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Mid-Michigan hospitals struggle to keep up with COVID hospitalizations

Masks hang from an IV pole at a hospital.
Jenny Kane
Masks hang from an IV pole at a hospital.

Amid staffing shortages, Michigan hospitals continue to be overwhelmed by COVID-19 hospitalizations.

In the last couple of weeks, the state has experienced record breaking numbers of coronavirus infections.

Dr. Daniel Martin, chief medical officer at Sparrow Hospital, says Sparrow is running at 100% bed capacity and the hospital has requested staffing assistance from the federal government.

“We do qualify for the assistance. At this time, the teams that have been deployed throughout the country are already in areas," Martin said. "Three of those teams are in the state of Michigan in Grand Rapids, Detroit, and Saginaw.”

Martin says they are waiting to hear back from the government on whether they will receive the additional support.

At McLaren Greater Lansing, most of those hospitalized for COVID aren't vaccinated.

Dr. Linda Peterson, McLaren's chief medical officer, says this current surge of COVID is taking a toll on people without shots.

"Two thirds of the patients that are being admitted into the hospital have not been vaccinated. A third have either been partially or fully vaccinated is what we're tending to see right now. The ones that end up in the ICU are mostly unvaccinated patients," she added.

Peterson says her staff is preparing for numbers to increase after the holidays.

As WKAR's Bilingual Latinx Stories Reporter, Michelle reports in both English and Spanish on stories affecting Michigan's Latinx community. Michelle is also the voice of WKAR's weekend news programs.