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4:13 PM, Feb 27, 2020

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22 federal workers coming to help fight COVID-19 surge at Beaumont Dearborn

Posted at 11:28 AM, Nov 30, 2021

(WXYZ) — On Tuesday morning, 22 federal workers will arrive at Beaumont Dearborn in the thick of another surge in COVID-19 cases.

The helping hands come as the state sees a startling number of cases. On Monday, the state reported more than 25,000 new cases and 137 deaths over a 5-day period.

Michigan also broke the record for the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19, with nearly 4,200 in hospital beds across the state.

Beaumont Dearborn has over 100 COVID-19 patients and every day in labs across the state, COVID-19 tests are sequenced to see if there are any new mutations in the virus.

Dr. Teena Chopra, the director of Wayne State University's Center for Emerging and Infectious Diseases, is paying close attention to see if there are any signs of the Omicron variant in Michigan.

"It's not going to be a huge challenge to discover this variant," she said. "When we see it, we'll know right away."

The variant has not yet been found in the U.S., but has been found in neighboring Ontario. Chopra said it's unknown whether infections are more severe.

"The fact that it spreads quickly, replaced the original delta variant is very concerning," she said.

While doctors remain on the lookout for the omicron variant, doctors in metro Detroit are seeing a surge of patients, more than at any other point in the pandemic.

Staff at Beaumont Dearborn is tired, stressed, and overworked, but federal help is now coming.

Those 22 workers from the Department of Defense are flying to help the hospital. 14 of the workers are nurses; others are ventilation specialists and physicians who will work the next 30 days in the ER.

"I think to have the fresh perspective that help is here will really help our team members," Mary Ellis Kohis-Rouillard, the chief nursing officer at the hospital, said.

The new team will be ready for action by Friday. A command center is being set up so they can help 24/7 as hospitals deal with the fourth surge.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

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