Michigan hospitals and health systems are urging the Department of Health and Human Services to extend the three-week epidemic order, set to expire Dec. 8.
In an open letter, chief medical officers representing hospitals and health care systems said the order is slowly stabilizing the spread of COVID-19 and leading to stabilized hospitalizations.
"To see meaningful change that truly alleviates stress on the healthcare system, we urge the state to extend protections through the holiday season," they said.
They said Michigan was on the path to record COVID-19 case rates, deaths and hospitalizations when the epidemic order was issued in November.
Now, they say hospitals are continuing to face critical healthcare worker staffing shortages and "troubling" bed capacity numbers.
Hospital officials said data is currently indicating slight declines in COVID-19 emergency department visits, daily admissions and total hospitalizations.
"As physicians, we’re telling you: these measures are working."
They urged Michigan residents to continue taking preventative measures, including staying at home, wearing a mask, maintaining six feet of distance and avoiding crowds.
"Those of us working in hospitals are members of your community. We are your neighbors and friends. We have families and holiday traditions of our own that we’re missing, too. With vaccines now in sight, nobody wants to see the progress of the last three weeks go to waste."
Additional Coronavirus information and resources:
Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.
View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.
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