(WXYZ) — Officials at Henry Ford Health System said during a press conference Tuesday that 95% of their patients who are hospitalized with COVID-19 or in the ICU have not received a booster dose.
“We have been tracking this and will continue to track it … it is clear that the vaccine continues to be protective,” said Dr. Adnan Munkarah, Henry Ford’s Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer.
Dr. Munkarah also noted that 65% of COVID patients had not received any vaccine at all. Officials said Henry Ford Health System currently has 480 patients hospitalized with COVID-19.
As Michigan continues to battle with the fourth surge of COVID-19 and the increased transmission of the omicron variant, Henry Ford Health System says they are dealing with ill team members and staffing shortages. Officials say they’ve had 686 team members test positive for COVID-19 in the past 7 days, a three-fold increase from mid-December.
“The continuous spread of COVID within our community not only puts a strain on our health systems because of the bed occupancy … but also the spread exposes our frontline health workers to community spread,” said Dr. Munkarah.
Officials say Henry Ford Health System has had to close 97 beds across three of their hospitals, mostly due to staffing challenges.
Currently, team members who test positive for COVID are quarantining for 7 days after their first symptom and officials say they are reviewing the CDC guidelines and do not plan to move to 5 days until there is more evidence and more data available.
Officials say they have also noticed a significant increase in the demand for testing. According to Henry Ford Health System, they are doing 2,300 to 2,500 PCR tests a day, noting the biggest challenge is not having enough staffing to do the swabbing.
After the holidays, officials are preparing for the situation to worsen.
“Frankly, we are very concerned about what is going to come in the days ahead, typically we see increases in patients and hospitalizations after holidays, and we are bracing for one of the bleakest months yet we have faced throughout this pandemic,” said Dr. Dennis Cunningham.
Officials urge vaccination and say the monoclonal treatments and antiviral pills should not become substitutes for vaccination shots.
“We can still control it … I’m optimistic we’ll get over this, we need to get over this together,” said Dr. Munkarah.
Additional Coronavirus information and resources:
View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.
See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.