LANSING, Mich. — COVID-19 hospitalizations are down in the Lansing area just six weeks after the state's most recent.
Mid-Michigan saw a spike of COVID-19 cases during the week of April 8 along with the rest of the state, which quickly became one of the worst sites for COVID-19 infections in the nation. Area hospitals were nearing capacity.
Just over a month later, patient numbers have dropped significantly.
Ingham County has vaccinated more than 100,000 residents and 44 percent of residents are fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data tracker.
The combination of increasing vaccination rates and improved treatment options are key to the decline, said Amy Brown, chief nursing officer for Sparrow Hospitals.
“The availability to get the vaccine from any local drugstore, from our Frandor center, the walk-in clinic, I think that convenience is very, very helpful,” she said.
The most recent surge was driven by a significantly younger demographic than previous surges.
“It was pretty much [people] under 65 and I do believe that it’s because the vaccine was available to those over 75 and what we also saw is that the patients that were being hospitalized were not vaccinated,” Brown said.
Another factor that is keeping people from experiencing very severe cases of COVID-19 is improving treatments.
“There’s a couple different clinic sites where we have the convalescent plasma and so I know that has been effective in keeping patients out of the hospital and it’s very easy for the physicians to get their patients into one of those clinics,” she said. “I think that has definitely helped.”
Brown said she expects to see case numbers and hospitalizations continue to decline.
“I think if you look back at last summer, I think that being outdoors is definitely helpful because [you’re not in] an enclosed space. And so it offers kind of that open air type of atmosphere,” she said. “So I'm hoping that between opening up the vaccinations over 12, getting vaccinated, and then also people being outdoors more and less indoors, both of those things will help contribute.”
Brown encouraged residents to continue wearing their masks where asked, especially when visiting a patient in the hospital.
“I think that we need to get used to still wearing our masks, be a little bit cautions, and not just stop wearing them altogether,” she said.
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