Flint doctor says COVID-19 hospitalizations are increasing in Mid-Michigan

Ascension Genesys Hospital finishes trial for authorized plasma therapy for coronavirus patients.
Ascension Genesys Hospital finishes trial for authorized plasma therapy for coronavirus patients.(Regan Blissett)
Published: Oct. 21, 2020 at 5:06 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - A well-respected doctor from Flint took to social media this week with a call to action about taking COVID-19 seriously.

Dr. Bobby Mukkamala, who practices medicine in Genesee County, is president of the Michigan State Medical Society. He said Flint-area hospitals are seeing a steep increase in patients needing admission for coronavirus treatment.

“I didn’t want this to be another opportunity where the scientists know things, the doctors know things, the nurses know things but people on the street don’t find out about that for a month and then start to change behavior and the horse has gotten out of the barn,” Mukkamala said.

Here are COVID-19 hospitalization figures from Mid-Michigan facilities reported to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on Monday:

  • Ascension Michigan hospitals -- 137 patients with 35 in intensive care.
  • Covenant HealthCare in Saginaw -- 36 patients with 12 in intensive care.
  • Deckerville Community Hospital -- No COVID-19 patients.
  • Harbor Beach Community Hospital -- No COVID-19 patients.
  • Hills and Dales General Hospital in Caro -- No COVID-19 patients.
  • Hurley Medical Center in Flint -- 18 patients with four in intensive care.
  • Marlette Regional Hospital -- one patient in regular care.
  • McKenzie Memorial Hospital in Sandusky -- No COVID-19 patients.
  • McLaren hospitals in Michigan -- 102 patients with 28 in intensive care.
  • Memorial Healthcare in Owosso -- one patient in intensive care.
  • MidMichigan Health hospitals -- 40 patients with four in intensive care.
  • Scheurer Hospital in Caseville -- No COVID-19 patients.

In total, hospitals across Michigan are treating 1,209 patients with confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. They include 112 patients on ventilators and 273 patients in intensive care.

The statewide hospitalization rates have doubled over the past several weeks.

Mukkamala said the increased hospitalization rates are more than just a bump due to testing. The patients receiving hospital treatment show more people getting sick.

He said this is gut-check moment for Mid-Michigan residents to do the right thing before more friends, family members and neighbors die from the illness.

“What I like to see our community do is to say, we’re not out of this yet,” Mukkamala said. “Our numbers were better. Maybe we started to relax a little. Let’s continue to protect us and protect those around us by wearing masks and being distanced and not forgetting that the virus is still out there and it hasn’t forgotten about us.”

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