Michigan's fight with COVID-19: Henry Ford Health System officials provide update

'We are in a crisis. There is no way around it, and there’s no way to sugar coat it'
Henry Ford Health System
Posted at 12:32 PM, Dec 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-15 17:46:08-05

DETROIT, Mich. (WXYZ) — Henry Ford Health System officials held a news conference Wednesday morning to update the general public on COVID-19 vaccinations, the pandemic's impact on hospital operations, and overall staffing.

Dr. Adnan Munkarah went into detail about how there’s been a 27% vaccination increase in the past two weeks, but he states there is a rise of COVID patients in the hospitals. During the news conference, he said there are currently 500 patients in the hospital or waiting to get admitted. The doctor said that statewide, COVID hospitalizations are up 10%, and COVID deaths are up 80% in the last two weeks. He noted 70-80% of hospitalizations of COVID are of those unvaccinated, and over 85% of patients currently on ventilators in the ICU are unvaccinated. Dr. Munkarah and President of Health Care Operations and COO at Henry Ford Bob Riney, is stressing to the public to get their COVID-19 vaccinations.

"This is the pandemic of the unvaccinated," said Dr. Adnan Munkarah.

Right now, many see the omicron variant as the main threat, but Munkarah explains how Delta is the most dominant variant out there. He does anticipate seeing the omicron numbers go up, though. Munkarah says, “there are over 77 nations that have omicron variant in their population.”

"People that are vaccinated are 30 times more likely to survive COVID admission than unvaccinated patients," said Dr. Adnan Munkarah.

Munkarah says that our cases today are as bad as a year ago, and people not being vaccinated are part of the problem. Repeatedly Riney and Munkarah explain how the United States is in a crisis.

"We are in a crisis. There is no way around it, and there’s no way to sugar coat it," said Henry Ford Health System President of Healthcare Operations and COO Bob Riney.

Both Munkarah and Riney stress that hospitals are at maximum capacity and can’t perform other hospital operations due to the number of people in the hospital with COVID.

Riney also went into detail on the economic side of the pandemic. He states that the massive number of hospitalizations has led to burnout of their healthcare teams and the need to bring in unfunded crisis labor. “Health insurance claims based on soaring COVID hospitalizations are going to provide medical loss ratios in the health insurance industry that will be challenging and will ultimately be passed onto consumers,” Riney says.

During the news conference, Dr. Jackie Carlson from the hospital's ER and ICU gave a first responder viewpoint of the pandemic. She detailed how those dying from the virus all had different reasons for not getting vaccinated, but said that all have the same regret.

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