Kalamazoo hospitals see surge in number of COVID-19 hospitalizations

Bronson Methodist Hospital - Kalamazoo
Posted at 3:41 PM, Nov 13, 2020
and last updated 2021-01-14 17:10:35-05

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Multiple hospital systems this week said they're seeing an influx of COVID-19 patients more than ever before in the pandemic.

Kalamazoo hospitals are seeing more patients for COVID-19, and while one doctor said a second surge was expected, they weren't expecting it to be this bad.

"The number of hospitalizations that we’ve had for COVID-19 has been rising over the past month or longer. It is at an all-time high right now," said Bronson Methodist's Director of Infection Prevention and Epidemiology Dr. Richard Van Enk.

Dr. Richard Van Enk said COVID-19 is becoming quite the challenge for Michigan hospitals.

While many people are still recovering at home, they've had an influx of patients who need to be hospitalized.

"That’s where the real stress is. If you can stay home and get over it, that is one thing. If you have to come to the hospital and take up hospital beds and take up those resources, that really makes the problem worse," said Dr. Van Enk.

According to Bronson's COVID-19 dashboard, their healthcare system has a total of 98 COVID-positive patients in their hospitals with just 61 of those patients at Bronson Methodist in Kalamazoo.

While numbers weren't readily available for Ascension Borgess Hospital, Infectious Disease Dr. Tom Flynn said they're seeing high numbers too.

"We’re busier now than we were during most of the summer. That’s not unexpected. The surge occurred in the fall that we thought it would. I had some hope that maybe it wouldn’t rise so quickly but it did. We are busy. All our regional hospitals are busy," said WMU Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine's Chief of Infectious Disease Dr. Tom Flynn.

Doctors continue to point to social gatherings as being the main cause, asking people to continue to follow safety protocols and reminding them that everyone is at risk.

"What we’ve seen over the past month or two is that anyone can get COVID and anyone can get a serious infection and require hospitalization, and anyone can die from COVID," said Dr. Van Enk.

Hospitals are also asking people to be mindful as the holiday season gets closer. They said instead of spending it with large groups of family, you should stick to your own household or groups with 10 or less people.

They also to continue wearing your masks and socially distance where you can.

Click here for a list of guidelines suggested by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention for the holiday season.