6th Michigan hospital to get federal medical team amid surge

January 24, 2022 GMT

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A sixth Michigan hospital will receive staffing assistance from a federal medical team to help treat COVID-19 patients during the latest surge, state health officials said Monday.

Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, where 100% of beds were occupied as of Monday, will be supported by as many as 25 additional personnel for 30 days starting Feb. 7, the state health department said. Teams already are in place at hospitals in Dearborn, Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Saginaw and Wyandotte.

Michigan’s coronavirus-related hospitalizations hit new highs two weeks ago before dipping last week and over the weekend. State health officials project that infections and hospitalizations may peak by month’s end amid the rapid spread of the omicron variant.

More hospitals, about 60, are reporting critical staff shortages than at any point of the pandemic, and that number is double the past high. The state has 836 fewer staffed beds than a year ago, a 4% decline, and 180 fewer staffed beds in intensive care units, a 7% drop.

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“These federal medical teams are providing much-needed relief and a morale boost for our dedicated health care workers who have given so much over the past two years of the pandemic,” Elizabeth Hertel, director of the state Department of Health and Human Services, said in a statement.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer continued to urge people to get vaccinated and, if eligible, a booster shot; to stay home if they are sick; and to sign up for free masks and tests.

More than 4,200 hospitalized patients had confirmed or suspected cases of the virus, a drop of at least 200 from Friday. The tally of adults with confirmed infections was below 4,000 for the first time in three weeks.

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