SOUTHEASTERN MICHIGAN - Beaumont Health said it's at a "breaking point" as its hospitals are caring for more than 750 COVID-19 patients, 62 percent of which are unvaccinated, officials said Thursday in a statement.
As the omicron variant spreads throughout the region, there has been a 40 percent increase in the number of COVID-19 patients being treated at Beaumont hospitals. In addition, more than 430 Beaumont employees are also out with COVID-19 symptoms, health officials said.
Beaumont Health's medical director of infection prevention and epidemiology Dr. Nick Gilpin said the omicron variant is one of the most contagious viruses we have seen in our lifetime.
"Our health care systems are overwhelmed. If you have ignored our pleas for help before, now is the time to take action," Gilpin said. "We need everyone's help to get through this fourth surge. Wear a mask. Get vaccinated. Get boosted."
Gilpin also stressed that the COVID-19 vaccine is still working and remains effective in preventing COVID-19 from progressing to more serious or even fatal consequences. He also encouraged more people to get the booster shot, as only 8 percent of people in the hospitals have received it.
Gilpin also urged people to be compassionate, understanding and kind with staff.
"They are also struggling. They are doing their best to follow steps to protect the health and safety of all patients," he said.
The health system strongly encouraged its hospitals to reduce elective surgical procedures, outpatient imaging and testing to allow more staff to caring for patients that require care in the hospital, which includes COVID-19 patients, trauma, oncology and acute medical issues.
A federal team of doctors will continue to help workers care for patients at Beaumont Hospital, Dearborn. Their medical mission was supposed to end on Sunday, but it has been extended another 30 days to help patients in Southeast Michigan.
"They've done phenomenal work alongside our amazing staff at Dearborn," Beaumont, Dearborn Chief Operating Officer Tom Lanni said. "We were able to open additional beds in critical care, and our patients and staff have truly benefited from the expertise the DOD team has brought to our hospital. We feel fortunate to be able to work with DOD team members for an additional month."
Michigan hit a new pandemic record for single-day COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, averaging 13,673 cases per day the last two days, according to state health officials.
There were 4,297 adults and children hospitalized with confirmed cases of the virus statewide with 107 children hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Officials are hoping people will get vaccinated, boosted, wear a mask, practice social distancing, limit gatherings, stay home if you are feeling sick and talk with friends and family to encourage them to get vaccinated.
This article originally appeared on the Farmington-Farmington Hills Patch