COVID-19 hospitalizations reach new high in Michigan

Michigan hospitals reported a record number of COVID-19 patients Monday, surpassing the peak from nearly a month ago before the state’s daily already-high infection counts surged to new heights due to the more contagious omicron variant.

Roughly 4,900 people were hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of the virus, including 4,580 adults with a positive test. The previous pandemic high for adults with a confirmed infection was 4,518 on Dec. 13, before a two-week decline and then an increase that started after Christmas.

Michigan had six COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 residents in the past week, the seventh-highest among all states, according to the federal government. Beaumont Health, a large hospital system in the Detroit area, has said it is at a “breaking point” due in part to staff out sick with the virus and urged the public to be vaccinated, get a booster shot and wear a mask.

Brian Peters, CEO of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association, called the record figure “a grim milestone that demonstrates the immense stress on our hospitals throughout the state. The increased transmissibility of the omicron variant is only leading to more patients admitted to the hospital, but also infecting vital caregivers and impacting hospital capacity.”

Also Monday, state Attorney General Dana Nessel cautioned that fake COVID-19 home tests are being sold online amid a spike in demand, citing warnings from the Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau. Nessel urged people to make sure their test has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and to file complaints.

Nessel recalled how she got sick and received a rapid test from a friend, only to become suspicious when it had no instructions except to go online and provide information like her Social Security number.

“There are a lot of people who unknowingly are going to fall for it,” Nessel said. “It’s not just that they’re trying to get your personal information. It’s that these tests are not real tests.”  (AP)

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