3rd military medical team sent to Michigan amid COVID surge

A third 22-member medical team from the U.S. military is being deployed to Michigan, where hospitals are grappling with record-high COVID-19 patients amid the state’s fourth surge of infections.

The nurses, doctors and respiratory therapists will assist Covenant Healthcare in Saginaw starting Dec. 12, the state health department said Thursday. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called it “much-needed relief.” Two other 22-member teams began treating patients in Grand Rapids and Dearborn this week.

More than 4,500 people, most of them unvaccinated, were hospitalized with confirmed or suspected coronavirus cases Wednesday. The 4,269 adults with confirmed infection surpassed the previous pandemic high that was reported two days earlier. The seven-day daily death average was 79, up from 66 in mid-November.

The Michigan Health & Hospital Association, which last week compiled data from most health systems, said 76% of patients were not fully vaccinated; 87% of those intensive care were not.

“We have a safe and effective vaccine that is quite literally saving lives,” said Elizabeth Hertel, director of the state Department of Health and Human Services.  (AP)

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