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Saginaw hospitals see rise in number of COVID-19 patients

Health leaders across the state are keeping a close eye on how many COVID-19 patients are in the hospital
Number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital rise in Saginaw
Number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital rise in Saginaw
Published: Oct. 26, 2020 at 3:47 PM EDT
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SAGINAW, Mich. (WJRT) - Health leaders across the state are keeping a close eye on how many COVID-19 patients are in the hospital as state data continues show an increase. It’s a trend that has also been reported across Mid-Michigan and in Saginaw.

“We had that initial spike many months ago, we came down," said Dr. Matthew Deibel, medical director of Covenant HealthCare’s Emergency Care Center. “We never really went to zero we kind of had this low-level. We’ve seen a little bit of an increase over the last couple weeks.”

Deibel said that there has also been an increase in the number of COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit at Covenant HealthCare.

“That seems to be part of it,” he said. "As I look at those that got hospitalized, roughly half end up the ICU it seems like and that’s been true throughout the time we’ve been seeing patients.”

As these numbers climb, state health leaders have expressed concerns of hospitals possibly reaching capacity.

Deibel said that at Covenant HealthCare in Saginaw, health officials are keeping a close eye on the number of patients and are planning ahead.

“As far as cases in the hospital, we are always looking at kind of where are options are if we continue to get these patients," Deibel said. "We continue to stay a step ahead of things. I think the difference back then is with the first wave where there were a lot more patients hospitalized, there were surgeries that were cancelled, a lot of people were not coming into the hospital now we don’t have as many cases but we also have more usual business happening at the same time.”

State data has showed increases in the number of COVID-19 patients at Ascension Michigan hospitals as well. Ascension St. Mary’s is located in Saginaw.

ABC12 reached out to officials at Ascension Michigan about the number of COVID-19 patients they have and they released this statement:

"The health and safety of our patients, associates and visitors is always a top priority. Ascension Michigan has been working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to monitor and ensure the best possible care for patients with potential or confirmed cases of COVID-19. Out of respect for patient privacy, we will not be releasing data on the number of patients who are being tested or treated for COVID-19 at our facilities. Requests for specific details, as they relate to any COVID-19-related patient condition updates, should be directed to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

All of our Ascension Michigan hospitals have a surge plan specific to each facility, and we are able to quickly adapt to the needs of our patients and to the healthcare demands of our community by cohorting patients and creating additional ICU space as needed. Preparedness efforts are ongoing and involve local, state and national resources.

We need everyone to take this seriously and do what they can to slow the spread. We understand the community is experiencing ‘pandemic fatigue.’ But now is the time we need everyone to exercise even more vigilance by washing your hands, watching your distance, wearing masks while in public, avoiding large gatherings and getting your flu shot. Everyone in our community plays a crucial role in helping us all stay healthy and safe. Only through everyone’s cooperation can we curb the high number of cases that we are experiencing and protect our neighbors. We cannot do this alone – we need to do this together."

Deibel at Covenant HealthCare also stressed the importance of taking this virus seriously and doing everything we can to help slow the spread.

“This disease is still bad," he said. "Many people get it and do ok but some people don’t and there are people at higher risk for not doing well but even people we think would do fine occasionally they don’t do well so we need to take this very seriously.”

The state does report the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations on its website.

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