Michigan COVID-19 rates continue to climb

LANSING – The COVID–19 Omicron variant was discovered in Kent County yesterday.

As of today, Michigan is one of 25 states where the variant has been found.

That’s one of several reasons why state health officials continue to sound alarm bells about the virus, especially going into Christmas.

Hospitals are reporting that  3  out of 4 patients with covid–19 are unvaccinated.

During a Michigan Department of Health and Human Services update today, state officials said—– it’s not a matter of if unvaccinated people will get sick, but when.

“For individuals who have not yet been vaccinated., I want to be absolutely clear.,” MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel said. “You are risking serious illness,, hospitalization, and even death. Even people under the age of 65, including individuals in their 20s and 30s are testing positive and ending up in the hospital. In fact, in the past seven days 30 to 39 year olds are experiencing our highest case rates.”

Unvaccinated people are nearly ten times more likely to die from COVID–19 than those who are fully vaccinated.

Hospitals are stretched thin. Some are filled to capacity.

OSF St. Francis in Delta county said it is filled to capacity.

Of the 223 hospitalized with COVID–19 in 15 OSF hospitals, 59 have been vaccinated.

According to the state website U.P. Health System – Marquette currently has 10 COVID–19 patients in its ICU.

88 percent of UPHS- Marquette beds are full.

Hertel said the federal government has provided some Michigan hospitals with staffing assistance.

But, she said resources are limited.

She urged Michigan residents to take the surge seriously.

“…already, sometimes dozens of people are waiting in emergency departments for non life threatening visits due to the individuals coming through the emergency room doors with COVID related symptoms. In some cases, hospitals have had to close their emergency departments for extended periods of time,” Hertel said. “This is serious. And the surge not only has the potential to impact your access to care if you remain unvaccinated (and test) positive for COVID and need hospitalization. It also jeopardizes the ability of you or anyone in your family who needs care for other conditions, or unforeseen emergencies to access that care when they need it.”

Here is link to the full video of today’s press briefing. Here is th e link