LANSING, Mich. — COVID-19 numbers in Michigan continue to trend in the wrong direction and local leaders from across industries are begging Michiganders to get vaccinated.
“I will tell you that our hospitals in the state are now operating at near capacity levels," said Brian Peters who serves as the CEO of the Michigan Health and Hospital Association. "That’s due to a couple of things, number one is that our COVID-19 inpatient care continues to rise. In fact we are over 1,400 COVID hospitalization across the state of Michigan, and, secondly, we’re starting to see large volumes of non-COVID hospitalizations many of whom actually delayed seeking care in the hospital during the midst of the pandemic and now they’re presenting at our emergency departments with higher acuity meaning they’re sicker.”
At the end of August Sparrow Hospital was at 95 percent capacity, McLaren Greater Lansing was at 96 percent and Henry Ford Allegiance Health was at 86 percent, according to the Michigan Health and Hospital Association database.
“We’re very concerned about what Labor Day travel and, in many instances, travel outside the state and the recent return of students to schools might lead," Peters said.
Dr. Geneva Tatem says she is concerned about the possibility of another COVID surge.
“I personally have been through three surges of COVID with my team working in the medical intensive care unit at Henry Ford Hospital and we are all deeply concerned that we are going to have a fourth surge," Tatem said.
She said it's difficult for her to know so many Michiganders are putting themselves in danger by not getting vaccinated.
"I’ve seen far too many lives changed forever and far too many patients lost during this pandemic. And, for those who remain unvaccinated, we’re concerned that time may not be on your side. The vaccine is the single best tool that we can use to emerge from this pandemic with good health and an encouraging future," Tatem said.
Rob Fowler, the Small Business Association of Michigan's CEO, explained that small businesses across Michigan should be asking their employees to get vaccinated.
“SBA employers should be encouraging their employees and using incentives. We also have tried to understand the reluctance and while I think I can understand that there are some people who just can’t get past the idea of something that they perceive to be untested or at least new in the marketplace. We are clear that we think the efficacy of the vaccine is clear," he said.
The business community argues that getting vaccinated is the best way to keep industries open and will help both customers and employees feel safe.
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