Actions

Hospitals overwhelmed as COVID cases surge

Gov Whitmer urges people to stay put for Thanksgiving
Posted at 6:08 PM, Nov 12, 2020

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Governor Whitmer provided a bleak update on a surging coronavirus, as numbers climb in all 50 states.

The U.S. has seen new daily case counts exceeding 100,000 for the past week. With it, comes around 1,000 daily deaths.

“I just want that to sink in for a second,” said Whitmer, addressing the state Thursday. “Try to imagine 10, 737 airplanes crashing to the ground every single day. That’s what we’re facing. A 9/11 every three days.”

Whitmer was joined on stage by a number of doctors and executives from major health groups in the state, saying between them, they’ve seen a combined five-fold increase in COVID cases at their hospitals in just the last week.

“Our hospitals are nearing capacity,” said Gov. Whitmer, “and they are burning through PPE – the masks and gloves that we’ve been working to stockpile – they’re burning through it because they are overwhelmed.”

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical officer, announced Michigan’s positivity rate is at 10.8%, with 416 cases per million residents.

“Our numbers are increasingly rapidly,” said Dr. Khaldun on Thursday. “I’m sure that right now as I am speaking, the numbers are even higher than what I just announced.”

Hospitals are overwhelmed, seeing a surge in patients as the state records about 3,000 more daily cases now than this time last month.

“With positivity rates going to 10% or higher in some communities, we just can’t go to the shelf and pull off more ICU nurses and more pharmacists and more physicians that are able to run ventilators and take care of wildly sick patients,” said Dr. Karen Kent-Vangorder, MD, a family medicine doctor based in Lansing. “Those are just patients that will go without.”

Whitmer also urged people to not travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, now just two weeks away, if they could avoid it. She asked families to keep gatherings to their immediate households.