GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The latest data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services shows almost 4,000 Michiganders are in the hospital because of COVID-19.
Mercy Health's main campus in Grand Rapids is at 99% bed occupancy.
"Last week, we hit the same high point as we did in November of 2020, which was around 80 COVID patients," Mercy Health Saint Mary's President Dr. Matt Biersack said.
Biersack told FOX 17 his system is seeing a surge in COVD-19 patients, which are mostly unvaccinated.
"Honestly, we've never seen anything like this. I mean, certainly no one, no one expected the pandemic," Biersack said.
Roughly seven of the major hospitals in West Michigan have anywhere from 77% to 99% bed occupancy.
"The impact of just waiting patients who come to the emergency rooms in any of the health systems are having to wait longer times are delayed in terms of being able to get into the hospital if it's necessary," Biersack said. "We're at that point where we're challenged, but we're still open. And we want to stay open."
The president of Mercy Health Saint Mary's in Grand Rapids points out if there were no COVID-19 patients, the bed occupancy would be around 70–75% in their main campus.
Mercy Health understands people are going to get together on the holidays. They're asking you to use extra caution when visiting friends and families.
"You know, the potential effects that we could see, you know, down the road from that, and the weeks ahead, you know, really frightening, honestly, if we see COVID numbers continue to rise as a result of holiday transmission. It's really going to tax the health systems in the community," he said.