Metro Detroit ER doctors worry rise in COVID patients may lead to another surge

Posted at 8:31 PM, Mar 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-29 20:49:22-04

(WXYZ) — Another rise in cases, another increase in hospitalizations and doctors across metro Detroit are hoping this is not the beginning of another major surge.

“If you look at the slope of cases that we’re having, we’re still increasing," said Beaumont Royal Oak Physician Justin Skryzynski. "We don’t know where the top of the hill is going to be so to speak.”

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Dr. Skrzynski says his hospital has more than tripled its number of COVID patients since early February, and most coming from a different age group.

“Right now we are seeing a much younger population coming in," Dr. Skrzynski said. "By younger we mean maybe 40s/ 50s as opposed to 60s/70s that we were seeing previously.”

At Henry Ford Hospital they’re seeing the same, with the average age of patients dropping from 65 to 58.

“When we look at the age of people who are hospitalized at the present time, it is not the age group that has been vaccinated so far,” said Dr. Adnan Munkarah, Chief Clinical Officer at Henry Ford Health.

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According to the state’s COVID dashboard, roughly 66% of those over 65 have received at least one dose of vaccine. Their absence from the emergency rooms is a sign to doctors that the shot works.

“The more of those people we take off the board so to speak for COVID to infect, the fewer chances we’ll have these spikes in the future," Dr. Skrzynski said.

Doctors say right now it’s a race between the vaccine and the virus. As they work to get more shots in arms, they hope everyone else works to slow down the spread. They encourage masking and social distancing.

“This is not time to give up because the end is near," Dr. Munkarah said. "Between vaccination and using these measures we will be able to get to where we want to get to and hopefully get to some sort of normalcy.”