The federal government is sending medical teams to Michigan to help the state cope with rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
Two teams, each with 22 paramedics, are expected to begin treating patients almost immediately after landing next week, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) said.
One will travel to Beaumont Hospital in Dearborn and the other to Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids.
“We deeply appreciate this much needed support,” Beaumont Health CEO John Fox said in a statement.
In addition, the government agreed to open beds at the John D. Dingell Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Detroit to ease hospital overcrowding.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, asked for medical attention, and the MDHHS approached Veterans Affairs Hospitals asking them to open beds for civilians.
“I am grateful to the federal government for accepting our request to provide much-needed assistance to medical personnel who have remained at the forefront of this pandemic,” Whitmer said in a statement.
The Michigan Health and Hospitals Association said more help is needed. The group requested 150 federal specialists.
Michigan reported 7,123 COVID-19 infections on Nov.22, as the state is at its worst in the fight against the country’s current wave of COVID-19.
The number of hospitalizations has also increased in recent weeks.
Most patients in hospitals are free of COVID-19 – about 20 percent of patients in hospital beds tested positive this week – but COVID-19 patients are pushing some medical facilities to critical levels, officials said.
Beaumont Hospital in Dearborn was 92% busy as of November 24, while several Spectrum Health hospitals were operating at full or near full capacity, according to data compiled by the state.
Statewide, nearly 9 out of 10 hospital beds in the hospital were occupied.
“Hospitals across the state are operating at full capacity, especially in Metro Detroit and Western Michigan, and this is taking a huge toll on our healthcare workers,” said Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director.
COVID-19 is a disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
A growing proportion of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are among those considered fully vaccinated or those who have had at least two weeks after receiving the last shot of the primary series of vaccinations.
In the 20 days to November 12, 28 percent of cases, 29 percent of hospitalizations and 25 percent of deaths were fully vaccinated, according to the MDHHS.
In addition, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations increased for all age groups, although the largest increase was in those over 60.
As of November 23, about 6 in 10 Michigan residents have been vaccinated.
The fact that most patients and deaths from COVID-19 are not vaccinated shows that vaccines are still effective in preventing hospitalizations and deaths, officials say.
Research and real-world data show that vaccines become less effective over time against infections and serious illnesses, prompting health officials to approve and recommend booster vaccines for nearly all Americans age 18 and older.
“We ask everyone to get vaccinated,” Fox said.