Peninsula.

Covenant Healthcare in Saginaw is currently at 100% capacity. In Sault Sainte Marie the War Memorial Hospital is at 92%.

David Jahn is the President and CEO of the War Memorial Hospital.

“What those numbers don’t show is that the last couple of days we’ve had to transfer six patients each day to other hospitals who had open beds because we were at our capacity,” he said.

Jahn said he’s especially worried about healthcare workers who are already burned out and overworked heading into this second surge.

“We have a six-bed ICU and as of yesterday five of those beds were full. Unfortunately one of those patients passed away overnight.”

Brian Peters with the Michigan Health and Hospital Association said there is one sign of hope.

“Just in the last day for the first time in over 3-weeks, we’ve seen a leveling off in the number of new in-patient hospitalizations,” he said. “We’ll be very hopeful that trend continues in the coming days.”

Peters said whether that trend continues will largely depend on whether people remain safe over the holiday.

He urged residents to stick to small gatherings, maintain social distance, and wear masks whenever they go out in public.

Hospitals and health officials say anyone who is experiencing concerning or emergency symptoms should not hesitate to go to their local emergency room